How To Spend A Morning in Devonport

25 November 2014

Should you find yourself in Auckland with a few hours to spare, you may just want to consider a trip to one of the surrounding islands. Emphasising everything from rugged volcanic terrain to the charm of streets less travelled, these mini escapes are the perfect place to spend a morning (or afternoon).

I chose Devonport. Technically speaking, Devonport isn't an island. Its status as such can be attributed to its isolated position during European settlement when it was sometimes called 'the island'.  Nevertheless, the quickest way to get there is by skipping across the harbour via ferry. It's less than 15 minutes from Auckland's shore, which makes it an obvious choice for a half day jaunt if not only for its close proximity to the city.

Tours are available to travel to and throughout Devonport, in which you will zip around in the comfort of an air conditioned bus. If you prefer to explore at your own pace (like me), simply purchase a return ferry ticket from the pier. Much of Devonport can easily be explored on foot.

 Good bye, Auckland. Hello, Devonport!

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Morning Tea

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Upon arrival, a strip of golden sand lines the coast, inviting swimmers and sunbathers on a hot summer day. Further inland, though, the easygoing charisma of this historic seaside village reveals itself. Manicured parklands give way to Victoria Street – the main road that winds up the gentle slope of Mount Victoria.

Colonial-era buildings play host to rows of shops and restaurants, providing ample opportunity to pull up a chair for a spot of morning tea, coffee or a light breakfast. From freshly roasted coffee to delicate pastries, there is a delightfully diverse selection of restaurants to tempt your tastebuds. A seat outside is a must (weather permitting) to enjoy the sun and the beautiful views over the harbour.

 A perfect morning in Devonport

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Shopping Stint

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With the majority of Devonport's boutiques neatly lined along Victoria Street, it's hard to resist taking a peek. It's also a great way to explore the Heritage-listed buildings. You won't find the international brands that pepper the streets of Auckland, but you will find bespoke pieces available only at these charming, locally owned shops. Jewellery, clothing, toys and art are all readily available for those that love to peruse and purchase.

While Victoria Street offers up a bountiful selection of shops, it's worth venturing off the main road to discover hidden gems such as Devonport Chocolates. This little unassuming shop isn't far from Victoria Road and features a fine selection of handmade treats. You can also watch the Chocolatiers work their magic through a large window to the kitchen.

 Victoria Street calls to shoppers and diners alike

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The Views

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The perfect way to cap off your morning in Devonport is by making the trek up Mount Victoria. Formidable as it may sound, it's an easy 15 minute stroll from the ferry stop to the top of this volcanic hill. There are a few notable stops along the way to the summit, including the Signalman's House where the signalman would alert residents to ships coming and going.

Views of the North Shore, Auckland city and the harbour peek through the trees as you make your way to the top, but it is the summit where you will find the particularly rewarding panoramic vistas. You can turn in any direction to see the glimmering cerulean waters fronting the expanses of Auckland city – a fitting finish to your morning in Devonport.

 That's one heck of a view!

Exploring Auckland?  His & Hers Auckland Sightseeing Guide

Interested in other Auckland islands?  War & Sanctuary on Rangitoto Island


 

Carlie Tucker

Travelling is for discovering the unexpected. From fantastic meals in ramshackle joints to stumbling upon a best kept secret, I love those fortuitous travel moments that couldn't be planned if I tried.