Tag Archives: Views From The Top

Clevedon Reserve – Stairway to Heaven

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.

Clevedon Reserve Trees
Large trees in the Clevedon Reserve

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 Time60 – 75 mins
SurfaceWooden Stairs, gravel, dirt
Difficulty 3 – steep and stairs requires reasonable fitness and stability
Buggies/WheelchairsNot suitable except for the short walk to the quarry
Dog FriendlyYes – welcome on leash
FacilitiesToilets, Picnic tables, Parking, Kauri dieback cleaning station, confidence course, Burma trail,
HighlightsHuge native trees, views, birdlife, quarry environment

Click to open Google Map in a separate tab or tap on the icon in the top right of this map.

Clevedon Reserve Boardwalk

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.

The Bridge leading to the start of the Clevedon Stairway to Heaven
The Bridge leading to the start of the Stairway to Heaven

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.

Clevedon Stairway to Heaven Lookout Panorama Views
Clevedon Reserve Lookout Panorama Views

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.

Old Thorps Quarry Sign
Old Thorps Quarry Sign

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 in Aucklands Clevedon Reserve
Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven Elevation Chart

Clevedon Reserve Elevation 2
Clevedon Reserve Elevation

Useful Links

Clevedon Scenic Reserve Information

Clevedon Reserve Track

Hamlins Hill – historic gem

Hamlins Hill (Mutukaroa) Regional Park is a gem in the midst of Auckland City with a rich history and plenty of open space for you to unwind and enjoy. You can enjoy 360 degree views of Auckland city and explore the bush where you almost forget you are in the middle of New Zealand’s largest city. At times you are only 20m from the main Eastern Arterial route, but you feel one hundred miles away!

This park has been replanted with native bush and the grassland is farmed with cattle. Dogs are permitted on a lead.

The main access to the park is off Great South Rd, while bike and walking access is from the cycle lane next to the Eastern Arterial Route. The Gt South Rd entrance has a carpark.

Walk Time60 – 90 mins
SurfaceGrass or gravel track
Difficulty 2 – undulating with uneven surfaces
Buggies/WheelchairsOnly suitable for off-road buggies. There are also lots of gates to go through -some may require a buggy to be passed over.
FacilitiesPicnic Table, Park Benches, Portaloo near the picnic site (has been there when we have visited)
HighlightsBush, Farmland, Curious Cattle, Views of Auckland, Historic Rock Wall

Click to open Google Map is a separate tab or tap on the icon in the top right of this map.

Hamlins Hill – Mutukaroa Walk Description

Looking for some tranquillity and peace in the midst of the city – Hamlins is a place to visit and explore. It is a not-so-hidden-gem of solace surrounded by businesses and industry but when you are there, you will hardly know it. Further, it has relatively few visitors and compared with other city parks such as Auckland Domain and Cornwall Park, it is quiet.

If visiting by car, park at the entrance on Great South Rd – beware, it can be hard to find and if you blink you can miss it! If by bike, you can access from the cycleway via the Eastern Arterial route. The access from the car park is via a farm vehicle track, while from the cycleway the entrance is through native bush. This discussion will be written from the viewpoint of entering via the car park.

Walk about 150m from the carpark and through the first gate into the Regional Park. You can choose to continue straight ahead towards the main junction and picnic table or turn right to head through the native bush and to the highest points of the park. We will assume this is the route for this review. This provides great views across our wonderful city.

Enjoy a rest at the top of Hamlins Hill where you can enjoy one of the bench seats. Once ready, head north towards the main junction area of the park – here you will find the picnic table and a portable toilet.

There are four options to explore from the junction – you will see these clearly on the Google Map. I would recommend heading to the right and winding your way through the native bush until reaching the northern edge of the park, from here turn left and head back up to the junction or continue to the grassland and explore the western farm areas of the park. It is here you will see the historic stone wall.

Take your time exploring the farm, enjoying the curious cattle and the wide-open spaces. On your return, head back straight across the grass towards the junction or take the more adventurous and fun bush route just inside the southern perimeter.

Hamlins Hill is a real gem in the heart of our city. Walk it, bike it and run it! Bring the kids, the dog (on a lead) and just have a couple of hours out of the hustle.

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The park has gravel trails and grass paths and is only suitable for off-road capable buggies/wheelchairs. It also has a lot of farm gates/styles to pass through and at times buggies may need to be passed over the fence if they cannot squeeze through the gaps.

Auckland Council Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa Webpage

University of Auckland Walks – Tamaki Campus

Stage Four of the University of Auckland short walks project, with five walking circuits starting and ending from the Tamaki campus in Morrin Road.

If you would like free copies of these PDF brochures, please leave your request in the comment box below.

Stay on track…get other detailed guides with maps from our Walks Store

Maybury ReservePoint England Loop
This walk takes you through Glen Innes and Maybury Reserve (and its rows of feijoa trees) to the edge of Point England Reserve returning through a character-filled Glen Innes residential street.
Time: approx. 40 minutes. (about 3.75 kms)

Maungarei Springs Wetlands Stonefields Loop
This walk winds through Stonefields to Maungarei Springs Wetlands.
Time: approx. 40 minutes. (about 3.6 kms)


Apirana Reserve and view of Mount WellingtonApirana Reserve Loop
This walk takes you off the suburban streets into the countryside and horse paddocks, with views from the top of the hill of Eastern Beach and the Coromandel on a clear day, and Mount Wellington close by.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.2 kms)


Eastview Reserve, Glen innes Eastview Reserve Loop
Refresh and revive amongst the trees in Taniwha and Eastview (mature oak trees) Reserves.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.0 kms)


Stonefields, St JohnsThe Goldsbury Track Loops
Take in a Reserve before winding through Stonefields to the Gollan Road Pedestrian Trail. Snatch views of Mt Wellington, Mt Eden, Mt St John, Mt Hobson, One Tree Hill and the top of the Sky Tower.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.19 kms)

Walks from Newmarket

Newmarket is a lively area with a wide choice of shops, cafes, cinemas and restaurants. For people who live or work in or near Newmarket, these five walks in Auckland take you through the back streets starting from Newmarket Railway Station. It is very easy for visitors to Auckland to catch a train or bus from Britomart. Or if you are travelling by car, then you could start from a place where parking is easy along the loop. Why visit Newmarket?
The history of Newmarket

View from Mt Eden summit

Mt Eden Loop
This walk in Auckland that starts from Newmarket Railway Station and takes you to the summit of Mount Eden, can become a day trip for those who have the time. You could leave Newmarket in time to arrive in Mount Eden village for morning tea or lunch, after taking in the views from the top of Mount Eden. Why visit Mount Eden?

After exploring the shops, you could then stop in Eden Gardens to enjoy what is on display, followed by lunch or afternoon tea  and then perhaps a visit to Highwic House before heading back to Newmarket.

Otherwise, this one and a half hour walk provides a healthy workout.

Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see:  Volcano Views, residential housing, Mount Eden Village shops, Newmarket boutique shops, Mt Albert Grammar School, entrance to Government House
Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 6 kms)

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-055 Newmarket to Mount Eden Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Hobson Bay Walkway

Hobson Bay Walkway Loop
Spring can be such a tease.  We can have wonderful warm days where we think that summer is around the corner.  And then we have days like today, windy with rain threatening. So with raincoats packed, we set out to walk from Newmarket Railway Station to the Hobson Bay Walkway.

We missed the rain for most of the walk, but when the skies did open up, we were close enough to Cafe Monet to drop in for a delicious hot coffee and wait for the rain to stop.

This walk is slightly longer than our usual, taking 90 minutes to cover just under 7.5kms. The route takes you through parks, reserves, boardwalks, bush and residential streets, from bustling Newmarket to the more sedate Remuera.

We suggest that this could be part of a day trip, so allow yourself time to explore both the Newmarket and Remuera shopping precincts or if it’s a fine day, take a picnic and enjoy the views from the edge of Hobson Bay or from Mount Hobson. Or you could sit on a park bench in Waiata Reserve or Newmarket Park and just watch the world go by and the dogs play…

Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Volcano Views, shore birds, residential housing, mangroves, boardwalk, Mount Hobson
Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7.25 kms)
Start: Newmarket Train Station or Victoria Avenue.
Dogs: Off leash exercise areas in Newmarket Park, Waiata Reserve, Thomas Bloodworth Park

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-054 Newmarket to Hobson Bay Walkway) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Gateway to the crater of Mount Saint John

Mount St John Loop
We walked south from Newmarket Railway Station today, and headed for the volcanoes of Mount Hobson and Mount Saint John.  Going to the top of Mount Hobson is optional, however from the path alongside of the mountain, you can catch glimpses of Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto Island .  From the summit of Mount Saint John there are fine views of other Auckland volcanoes.

This walk takes in the shops, cafes, and restaurants of Newmarket and the leafy suburban streets of nearby Epsom.

View more photos on our Facebook Page

Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see:  Volcano Views, residential housing, Newmarket Shops
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.56 kms)

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-053 Newmarket to Mount Saint John Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum loop
For people who live or work in or near Newmarket, this walk takes you through the back streets to the Auckland Domain and Auckland Museum, starting from Newmarket Railway Station.

It is mostly flat walk apart from the slight hill that goes up past Auckland Grammar School, Mountain Road.

Our surprise discovery today was Rannoch – an Arts and Crafts House with an amazing lava forest, and is home to over 100 sculptures.

Description: A mix of mainly level paths, slight incline going up Mountain Road. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Rangitoto Views, Auckland Grammar School, Maori TV HQ, Jubilee Building, Auckland Hospital, James Wallace Arts Trust “Rannoch”
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.29 kms)
Cafes: Numerous in Newmarket
Children’s playgrounds: Outhwaite Park

Nearby attractions: Newmarket boutique shops (Nuffield and Osborne/Teed Streets) , Domain Winter Gardens, Domain Sensory Gardens, Newmarket Pool, Newmarket cinemas (Rialto and Event), Highwic House. On Saturday mornings there is a Farmers Market behind the Jubilee Building.

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-052 Newmarket to Auckland Museum Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

The Maze, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell, Auckland

Parnell Loop
It is very easy for visitors to Auckland to catch a train from Britomart to interesting places to walk in Auckland.  You could start this walk from Newmarket Railway Station. Or if you are travelling by car, then you could start from Newmarket Park.

This walk provides the option of visiting Auckland Museum, and the Sensory Garden  in the Auckland Domain and the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell.

If shopping is your thing, Newmarket’s Broadway has a large selection and then there is Parnell with it’s boutique-style shops.

The Parnell Farmers Market is held on Saturday mornings, behind the Jubilee Building.

This diverse walk also takes you through a piece of urban bush, by a bubbling stream – a small wilderness walk in the city.

Dogs – off leash exercise areas  in Ayr Reserve and Newmarket Park.

Dog friendly walks in Auckland - part one

Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see:  Newmarket Broadway, Jubilee Building, Auckland Domain, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Ayr Reserve
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4 kms)
Parking: Newmarket Park off Ayr Street, Parnell MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-050 Newmarket to Parnell) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 1”).

Special Newmarket ‘5-Walk’ Bundle

Purchase all five Newmarket walks to experience this amazing part of Auckland for a discounted price of $7.95. You will receive the downloadable files with walk description and maps for:

  • Newmarket to Parnell
  • Newmarket to Auckland Museum
  • Newmarket to Hobson Bay
  • Newmarket to Mt Eden
  • Newmarket to Mt St John

Mangemangeroa Reserve walking track

walks in AucklandThe Mangemangeroa Reserve track was a totally new discovery for us today. I was  aware of it’s existence (and my awareness was raised further by my friend Isabel).

Today this coastal bush walk was an initial explore.  We concluded that it cannot be made into a circular walk however it is a beautiful magical place to walk, so we will be returning to document it fully. Yet again we hit the familiar snags, lack of sign posting – so we shall endeavor to keep fellow walkers on track with clear directions.

Today we met a couple at Shelly Park Beach who had walked from Howick Beach to Hayley Lane and were on their return journey. They had been walking for 31/2 hours to that point.

The views from the top of the ridge down the valley to the estuary were stunning, the bush was peaceful, and it was still and beautiful down by the water’s edge at Shelly Park Beach and the yacht club.

Download the Auckland Council brochure here.

I also suggest if you have the time that you pop into Howick Village markets which are held every Saturday morning. There is also a Sunday craft marketat All Saints Community Centre in Cook St check here for details.

walks in Auckland

How to get there: Southern Motorway to South Eastern exit. Follow Route 10 to Ti Rakau Drive, turn right and keep going past Botany Town Centre to its end. Turn left onto Chapel Rd, right onto Whitford Rd then hard left onto Somerville Rd. (MAP)

A walkway runs through native bush, past mudflats stretching along the estuary to Cockle Bay. Or walk through paddocks dotted with cows. Ferries used to manoeuvre through the creek but now it’s home to mangroves, crabs and hosts of birds. Beautiful lookouts and picnic spots. Dogs are allowed on a leash, except on the shoreline during bird breeding season, where they’re banned.