Just 12 minutes by Ferry from Auckland’s CBD (Central Business District) is the seaside village of Devonport. Boasting picturesque views, white sand beaches, Victorian-era buildings and boutique shopping Devonport is one of the highest rated suburbs to visit in Auckland.
As a local I decided to cross the “pond” from the city to see what we could do with a half-day there as stay-cay tourists.
Being a Saturday, ferries from the Auckland Ferry Building were running almost every half-hour on the hour and cost $4.80 (one way) with an AT Hop card. You need one of these cards for any public transport in Auckland (bus, train and ferry). Cost varies depending on where you’re going.
From Devonport’s Ferry Terminal our immediate priorities called for lunch (Fish and Chips by the beach) and then a not-so-carefully thought out strategic plan for what to do next. For this I popped into the local Visitor’s Information Centre where I was given a free map of Devonport (the one in the video).
If my tummy wasn’t overriding my brain-to-feet nerve impulses I probably would’ve noticed Marine Square which is right outside the ferry terminal. This is where you’ll find some of the local bus and tourism companies which is great if you’re on a schedule and want to jump off from the ferry and right onto one of these tours. Some of them include:
- Public buses
- Segway tours
- Historic horse and cart rides
- Tours by coach
If this is your first time visiting Devonport and you don’t have a car you should consider any of these options since they’ll save you a tonne of time and you’ll get a local’s in-depth knowledge of the area.
Alternatively, or if you prefer to “go it on your own” you can always walk (like we did) or bicycle (they were allowed on the Ferry).
The first part of our self-guided tour took us from the Ferry Terminal and Marine Square to the end of Queens Parade. This is where you’ll find some really nice Victorian-era houses and buildings. This took us about 15-20 minutes (there and back again) at a very casual pace.
With time now against us, we decided to walk from Marine Square and up Victoria Road to window shop through the mix of boutique clothing and bookstores before they closed for the day (it was a Saturday after all).
It’s along Victoria Road we found a hidden alley or lane with a very old-looking oven embedded in a brick wall (you’ll find this at 0:52 seconds into the video above). This was complimented with over a hundred years worth of history postered on the alley walls for everyone to read. Definitely worth checking out if it’s still there.
On a side note, we were blessed with some really beautiful weather at around 25 ℃ (77 ℉) so a nice cool ice cream or thick shake was in order. The shop we stumbled across served Tip Top ice cream which is one of the oldest and biggest brands in New Zealand.
On Victoria Road you’ll also find:
- The Vic (cinema) which had all the latest releases
- Flagstaff Gallery which had a very strange (at least for me) candy-coloured dog-man holding a popsicle (0:58 in the video above)
- Lots of banks, restaurants and… CAFES!!!
From Victoria Road we walked along King Edward Parade until we got to Devonport Yacht Club. We could’ve kept going to North Head and then up Mount Victoria but we decided to call it a day instead.
Super-unfortunately (that’s a word now), we had some time to kill before the next ferry so this meant we just haaaaaad to go somewhere for a “cold one” – the perfect way to end the day’s activities.
So what else can you do there?
Mount Victoria and North Head were at the top of my list but Visit Devonport covers almost everything including some walk and trails we could’ve done. Maybe next time?
Bottle of water from home – $0
The ferry with an AT Hop card @ $4.80 (per trip) x 2 – $9.60 each
Lunch (fish x 2, potato fritters x 2, oysters x 2, mussels x 2, and chips x 1) – $30
Ice cream x 1 and thick shake x1 – $7.90
Drink @ $10 x 2 – $20
As you can see we could’ve reduced our costs even further if we took our own food and drinks but considering everything we did for under $100 I think we did a good job for a stay-cay adventure. Namely, it didn’t break the bank and it felt like a holiday.
So with that, let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
Thanks for reading and take care, Cliff.