Exploring Devonport

Located a mere 12 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, the seaside town of Devonport provides visitors to the North Island an opportunity to experience village life first-hand without straying too far from the city.

Packed with boutique stores, galleries, museums, beautiful walks and quaint restaurants and hotels, the town also has a rich history and relaxed, old-world vibe; you’ll feel as though you’re a thousand miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life as soon as you step off the boat.

If you love a walk…

Make the short climb up Mt Victoria to enjoy panoramic views of Auckland city, Rangitoto, Waitemata Harbour and the Harbour Bridge. Stroll along Queens Parade for superb waterfront views of the harbour and admire beautiful, Victorian-era waterfront villas. Looking to stretch your legs a little further? Explore the trails of North Head Reserve; pitched on a strategically located volcanic mountain, the reserve is a significant historical costal defence location for New Zealand, which offers visitors beautiful views of the Hauruki Gulf and the opportunity to explore its restored military tunnel complex and gun emplacements.

If you’re a history buff…

Devonport has a unique and interesting Maori, European and military history. Evidence of the town’s first Maori settlement dates from the mid-14th century while Europeans are thought to have first settled in Devonport in 1840, establishing strong farming and maritime industries.  Stop in at the Devonport Museum to learn more; the museum is located in the Mt Cambria Reserve, an easy 15- minute walk from the village centre. If it’s military history that piques your interest, enjoy a visit to the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum, the official museum of the New Zealand Royal Navy, before heading over to North Head. Keen to continue exploring the town’s history outdoors? Devonport has many pristine examples of stunning Victorian-era architecture waiting to be discovered along Queens Parade.

 If you love the beach…

There are plenty of options for soaking in some sun and sand in Devonport. Devonport Beach and nearby Windsor Reserve are accessible immediately off the ferry and provides stunning views back over the water to Auckland city. Take a dip or let the kids loose in Devonport’s most popular playground, which is conveniently located in the reserve. Popular Cheltenham Beach is located a comfortable walk from the ferry terminal and is a great option for families; have a swim in calm clear water before grabbing some fish ‘n’ chips and heading to one of the nearby grassy picnic areas.

If art is your thing…

Head to the Flagstaff Gallery, a contemporary art gallery conveniently located on Victoria Road, the town’s main drag. The gallery has a range of permanent and visiting exhibitions, showcasing both local and international talent. An easy stroll away along King Edward Parade and overlooking the Waitemata Harbour is Art by the Sea, which showcases a range of arts and crafts pieces created by over 80 emerging and established New Zealand artists.

If you’re a foodie…

Devonport has a swarth of well-provisioned, popular cafes and restaurants dotted along the main drag of Victoria Road; try iconic Manuka Café with its Mediterranean inspired menu, the popular Devonport Stone Oven Bakery and Café or the French-themed Châteaubriant. Enjoy stunning views of Auckland and the harbor while taking in a bite and a brew at the Esplanade Hotel, or head  over to Nicolino Restaurant and Cube Bar for some authentic Mediterranean cuisine and a warm, lively atmosphere.  For the chocolate lovers, the charming chocolate factory at Devonport Chocolates is celebrated as one of Auckland’s finest chocolate establishments; be sure to stop in and try the famed Marlborough Caramel.

Words by Rebecca Walker. Image courtesy of Toruism New Zealand - Published 25 January 2019
Quick Facts 
Population 1.415 million
Area 1,086 km2
Time Zone GMT +12
Languages English (official)
Currency New Zealand dollar (NZD)
Electricity 220 – 240v 50Hz
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