Devonport Village Walk
The Devonport Village Walk introduces you to the highlights of the seaside village: historic sites, period architecture, spectacular views and tastey treats. Taking between one and two hours to complete, this walk is perfect for those who are short on time.
The Devonport Village Walk begins at the Devonport Wharf, where you can catch a ferry to or from Auckland city. On the right of the Wharf building you will see Windsor Reserve, a beachfront park traditionally named Flagstaff due to its historical connections with the navy. It is here that the British navy landed in 1840 and began the European settlement of Devonport. To mark the significance of this location, a commemorative flagstaff and plaque can be seen near the waterfront.
Old Albert- The Moreton Bay Fig Tree
Continuing up Victoria Road (the village’s high street) you will come across a small park which is home to Devonport’s historic Moreton Bay Fig Tree. Over 100 years old, this towering tree was planted in 1883 and is affectionately known as ‘ Old Albert’.
Peace and Plenty Inn
For those wanting to try something a little bit different whilst in Devonport, take a slight detour to the right onto Flagstaff Terace. Here you’ll find the Peace and Plenty Inn. This five star luxury Victorian villa offers a unique experience, Victorian High Teas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Truly indulge yourself with homemade scones, pastries, sandwiches and other delicious treats.
Post Office Building
Turning right back onto Victoria Road you will see Devonport’s old post-office building. The large yellow building was purpose built and used as a post office until the early 1980’s when it was sold and used to house a museum. Today, the art deco styled building houses a number of retail stores and has remained an iconic building of Devonport village.
Patriot – BNZ Bank Vault
Next door to the old post office is The Patriot, Devonport’s only British themed pub. The pub is situated in the historic Bank of New Zealand building, with its original safe vault as a focal point of the main room. The sunny beer garden provides the perfect place to enjoy a cold drink or share some locally famous fat chips in the warm summer months.
Victoria Picture Palace
Continuing up Victoria Road to the right, a large white building stands- the Victoria Picture Palace. Built during the silent movie era, the Picture Palace is the earliest purpose built cinema still in existence in the southern hemisphere. Here walk up Kerr Street and cross the road. On the right you will see the main entrance to Mt Victoria, the highest volcanic cone on Auckland’s North Shore. There are other entrances around the sides of Mt. Victoria which are a good way to further explore the mountain in the dry summer months.
The top of Mt Victoria can be reached by foot in approximately 10-20 minutes. The upper slopes are home to a signal station, which in the past was used to inform residents about the arriving and departing ships. Whilst the first signalmen lived in a tent or hut, later a Victorian styled villa was built to house the signalman and his family. The last signalman to live in this villa passed away in 1943. Today the Signalman’s House is the Michael King Writer’s Centre which both supports and promotes New Zealand’s literature.
Mt. Victoria, named after Queen Victoria, is the highest of Devonport’s volcanic cones. Be sure to bring your camera, the top of Mt Victoria provides a panoramic scene of the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf, unique to this viewing point. The mountain was once a Maori pā (Maori village or defence settlement) and later developed by Europeans as a means of protection from invasion. Evidence of the mountain’s historical uses such as pā terraces and pits, and one of Devonport’s disappearing guns can still be seen on the slopes today. After exploring Mt Victoria make your way back down the slopes and onto Kerr Street. Continue downwards along this street and turn left at the end back onto Victoria Road.
Boutique styled shops
If you have time, browse Devonport’s wide range of crafts, gifts, fashion and jewellery stores which line the village’s high street. It’s the perfect place to find a unique gift for someone or a treat for yourself. Many of the lower buildings on Devonport’s high street were erected in the late 1880’s after a fire destroyed the original wooden ones.
Old Telephone Exchange Building
Whilst walking down Victoria Road take the first turn to the right- Clarrence Street. On the left hand side you will see the Devonport Stone Oven Bakery and Café. This building used to be home to Devonport’s old telephone exchange, where telephone calls were connected. Today, this café is the perfect place to stop for a coffee and freshly baked cake or pastry.
Continue down Clarence Street and take the first turn on the left- Wynyard Street. Almost immediately on the right hand side of the road you will come across a heaven for chocolate lovers. Devonport Chocolates is a chocolate boutique which hand makes delicious gourmet creations on site. Sample unique New Zealand flavours such as feijoa or horopito (a New Zealand herb) and take a peak into the chocolate kitchen to observe the chocolate being made.
Continue down Wynyard Street towards the waterfront and turn left back onto Queens Parade. Here you’ll find two art galleries: Peter Raos Glass Gallery and Art of this World. See the work of worldwide acclaimed glass artist Peter Raos and purchase a special memento of your time in New Zealand. Further down get a taste of contemporary New Zealand art at Art of This World.
On the corner of Queens Parade and Victoria road you will see the Esplanade hotel, a large cream building. Built in 1903 the Esplanade was modeled on English seaside hotels of the time and has a truly charming character. Today the Esplanade provides boutique hotel accommodation with stunning seafront views.
Fish and Chips on the beach
Congratulations, now back at the ferry terminal you have completed the Devonport Village Walk. A popular activity before heading home is enjoying fish and chips on the beach with stunning sea views – a true Kiwi experience.