While only a 12 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, this classic little seaside town feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Wandering along the boardwalk on a sunny day and enjoying a coffee from one of the many local cafes will provide you with the perfect backdrop for planning the day ahead.
Devonport is located directly across the Waitemata Harbour from Auckland City on the tip of the Devonport Peninsula. This Peninsula used to be almost entirely surrounded by water until the late Nineteenth Century and was often referred to as ‘the Island’.
Devonport, along with nearby suburbs North Head, Stanley Point, Narrow Neck and Bayswater, form the Northernmost landform of the entrance to the Hauraki Gulf. The area is well known for its various links to the Naval Base and military defence operations over the years.
We all know Devonport is famous for its naval history and fantastic views – but did you know…
Devonport is situated just across the harbour from Auckland; it is accessible by road via the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the Northshore or by ferry ride across the Waitemata Harbour.
You can choose to travel by car or bus to Devonport. By car, the trip will take you approximately 20 minutes (dependent on traffic). Follow State Highway 1 until the Esmonde Road turn off (Exit 420), continue along until you reach Lake Road, and then turn right. Lake Road will bring you right into the centre of Devonport, past the Waitemata Golf Club and towards Mount Victoria. From here, turn right for Cheltenham Beach and left for the Devonport Naval Base and access to Victoria Road.
Catching the bus to Devonport will mean relying on the city bus schedule. Depending on the time of day, and scheduled route, the bus should take around an hour to get you across to Devonport. This trip will involve taking the NX1 Bus from Auckland Central and changing buses at Akoranga onto the 814 out to Devonport. The fare will cost around $5 one-way.
Ferry To Devonport
Where do you catch the ferry to Devonport? The Devonport Ferry departs the City Ferry Building at 99 Quay Street from the Princess Wharf at the top of Queen Street.
How long is the ferry to Devonport? The ferry ride takes only 12 minutes, with ferries departing every hour (sometimes more frequently). Travelling on the ferry also has the added bonus of providing some great harbour and city views along the way! See here for the Devonport Ferry Timetable, or check out more information about the Auckland Ferry services here.
Once you have arrived in Devonport, it is likely you’ll want to get your bearings before starting out. Head on over to the iSite information centre at the Devonport Wharf. Here you will find information on activities and attractions, guided tours, local maps, walks in the area and parks, along with a little insight into historical aspects of Devonport and its Naval Base. Or, if you prefer to plan ahead, take a look below at our top 10 things to do in Devonport.
1. Take A Walk Up Mt Victoria
Impossible to miss, Mt Victoria stands proudly amidst the suburban sprawl of Devonport, providing an easily recognised central point of reference. The perfect spot to get an overview of Devonport, it takes only 10-20 minutes to reach the summit and the views out over the harbour are just stunning!
Take a walk around the grassy slopes of Mt Victoria to see if you can spot the remnants of the local Maori Pa site, seek out the historic gun emplacements or just enjoy the fresh air and spectacular views with a picnic lunch – the choice is yours!
2. Play At The Windsor Reserve Playground
Kids getting bored or need to burn off some energy? Head on over to the Windsor Reserve Playground next to the Ferry Terminal and let them loose on the nautical playground.
This little reserve offers access to the small but picturesque Devonport Beach and a coastal themed playground complete with the large Bean Rock Lighthouse, a three-bay swing, an inter-tidal-reef-themed spinner and rocker, a crawl tunnel and rope climb and more!
3. Chill At Cheltenham Beach
The long stretch of sandy beach at Cheltenham is just a short walk from the Devonport Ferry Terminal, Mt Victoria and the North Head Historic Reserve. Allow roughly half an hour for the walk from all locations, and you’ll be barefoot on the beach with the sand between your toes before you know it!
Cheltenham Beach is a great place to go for a swim, soak up some sun or enjoy a relaxing stroll along the beach. The North Head Reserve marks its Southern end while the Bath Street Reserve sits at its Northernmost end.
4. Explore The North Head Historic Reserve
Situated at the head of the Waitemata Harbour, North Head is home to one of the most significant historic coastal defence sites in New Zealand. You will find military tunnels, bunkers and gun emplacements to explore, along with historic insight into their use and purpose when built back in 1885 and the 1930s.
Wander the reserve at your own pace on a self-guided tour - don’t miss the North Battery, South Battery, the Barracks, the Disappearing 8-inch Gun Battery and the Searchlight tunnels. While you explore, don’t forget to take in the amazing views of Auckland City and out over the Hauraki Gulf to Rangitoto Island.
5. Get Yourself Some Chocolate!
Indulge yourself in delicious handmade chocolate heaven at Devonport Chocolates on Wynyard Street. You will find a beautiful selection of chocolates and gifts for every occasion – including that mid-afternoon treat after a day of exploring Devonport!
Devonport Chocolates has a long history of award-winning chocolate designed to inspire with local ingredients and unexpected flavour combinations and textures. Treat yourself or grab something to take home with you for friends and family.
6. Visit The Museums
Weather not so good, or are you a bit of a history buff? Then the Torpedo Bay Navy Museum and the Devonport Museum are the places to go. Entry to both museums is free, and they are the perfect place to delve a little deeper into the rich naval culture and history of both Devonport and wider New Zealand.
You will find Torpedo Bay Navy Museum at the end of the King Edward Parade along the waterfront from the Ferry Terminal, and the Devonport Museum at the base of the Mt Cambria Reserve on Vauxhall Road. Both offer some great exhibitions and the opportunity to combine sightseeing with a little bit of fun learning along the way.
7. Watch A Movie At The Vic
Housed in the striking white art deco building on Victoria Road, you simply can’t miss The Vic cinema. Showcasing a great selection of mainstream and arthouse movies, as well as live shows and events there is sure to be something for everyone.
Grab a delicious ice cream or snack from the café and enjoy the boutique old world style cinema setting. Tuesdays are the day to go if you’re looking for the best prices, otherwise, look out for the Ferry and Movie combo deal.
8. Eat Out Along Victoria Road
Victoria Road is the place to be for the best cafes in Devonport. Choose from a good variety of foods, including Mediterranean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian and the good old kiwi style bakery. While you’re there, check out the local craft shops, art galleries and boutique fashion stores along the way.
The bulk of the Victoria Road shops are just a quick 5 minute walk from the Ferry Terminal and the perfect place to fuel up after spending the morning exploring the sights and sounds of Devonport.
9. Take The Devonport Explorer Tour
Departing every hour from the wharf at Devonport, the Devonport Explorer Tour is a great way to take in the local highlights, especially if you are short on time. This mini-bus tour offers the ease of a guided tour without all the hassle as you relax and enjoy the complimentary commentary.
The best thing about the Devonport Explorer Tour is you can get on and get off whenever it suits. Re-join the bus at a later time when it passes by your location – the flexibility is awesome! Enjoy the best bits of Devonport without having to drive or plan with the Devonport Explorer Tour.
10. Swish Around On A Segway Tour
Take it up a notch with a Segway Tour - the ideal way to travel around Devonport on a sunny day! Enjoy mastering the art of the Segway while guided by an experienced local expert. These tours are a great way to get off the beaten track a little and see Devonport from a whole different perspective.
Along the way, you will have time to stop for pics while visiting the beaches, parks and volcanoes of Devonport. Choose from the one hour tour or the more comprehensive tour at roughly 2.5 hours; bookings are highly recommended (see here to book online).
Worked up an appetite after all that sightseeing and segwaying? Read on to discover our 5 best places to eat in Devonport.
1. Correlli’s Café
The place to be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just dessert! Correlli’s has long been recognised as the travellers choice (in fact, they won an award for this in 2020!) - don’t miss their epic Nachos and Paleo Chicken Salad!
2. White’s Dairy
How about the largest, most gigantic ice cream you will ever see! We are talking 10 scoops here! Can you even eat that much ice cream? Why not find out at White‘s Dairy on the corner of Vauxhall and Burgess Roads.
The perfect choice for vegetarians, meat lovers and everybody in between! Vondel is open from 9 am until late and is a great place to dine out for dinner. Enjoy seasonal foods and craft beer and wine with your meal. Call ahead to book a table; spaces are limited.
4. Fish Kitchen
Situated right on the waterfront with views second to none, Fish Kitchen is your chance to sample some fresh fish and seafood while soaking up the local Devonport atmosphere. Don’t miss the Beer Battered Fish and Chips and the Seafood Chowder!
5. Baked @ Devonport
Prefer to grab a pie on the go or just after a fresh loaf of bread for lunch or cake for dessert? Check out the traditional kiwi bakery fare at Baked @ Devonport. You can even get a coffee or tea to go.
Fallen in love with Devonport and don’t want to leave? You will find ideal luxury accommodation at the Andelin Guesthouse. Centrally located on Victoria Street within walking distance from your choice of cafes and restaurants and just 250 metres from The Vic Cinema, the Andelin Guesthouse offers a beautifully presented home-away-from-home to complement your time in Devonport.
To recieve updates for events, news and promotions: