Things to see and do in Devonport
Central North Coast of Tasmania
The port city of Devonport is located on the picturesque Central North Coast of Tasmania, and there is a range of things to do in Devonport during your visit. Devonport is home to local producers, makers, artists, micro-breweries, natural attractions, Tasmanian wildlife and much more. Devonport is also the home of Tasmania’s twin Spirit of Tasmania vehicle and passenger ferries, as well as the Spirit of Tasmania visitor terminal, which connects Tasmania to mainland Australia.
SNAP A SELFIE WITH DEVONPORT'S RED-STRIPED MERSEY BLUFF LIGHTHOUSE
Mersey Bluff Lighthouse. Photograph by Kylie Bell
The Mersey Bluff Lighthouse is one of Devonport’s most iconic attractions, with its iconic red and white painted, vertical stripes, and is positioned on the port city’s Jurassic dolerite promontory, known as the Mersey Bluff. The lighthouse welcomes passengers onboard the twin Spirit of Tasmania ships into the Mersey River and the port city of Devonport. Today and historically, the lighthouse has helped save many ships becoming shipwrecked on the rocky coastline, since its completion in 1889. Views from the lighthouse and Mersey Bluff promontory overlook the stretch of water known as Bass Strait; which separates the island state of Tasmania from mainland Australia (and the state of Victoria). The lighthouse’s vantage point, along with the Mersey Bluff Lookout and broader area, also soak up views east and west along the Central North Coast’s picturesque coastline. The Mersey Bluff lighthouse is only a 4 minute drive (2.4 kms) from Devonport’s CBD and Visitor Center; or 16 minutes’ walk (2.4 kms) via the Devonport’s Cycle and Walking Track, following the Mersey River and foreshore. The Mersey Bluff promontory is also an important cultural site of the palawa people (Tasmania’s first nations people, the Tasmanian Aboriginals). It is also home to Tiagarra, one of the oldest Aboriginal operated Museums and Keeping Places in Australia. Fun fact: Bass Strait’s average depth is only 60 metres. This is equal to 3.75x Mersey Bluff Lighthouse’s stacked on top of one another.
SPOT A PLATYPUS AT THE TASMANIAN ARBORETUM
Platypus at the Tasmanian Arboretum. Supplied by the Tasmanian Arboretum
The Platypus is one of Australia’s most elusive semi-aquatic mammals ('monotremes' species), which can be found in Eastern Australia, including Tasmania. This shy Australian mammal is famous for its unusual appearance; it's duck-bill, webbed feet, beaver-like-tail, and reproduces by laying eggs rather than birthing live young. The Platypus is extremely rare to spot in the wild. However, at the Tasmanian Arboretum, only 12 kilometres from Devonport (3km from Compass Hut), when quietly sitting alongside the central lake (Founders Lake), visitors are bound to observe one, if not more, Tasmanian Platypus during the day. In fact, the Australian Monitoring Network has noted that the Tasmanian Arboretum is the best place in Australia to see a Platypus in the wild. In addition to Platypus spotting, the Tasmanian Arboretum, 66ha in size, is home to approximately 80 bird species, and comprises a collection of 5,300 trees today, with 1,500 individual species from around the world. The extensive botanical gardens and parkland is a fantastic place to visit, take a stroll, watch the wildlife and birdlife. Alternatively, with a picnic rug thrown out, it makes a great location to chill out, read a book or socialise with family and friends over a picnic or barbeque. For those keen to give back, the Tasmanian Arboretum is a non-for-profit organisation, and is run by a group of passionate local volunteers. For those who love to give back, off-set your travel and get involved, The Tasmanian Arboretum welcomes volunteers and any support through donations and/or becoming a sponsor. It is a great way to support the local volunteers, maintain the arboretum for future generations, and continue protecting our natural environment. Click here for more information. Homepage - http://www.tasmanianarboretum.org.au/index.html Tasmanian Arboretum Map: http://www.tasmanianarboretum.org.au/images/maps/map_arboretum_large.jpg Support Us: http://www.tasmanianarboretum.org.au/support.html
EXPLORE DEVONPORT'S MARITIME HISTORY
Bass Strait Maritime Museum. Photograph by Kylie Bell
SAIL ABOARD THE JULIE BURGESS
Aboard the Julie Burgess. Photograph by Kylie Bell
VISIT AND WATCH THE LITTLE PENGUIN'S NEST AND RAISE THEIR CHICKS
Little Penguins at Lillico Beach Penguin Viewing Platform. Photograph by Kylie Bell
STAY AND EXPERIENCE A TINY HOUSE ON WHEELS (THOW)
Barnhaus (2018) Photograph by Kylie Bell
Experience and stay in a ‘tiny house on wheels’ (otherwise known as a THOW), just outside of Devonport, in the picturesque countryside (13 minutes drive from Devonport’s CBD. Compass Hut offers visitors the opportunity to stay and experience three, distinctively different, self-contained, tiny-house-on-wheels experiences; all designed, project-managed and curated by the Bell sisters. Each tiny house provides luxurious and unique interior design and décor, artwork on display, amenities, and inclusions. Depending on your style of travel, each tiny home provides a different architectural and interior design experience, layout, landscape design, private outdoor spaces, and countryside views. Helpful travel distances: - 12 kms from the Devonport CBD and Visitor Centre (12 minutes drive via car or taxi) - 16 kms from the Devonport Spirit of Tasmania Terminal (16 minutes drive via car or taxi) - 21 kms from the Devonport Airport (19 minutes drive by car or taxi) Compass Hut’s THOW’s were produced by Wagonhaus; Tasmania’s first, and Australia’s third tiny house building company in March 2017, founded by the Bell family. Following Wagonhaus, Compass Hut became the sister start-up, tiny house accommodation business, also co-founded by the Bell sisters, Kylie and Tamika (aged 24 and 20 at the time). Consequently, Compass Hut became Tasmania’s first council-approved tiny-house-on-wheels accommodation, launching in April 2019. Since the launch of both Wagonhaus and Compass Hut, the Bell sisters entrepreneurship has become locally and nationally known in Tasmania and Australia more broadly; with the story of their start-ups, tiny-house-on-wheels designs, projects and initiatives, as well as their sustainability and ecotourism aspirations and projects in focus since 2017/2019. Since 2019, Compass Hut has also become the Bell sisters vehicle to explore their passions for interior and furniture design. The accommodation also provides a space to exhibit their artwork as part of the accommodation experience (artwork produced by the Bell Sisters, in both 2D and 3D form and various mediums, is on display in each tiny home). Two out of three of the tiny homes feature bathtubs: with Arc Pavilion boasting an outdoor bath and views out across the Forthside region towards Bass Strait on the horizon, and the twin Spirit of Tasmania ships when they sail to and from Devonport. Colonial Blue also offers a bath, placed just inside fully glazed, French doors that open up to similar views; alongside a double shower and he & she vanity, within a luxuriously-designed ‘bathhouse-on-wheels’ experience.
VISIT DEVONPORT'S MICRO-BREWERIES AND GIN DISTILLERIES
Island State Brewing Devonport. Photograph by Kylie Bell
EXPERIENCE THE WATERFRONT PARK, AND FAREWELL THE SPIRIT OF TASMANIA
Elevated Walkway/ CBD Waterfront Park. Photograph by Kylie Bell
RIDE ABOARD THE DON RIVER RAILWAY
Don River Railway. Photograph by Kylie Bell
TASTE SOME OF TASMANIA'S BEST LOCALLY-GROWN PRODUCE AND CUISINE
Nomad Global Kitchen Devonport. Photograph by Kylie Bell
There is no doubt we are spoilt, with the number of fantastic cafes and restaurants we have in Devonport. Our top picks include Nomad Global Kitchen, Drift Beach Cafe, Harbourmasters Cafe, Laneway, Hill Street Cafe, Zest Cafe & Bakehouse and Marion Storm, among others. All the above also serve up delicious menus for breakfast, brunch and lunch spots, with menus full of the region's local produce..
RELAX OVER A COFFEE AT ONE OF THESE LOCAL-FAVOURITE CAFES
In addition to above breakfast and lunch venues, Fundamental Expresso, Banjo's Devonport, and Verona Devonport are great venues in Devonport to relax over a coffee, work remotely or socialise.
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