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Clevedon Reserve Stairway to Heaven, Auckland

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Clevedon Reserve Stairway to HeavenIntermediate

Submitted by Nigel Owen

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Very hilly

Native bush


0:35 (Slow)
0:25 (Moderate)
0:20 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 25%

Moderate Single Track: 75%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Travel to Clevedon town center, 40km - 40 minute drive from downtown Auckland.
    From downtown Auckland, take State Highway 1 south and take exit 451 for Hill Road. Keep left at the fork and follow signs to Clevedon. At the roundabout, take the second exit onto Stratford Road. Continue to the next roundabout and take the second exit onto Alfriston Road. Continue onto Brookby Road and at the next roundabout, take the first exit and stay on Brookby Road. Turn right onto Twilight Road. Turn left onto North Road and then left again onto Thorps Quarry Road. Follow it to the end and park anywhere in the Clevedon Reserve car park.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    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.

  • Post run indulgence

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

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