Located on Auckland’s North Shore, Devonport is a hub for commuters who work in the Central Business District (CBD). But, there’s more to the area than the ferry terminal: its restaurants, shops, heritage buildings, hiking trails, and beach make it a worthwhile destination in its own right.
The harborside suburb of Devonport is home to antiques shops, restaurants, and cafes serving fresh seafood and other Kiwi favorites like fish-and-chips. Lovers of the outdoors will also find lots of things to do in Devonport, as there is the popular Cheltenham Beach for swimmers, and Mount Victoria for hikers. There’s also an abundance of historical interest in Devonport, with heritage buildings like the art deco Victoria Cinema, the Esplanade Hotel dating from the 1890s, and the Devonport Naval Base, Navy Museum, and World War II–era caves at North Head.
Many travelers visit Devonport on a ferry from Auckland CBD, as this is a good way to enjoy harbor and city views from the water. Some guided tours, including kayaking tours, stop at Devonport to visit the historical and natural attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Devonport hosts arts and culture festivals throughout the year, which often include food trucks and live music. Check local listings to see what’s on while you’re visiting.
- Consider adding Devonport to an Auckland cycling itinerary, as bikes are allowed on the ferry from the CBD.
- Taking the ferry to Devonport is a good way to experience city skyline views without paying for an expensive cruise, as return tickets are very affordable.
How to Get There
Devonport is a 15-minute ferry trip from Auckland CBD. Ferries run every 15 minutes at peak times, and every 30 minutes in the early morning, late at night, and during weekends. While you can drive from central Auckland, taking the ferry is much faster.
When to Get There
Devonport is a popular weekend day trip from Auckland, as it’s so close. During warm weather (and especially during summer), it can get quite busy on weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit during the week.
Maori History in Devonport
The Devonport area was one of the earliest settled areas of Auckland. There is evidence of Maori settlement from about 1350 in the three volcanic hills here—Takapuna, Takarunga, and Takaroro—as these were ideal sites for fortified settlements, or pa. Look out for the terraced steps underneath the layers of grass on these hills while exploring Devonport, which are a giveaway of Maori history.