End to End
Clevedon to Kaiaua
We recommend you start your ride in Clevedon Village where ample car parking is available on Clevedon-Kawakawa Road, and public toilets are located adjacent to the Clevedon Hall. The Hūnua Traverse officially starts at the Rounabout beside the Clevedon Hall. Please note that this is an on-road ride; there are no dedicated cycle paths.
Visit Clevedon.co.nz for more information about this great little rural village on the outskirts of Auckland.
From Clevedon, ride east along Clevedon-Kawakawa Road following the NZCT Navigation signs. Cross the Wairoa River and immediately turn right onto McNicol Road and 2km left onto Otau Mountain Road where you begin your ascent.
Otau Mountain Road is currently used by logging trucks on weekdays
so we strongly recommend you only use this road on weekends and public holidays. An alternate weekday route is provided via Ness Valley – please refer map.
Otau Mountain Road is steep and winding. About 6km in (2km from the top) it becomes unsealed and road conditions are variable. Enter Hūnua Ranges Regional Park via the bike gate. While there is a large area of gravel at the top of Otau Mountain Road, we kindly ask you not to park any vehicles car here; this is a turning circle for service and emergency vehicles and must be kept clear at all times.
Once you’ve entered the Regional Park, travel a short distance to the T-intersection where you turn left onto Mckenzie Road (note – Orum Road remains strictly closed to public). Please clean your bike at the wash station: Mount, Scrub and Spray, before you ride
Continue along 6km McKenzie Road, an unsealed and undulating Watercare maintenance road. Keeping left, be prepared to meet vehicles, other cyclists and pedestrians. Sweeping views towards the Hauraki Gulf are worth slowing down for. At the Snake Alley section you’ll find steep ascents and descents with limited visibility; keep left and control your speed at all times.
At the 13km mark you will reach the Moumoukai Hill Road intersection. Toilet facilities are located approx 600m down Moumoukai Hill Road. Note – you can exit the Regional Park here and head back to Clevedon on-road, making a 28km loop of this ride
Continue on to Plows Road for a further 1km, turning right at the Keeney Road intersection. Note that Mine Road is currently strictly closed to cyclists and pedestrians. Please respect this closure.
Keeney Road becomes Waterline Road, from which you’ll enjoy excellent views across the Mangatawhiri Dam. Continue for approx 5km to the dam wall (detour recommended) and into the Upper Mangatawhiri Valley. Keep left and follow the Nga Haerenga navigation signs through the valley floor where you’ll find toilets, a campground, BBQ facilities and a bike skills park.
Travel along the path adjacent to the bike skills area to Mangatangi Hill Road (aka A R A Drive) via the wash station and a short easy single track section. Please wash your bike as you re-enter the Regional Park – the Upper Mangatawhiri Valley is a busy entrance and therefore a high risk area for pick up kauri dieback disease on your shoes and tyres.
Make the most of the a few km’s of relatively flat riding. At the Horse Float carpark (intersection of Manning & Mangatangi Hill Rds, approx 2.5km), you can choose to ride an additional 5km of the Valley Loop.But the official Hūnua Traverse route veers slightly left. Riding up the short hill and continue along Mangatangi Hill Road following the Nga Haerenga orientation signs. At the 4km mark the real ascent begins; welcome to The Monster Hill. This notorious 2.24km uphill is not for the faint hearted with an average gradient of +16%.
Important: Keep left and beware cyclists descending. Use the mirrors supplied at blind corners.
Keep your eyes peeled for signs indicating the Mangatangi Trig Campground – here you are likely* to find limited cell phone reception. It also marks the almost-top-of- the-climb. (* cell reception is network dependant and patchy at best).
Continue down the hill, enjoying the views over the dam. If you have time, we highly recommend riding the dam wall to the Wal McQuarrie visitor centre where you’ll find fascinating information about the Hūnua Range’s role as Auckland’s water source. Toilets and picnic tables are also available.
Continuing downhill, beware the vehicle gate at the Workman Road carpark – exit the Regional Park via the bike gate. This carpark includes toilet facilities, the last until you reach Kaiaua.
The final 9km leg of your journey will take you along 4km of unsealed and picturesque Workman Road. At the bottom of the road, turn left onto Kaiaua Road, and travel a final 5km downhill along sealed roads to Kaiaua township. At the Kaiaua Road / East Coast Road intersection, turn left and continuing up the coast 700m, past iconic local venues Bay View Hotel and Kaiaua Fisheries, to the trail head located opposite the iconic The Pink Shop.
44.5km from Clevedon Village to Kaiaua.
1155m elevation gain in total
Approx 13km sealed, 32km unsealed
Open 7 days. Weekday access along Otau Mountain Road is not recommended due to logging activity; please use Ness Valley Alternate Access.
TIME TO RIDE
Due to challenging elevation gains and slippery descents, the time to ride the Hūnua Traverse will vary greatly depending on rider ability and type of bike.
18km public roads, 26km Watercare service roads within the Hūnua Ranges Regional Park
In the north, carparking is available at Clevedon Village (Clevedon- Kawakawa Road), Moumoukai Hill Road carpark and Upper Mangatāwhiri Valley carpark. Strictly no parking at the top of Otau Mountain Road (this is a turning circle for emergency and service vehicles and must be kept clear at all times).
Clevedon Hall, Moumoukai Hill Road carpark, Upper Mangatawhiri Campground, Mangatangi Trig Campground, Wal McQuarrie Visitor Centre, Workman Road carpark, Kaiaua Trail Head (opposite The Pink Shop). There are no toilet facilities at Otau Mountain Road.
- Ōtau Mountain Road (weekend access),
- Moumoukai Hill Road (weekday alternate access),
- Waterline Road,
- Bike Skills at Upper Mangatāwhiri Valley,
- Mangatangi Hill Road (A.R.A Drive)
Two campground are available directly on the route; Mangatangi Trig Campground and Upper Mangatāwhiri Campground (refer route map). A third campground is located at the bottom of the Valley Loop.
Please note – Hūnua Ranges Regional Park has a year round open fire ban. Light no fires.
Beware vehicles on all roads 24/7. Beware steep very steep gradients and sharp corners with big hill climbs on unsealed roads. It is steep and slippery. Some corners are sharp and off-camber.
Please stay off all side roads, as indicated by signage.
Climb up to the Trig Station at Otau Mountain for sweeping views of the Wairoa Valley, Auckland City and across to the Waitākeres. You’ll find a hidden stairway beside the McKenzie Road washstation.
- Enjoy riding the dam walls.
- Visit the Wal McQuarrie Visitor Centre at Mangatangi Reservoir
- Check out the Valley loop for 5km extra riding and some sweet single track.