The best of Devonport is easily accessed via a short ferry ride from the Auckland CBD. If you’re in town for a few days, and have the time to explore outside of the CBD, then heading over to Devonport is a great option.
Devonport is a relaxed suburb of Auckland, located on the northern side of Waitemata Harbor. Offering classic Auckland views from golden sand beaches, to volcanoes playing host to military history, Devonport has it all. And I haven’t even started talking about the art deco architecture, shops and restaurants you’ll find throughout this stunning little village…
If those highlights aren’t enough to have you jumping on a ferry to check out Devonport for yourself, then scroll through the following images, and see if you still can’t resist!
If you don’t have time to scroll on now, then pin here for later!
This seaside suburb is just 10 minutes from the CBD by ferry. The stroll from the Devonport ferry terminal to the main street takes just minutes, and once there, you’ll have a myriad of cafe’s and restaurants to choose from. If you’re hungry, you have options ranging from classic kiwi fish and chips, to a pub meal, or go all out and dine in a more upscale cafe with views over the harbor.
If shopping is more your style, then you won’t be disappointed either, there’s a mix from souvenir stores to classic boutiques, and everything in between.
As you stroll the main street, look out for the art deco influenced architecture. The post office is particularly iconic in Devonport, as is the movie theater – the oldest operating purpose built movie theater in New Zealand.
Takarunga – Mt. Victoria
At 87m, Mt. Victoria is the highest volcano on the North Shore. You’ll definitely feel like you’re at a higher elevation when you’re standing at the peak, soaking in the views across the harbor.
Once a Maori pa (village or defence settlement), Mt. Victoria was later fortified with military emplacements to protect the city against an expected Russian invasion. You’ll definitely notice the disappearing gun while you’re at the summit, but it’s one of the only emplacements left at this time.
Looking East, you’ll notice the colorful little mushroom type vents, these are vents for a water pumping station beneath where you stand. Beyond the mushroom vents, you’ll be afforded a great view of Rangitoto Island.
Maungauika – North Head
I particularly loved Maungauika – North Head for it’s stunning views across the harbor. There was a 49ers sailing championship underway the day I walked the trails, so I could sit and watch the boats racing across the harbor! There’s also some pretty special views looking over the Devonport beaches towards Auckland CBD. Reminder: You’re just 10 mins ferry ride (and a little stroll) away from New Zealand’s largest city here!
If you’re a bit of a history buff, then Maungauika has plenty to offer you as well. One of the oldest volcanic cones in the Auckland field, Maungauika is located at the eastern most point of the inner harbor. It has been inhabited by Maori for defense purposes, as well as later being fortified to protect the city from the expected Russian Invasion.
Many of the military fortifications are still in place on North Head, and you can take a walk along the trails and explore bunkers, tunnels and gun emplacements along the way. Each and every stop also includes the added bonus of great views of the inner harbor or the Hauraki Gulf!
This long sandy stretch of beach can easily be accessed via a trail from the North Head reserve, or alternatively, it’s just a 15-20 minute walk from the Devonport Ferry Terminal.
It’s been a pretty serene atmosphere each time I’ve been there. There was definitely more families the second time around, but there’s still enough beach to have some peace and quiet. Despite it being the hottest week in Auckland all summer, and the water seeming perfect to jump in for a swim, it was a little to cold for my taste!! If you’re like me, and can’t handle the cold water you can just relax on the beach. It seems like a lovely spot to settle in for the day, just make sure to bring a picnic to enjoy on the shaded grassy areas adjacent to the beach, as there are no stores in at least a few blocks radius of the beach.
This beach also comes with the added bonus of gorgeous views of Rangitoto!
King Edward Parade
Meandering along the waterfront, King Edward Parade offers the Navy Museum, a couple of little beaches, waves crashing on the seawall and volcanic rock, great views across the harbor, as well as some pretty nice houses …
There you have it, a quaint village, volcanic cones, and a sandy stretch of beach – these locations are just some of the best of Devonport. Take a trip for yourself to see what else this seaside suburb has to offer.
Further afield on the North Shore?
If you’re looking to explore a little further in the day, then there are some neighboring sights and suburbs I’d recommend.
- Lake Pupuke – a freshwater lake in a volcanic cone! The only one of its kind in Auckland. The lake has some lovely parks if you want to picnic on the shore, or you can explore from the water. Only non motorized watercraft are allowed on this lake.
- Takapuna Beach – another great location to visit if you want to enjoy a white sandy beach and seaside cafes, designer shopping or Sunday markets!
- Takapuna Fossil Forest – A Kauri forest was enveloped in lava flow and tree and branch moulds are now visible from the coastal path at low tide.
- Catch the bus from Takapuna back to Auckland for more great views across the harbor!!
So that’s just a start. I’ve heard about a great spot for sunset, with views of the Harbor Bridge. I’ll update you if I get over there to check it out some time. In the meantime, let me know if you think there’s any other locations that should definitely be on the Best of Devonport list!