Devonport Waterfront Walk
The Devonport Waterfront Walk is the perfect way to admire and explore a number of Devonport’s iconic surroundings. This walk along King Edward Parade towards North Head takes approximately 45 minutes and is a great introduction to the unique and remarkable history of Devonport village.
A tramway used to run the length of this very trail from Victoria Wharf along what is now King Edward Parade. However, today the best way to explore this area is by foot.
Devonport ferry wharf
The walk begins at the Devonport ferry wharf; New Zealand’s longest running ferry service. The service began in 1854 using sail and oar powered whale boats and has become an invaluable mode of transport for commuters and visitors alike.
To your left 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.
Across the road to the right you will walk through Windsor Reserve, also known as Flagstaff due to its historical connections with the navy. The British navy landed at this site in 1840 and began the European settlement of Devonport. Today a large commemorative flagstaff and plaque can be seen near the waterfront.
Boer war Arch memorial
Following along King Edward Parade you will find the Boer war Arch memorial commemorating the fallen soldiers of the Boer War. The Arch beautifully frames the picturesque views of Auckland city and is a favorite for photographers.
Whilst you walk along the pathway be sure to look down towards the sea at the intriguing black rock lava flows caused by the eruption of Mount Victoria. These rock formations extend along Devonport’s waterfront creating underwater reefs.
On the left two identical and linked villa style buildings (Elizabeth House) can be found. The Navy originally used these as accommodation for the Women’s Royal NZ Navel Service and visitors can rent an apartment in this building for accommodation today.
Public execution site
On the right overlooking the sea a plaque can be found labeled execution site. It is here in 1848 that Joseph Burns both committed murder and was later hanged for this capital crime as the first European to be officially executed in New Zealand.
Devonport Yacht Club
The Devonport Yacht Club can be found on the right near the waterfront. The Club was founded in 1905 and since has been affiliated with a number of famous individuals; the first patron being Viscount Jellicoe, New Zealand’s second Governor General and more recently the well-known Sir Peter Blake a past patron.
The ship builders
From 1859 to the 1890’s King Edward Parade became the busiest shipbuilding area in New Zealand. A plaque can be found which commemorates the shipbuilders of Devonport who worked on this shore.
Right on the water The Calliope Scout Hall is located, named after the ship that visited Devonport in 1845. The hall is still used for community events and activities.
The Masonic Hotel
On the left one of New Zealand’s oldest Taverns and one of the oldest remaining buildings on the North Shore can be found. The Masonic Hotel opened in 1866 as a planned resort for wealthy travelers. Today the Masonic is the perfect location for a drink or meal.
Old Duders wharf
On the right a plaque can be found at the site of the old Devonport Wharf (also known as Duders wharf), which up until 1936 provided the main ferry access to Church Street, Devonport’s original commercial centre. Further along you will also see a large memorial adorned with a clock to commemorate Alexander Watson; a key contributor to the building of the foreshore seawall.
Duder Brother’s General store
Across the road from this is an example of a late Baroque style building: The Duder Brother’s General store, which today is home to an art gallery and restaurant.
Just before you reach Torpedo Bay on the right you will find the large Tainui Memorial, which commemorates the arrival of the Tainui canoe (one of the seven Maori migrant canoes) to the Witemata Harbour. There is evidence of Maori settlement in the Mount Victoria area however, in the 1790’s these settlements were destroyed by rival tribes.
Arrival of the french
A plaque commemorates the visit by the French corvette L’Astrolabe in 1827 and its commander, Dumont D’Urville, who climbed Mt Victoria to survey the harbour.
Torpedo Bay Naval Museum
Your final destination is the scenic Torpedo Bay, home to the Torpedo Bay Naval Museum a dedication to the history of the Royal New Zealand Navy. This museum is perfect for the whole family with activities for children and the option of a guided tour from one of the museums experts for adults who are eager to learn a little more.
North Head Historical Reserve
You can continue your walk up to the North Head Historical Reserve which is considered to be the most significant historical coastal defence site in New Zealand. The historical site includes a self-guided walk that covers approximately 2km and includes a military tunnel complex, gun emplacements and fortifications and is well signposted. See our North Head Historic Reserve Trail page for more details.