Last Updated: 17th Oct 2023


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I've done it Done

Clevedon Reserve Stairway to Heaven

Clevedon, Auckland

Submitted by Nigel Owen

Last Updated: 17th Oct 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 7 ?

Gnarl Factor: 62 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +17.0%

Average Downhill Gradient: -17.3%


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Estimated Times to Run







Jan 2021: the trails have been upgraded with lots of new steps and boardwalks as well as tourist grade gravel paths for the rest - this means none of the mud and roots of the old trail. Other than that the below description should hold true:

From the car park run north to the wobbly bridge (wobbles when you run across it), then spray your shoes for Kauri die back. Across the bridge you'll come to three track entry points; straight ahead (anticlockwise loop), one to the left (to the waterfall) and one left of left (clockwise loop). My recommendation is to run the loop clockwise - reason being, the clockwise loop gives you a mean stair climb that is way more fun going up, and then gives you a super fun run down with way less stairs and more bouncy turns.
The way up is a mix of stairs, flat single track, stairs, undulating single track, stairs, stairs, single track and stairs to the top.
Then on the way down the fun starts right away with a single track gentle decent to bouncy turns, to stairs, to single track turns, technical declines, to stairs, to easy single track to an intersection - either right or left will take you to the bottom - left is more stairs, right is more fun and wiggly - a couple of fun turny bits and you're out.
Then do it all again. I recommend three loops then a big swig of water and off to the 'With Relish Delicatessen' in Clevedon for a coffee and sausage roll.

If keen, from the top you can head along Kimptions track (part of the Te Araroa Trail) to the trig point at 257m. About 1km in you'll hit a turnstile, head up the fence line which is on farmland, and not a well kept trail - super slippery in the wet. I don't recommend going further down the trail to Kimptions Road as there has been a large slip and the only way down is through 250m of super spiky shrubs, which you also have to battle on the way back up.
It's a fun trail, but can be a bit hard to find markers.

1. At the top there is a lookout platform with a seat with table, which is just great for a well earned rest and bite to eat.
2. There is also an easy five minute walk to the old Thorp Quarry site, which has a cool waterfall and wetland. Accessed via boardwalk and has a seating area for a snack.
3. Beside the car park there is a confidence course: containing an array of challenging activities. This facility is for the enjoyment of all; however, children under 14 years of age must be supervised by an adult.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

To get there I'd recommend driving, or cycling. There isn't any public transport.
The Clevedon Reserve car park has around 10 spaces, but if full there is plenty of parking on the street.
Parking is at your own risk, but there are people often coming and going so shouldn't be a problem - same as normal through - don't leave anything valuable in sight.

1 km

3 minutes




Perfect throughout.

Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Gaiters

Toilets are situated next to the main car park area.
No water available - take your own. There is a dairy 500m back down the road in Clevedon.

Kauri dieback disease. Clevedon Scenic Reserve is currently free from kauri dieback disease. Please protect the kauri in this reserve by: keeping to the track and off kauri roots, keeping your dog on a lead, cleaning your shoes on entry and exit to the reserve (Trigene is supplied on site).

1. Tree roots on the way down can be a bit trippy if bolting down on tired legs.
2. There is some work being done on the track at present - upgrading and adding in some additional stairs to protect the Kauri roots. Follow signs.

With Relish Delicatessen
9 Papakura-Clevedon Road, Clevedon, Auckland
Great coffee, great service, amazing bacon & cheese sausage rolls

Trail Legend

Annelise  La Roche

Annelise La Roche

has completed Clevedon Reserve Stairway to Heaven 9 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

This was my first time at Stairway to Heaven. Completed the loop three times as suggested - twice clockwise and once anti-clockwise. The anti-clockwise loop was definitely the most popular with other walkers/runners. The clockwise ascent was a good mix of trail and stairs and much more runnable compared to the anti-clockwise ascent which was the new stairs and boardwalks with hardly any trail (not my fav). I enjoyed the clockwise track to the top the most - both ascent/descent. But of course one side doesn't make a loop so go and do a loop in each direction and decide for yourself which one you prefer. Overall an enjoyable run and you can make it even better if you go on a Sunday morning and stop at the Clevedon Farmers Market afterwards for some post run refuelling:)

Tina Buch

May 15, 2022

A well maintained track with two routes to the top, both under good cover. The left route feels slightly steeper and has more natural stairs than the route on the right, which is mainly wooden stairs and platforms. Both directions are similar in effort and time though. There are good unobstructed views at the top, but I don't find myself wanting to take a photo of the views. There is parking for the track, but this can be rather full on a busy day, so can overflow out into the streets. I would have given 5 stars if the view was more spectacular at the top, the journey there, although short, is good, so deserves a 4. It's a great excursion and not too hard to make your way around the track. If you don't live close to Clevedon, You may want to consider the Hakarimata's in Ngāruawāhia to mix things up a little.

Mark Ashcroft

December 28, 2021

More stairs and formed tracks have replaced the muddy bits from when I last completed it Completed twice, once clockwise and once anticlockwise . A favourite when visiting family in Papakura.

Heather Purdie-Raill

April 10, 2021

Always been a good local track. As at today's visit both sides are back open and operational. If you head up right (anticlockwise) there is much more stairs than left where you can get a bit more pockets of runable ground on the decent (left clockwise from bottom). Bummer about alot of it being stairs but to protect the trees it is the result.

Joyce Leevard

March 7, 2021

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