The walk to the Clevedon Reserve lookout, known as the Stairway to Heaven, was suggested to us by some of my wife’s work colleagues and what a great surprise. Large kauri, Kahikatea, Puriri and Puka trees grace the slopes and make for an impressive bush canopy. Plenty of birdlife is enjoyed, as is the view across the Auckland City in the distance and the Hunua Ranges to the East. Adding to the value of this amazing walk is exploring the quaint Clevedon Village.
Be aware that this walk is uphill to the lookout and then downhill back to the start – there is very little flat and hundreds of stairs – the new wooden stairs on the northern section of the track are exceptionally well made and well spaced, making it a more comfortable climb. We completed the walk anti-clockwise, suggested to us by our local guide – very good advice.
Take some time to view some of the tree specimens. Our friend and guide took the time to point out some of his special trees – there really are some unique and fascinating specimens.
|Walk Time||60 – 75 mins|
|Surface||Wooden Stairs, gravel, dirt|
|Difficulty||3 – steep and stairs requires reasonable fitness and stability|
|Buggies/Wheelchairs||Not suitable except for the short walk to the quarry|
|Dog Friendly||Yes – welcome on leash|
|Facilities||Toilets, Picnic tables, Parking, Kauri dieback cleaning station, confidence course, Burma trail,|
|Highlights||Huge native trees, views, birdlife, quarry environment|
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Clevedon Reserve Loop Walkway
A fantastic walk and one for the whole family. The native bush is fantastic and quite unique with large kauri being the highlight. This bush also benefits from relatively spaced undergrowth (for NZ bush), enabling you to enjoy the uniqueness of each large specimen.
Drive through Clevedon and turn left into Thorpes Quarry Rd and drive to the end, where you will find the carpark. Next to the carpark is the local scout hall, toilets and confidence course. Head beyond the scout hall and to the bridge that takes you across the Tataia Stream, a pretty waterway that joins into the Wairoa River before heading all the way to the sea between Duder and Waitawa Parks. Presently there is Kauri Dieback cleaning stations to disinfect your shoes.
Once across the bridge, continue on the track straight ahead to complete the loop walk in an anti-clockwise direction. This enables you to enjoy the new stairs on the way up the hill and take in the more original track on the downhill return. The stairs are very impressive, built to keep foot traffic off the path to protect the kauri and other large trees. You will climb 30 – 40 minutes up and up until you reach the lookout at the top of the hill. From here, enjoy the 360 degree views that take in the Clevedon Plains, Hunua Ranges, Hauraki Gulf, Waitakere Rangers and Auckland City.
We completed the return journey by continuing on the loop, offering more magnificent bush and trees on your descent. You’ll notice a couple of large kauri not far from the path, very impressive specimens.
Once at the base of the hill again, you will be at a junction – it is worth turning left and taking the short walk (5 minutes) to the quarry. This is amazingly beautiful and has picnic tables for your enjoyment.
This is a really enjoyable walk that should be added to your list of walks to do that are unique and a little ‘out-of-the-way’. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
This walk is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs with the majority of this track being stairs or relatively steep terrain.
Buggies and Wheelchairs could be used for the short walk to the quarry.
Stairway to Heaven Elevation Chart