Devonport, at the mouth of the Mersey River, is one of three major cities in Tasmania’s north, the others being Launceston and Burnie. To visitors to Tasmania, it is primarily known as the port for the Spirit of Tasmania car and passenger ferries – Spirit I and II which make daily 10-hour trips between their terminals at East Devonport and Station Pier, Melbourne.
Devonport is seen by many as a way station, not only for people travelling between Tasmania and the mainland but for travellers on the north west coast of Tasmania. It is an active seaport that handles most of the movement of produce from the farms and fisheries of Tasmania. With over 23,000 people, the City of Devonport is the largest population centre on the northern coast of Tasmania.
Devonport is primarily known as the port for the Spirit of Tasmania car and passenger ferries – Spirit I and II which make daily 10-hour trips between their terminals at East Devonport and Station Pier, Melbourne. It is also the gateway to Tasmania’s North West.
Visitor Information Centre: 92 Formby Rd, Devonport. Ph 1800 649 514
Lookouts: Braddon’s Lookout offers fine views of the coastal plains.
Devonport Food and Wine Festival (every March)
DEVONPORT FARMERS MARKET
86a Gunn St, Devonport
Trading: 2nd & 4th Saturday of the month – 8:30am – 12 Noon
Type: Art & Craft, Farmers, Produce, Organic, Handmade, Food
Phone: (03) 6424 2253 / 0419 885 473
DEVONPORT FORESHORE MARKET
Trading: Every Saturday – 8.00am – 2.30pm
Type: Art & Craft, Antique & Collectables, Artisans, Baby & Kids/Children, Bric-a-Brac, Designers, General, Other, Farmers, Produce, Organic, Fashion, Handmade, Music, Food, Preloved, Recycle, Community. Phone: 0409306122
DON VILLAGE MARKET
Don Memorial Hall, Forth Rd, Don
Trading: Every Sunday – 9am – 3:30pm
Type: General. Phone: (03) 6492 1443
Trading: Every Sunday – 9am – 5pm
Type: General. Phone: (03) 6425 2957
Things to see and do:
Don River Railway:
Located on the outskirts of Devonport at the village of Don, The Don River Railway is one of the most enjoyable railway museums in Australia. Its focus is Tasmania’s trains of yesteryear, and its sizeable display includes steam and diesel engines and other rolling stock that have played an important part in Tasmania’s rail history. The extensive workshop is open for visitors to wander around and see trains in various stages of restoration. Don’t miss the leisurely tourist train ride along the banks of the Don River to Coles Beach. Go There >>
See some of the more interesting parts of Devonport by walking or cycling Don to Devonport rail trail. You can follow the trail from the Don Railway Station to central Devonport, with the option of a loop trail along the opposite bank of the Don River.
Tiagarra, the Tasmanian Aboriginal Cultural and Arts Centre, has dioramas showing the lifestyle of the Tasmanian Aborigines from the region, and is close to Aboriginal rock carvings.
Mersey Bluff is an interesting coastal area featuring cliffs, seascapes, parkland and Aboriginal rock art. To the east of Mersy Bluff is Don Heads.
Devonport’s maritime history is celebrated at the Devonport Maritime Museum, which features a large collection of model ships. Devonport’s seafaring connection continues today through the Spirit of Tasmania, the only passenger ferry operating across Bass Strait.
Kelcey Tier nature walk: 160 hectares of native bushland which abounds with many varieties of birds, skinks and wildflowers. Discover the sculpture ‘Preeatenna’, which means ‘lizard’ in the Tasmanian Aboriginal language, reinforcing the important Aboriginal cultural links to the area. Read the message on the Peace Pole, and take in the superb views of Devonport and the Mersey River Estuary. The circuit walk is 3.6km and takes 1.5–2hrs. Maps from the Devonport Visitor Centre. Location: top end of Durkins Rd, off Stony Rise Rd, Devonport
Tasmanian Arboretum in Eugenana has some native animals such as platypus, however its major feature is the 47 ha collection of native trees.
Elizabeth Town is a gourmet lover’s delight, featuring a great bakery cafe, Ashgrove cheese factory and Christmas Hills Raspberry farm.
A pleasant day trip from Devonport is a driving tour of the Great Western Tiers. These mountains are the northern face of the Tasmanian Central Plateau, which rises up to 1420m above sea level and is dominated by Cradle Mountain. In the foothills of the Great Western Tiers can be found a wide range of attractions both man made & natural which can be explored on this drive.
Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park is around a 1hour 30 minute drive south west of Devonport. Australia’s most recognisable mountain, Cradle Mountain forms the northern end of the wild Cradle Mtn. – Lake St Clair National Park, itself a part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The familiar jagged contours of Cradle Mountain epitomise the feel of a wild landscape, while abundant wildlife, icy streams, alpine heathlands, colourful deciduous beech and ancient pines reflected in still glacial lakes entice many visitors to stay and explore.
The Best Time To Visit:
November to April is the peak season in Tasmania. Summer brings warm days and mild evenings from December to February, while winter can be stormy with snow on the mountain peaks between July and August. Rainfall occurs throughout the year. The weather is most stable from the end of summer to autumn (February to May).
Many towns in the region are planted with European deciduous trees which shed their leaves in Autumn (March to May). Their display of red and golden make the region particularly picturesque during these months.
Glasgow Lodge, 59 George Street, Devonport, Tasmania: Glasgow Lodge Motel has available twelve 2 bedroom fully self contained units for short or long term stays. Glasgow Lodge Devonport is conveniently situated in a quiet residential area in the heart of Devonport in Northern Tasmania.
More information, check availability and Book Online >>
Barclay Motor Inn, 112 North Fenton Street, Devonport. Ph (03) 6424 4722
Discovery Holiday Parks, 13-19 Tarleton Street, East Devonport. Ph 1800 880 201
Alice Beside The Sea, 1 Wright Street, East Devonport. Ph (03) 6427 8605
Devonport Holiday Village, 20-24 North Caroline Street, East Devonport. Ph (03) 6427 8886
Edgewater, 4 Thomas Street, Devonport. Ph (03) 6427 8441
The Wattles, 109 Pumping Station Road, Forth. Ph (03) 6428 2242
How to get there:
By car, from Melbourne, take the Spirit of Tasmania car and passenger ferry overnight from Melbourne. A supplementary day travel services operates during summer months. Website.
From Launceston – drive to Devonport via Deloraine, taking Bass Highway via Midland Highway south from Launceston.
From Hobart: drive north via Midland Highway, following the signs to Devonport before reaching Launceston.
By coach, Tassielink Coaches services all major centres throughout Tasmania.
Devonport Airport is located approximately 7 km to the east of the city of Devonport, about a 10 mins. drive by car. The airport is serviced by Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, operated by QantasLink, with 4 daily services to Melbourne, Victoria. Tasair Regional Airlines operate daily passenger and freight services from Devonport to King Island.