By chance I ended up in Devonport the other day. We had lunch at a lovely café, Corelli’s seated outside enjoying a very tasty warm chicken salad and soaking up the ambience of Devonport’s main avenue, Victoria Road.
It’s been a while since I was last in Devonport, but this short interlude reminded me why it’s such a coveted suburb with its village vibe, beaches and close proximity to the city.
After lunch we walked the length of Victoria Road, stopping at a few of the shops. They’re not your everyday neighbourhood shops, but they are not touristy either. They’re a mix of interesting housewares, book shops and art that catch your eye when you’re time rich.
Down on the water front we walked towards Cheltenham Beach and stumbled across an interesting plaque describing the first public execution of a European in New Zealand. Joseph Burns, originally from Liverpool, England was hung in front of a large audience at the very place he killed a naval lieutenant, Robert Shaw and his wife and daughter. He was desperate for money, so for the sake of £12 he broke into their home and murdered them, mutilating their bodies to suggest it was a Maori attack and then burned the house.
This is just one of the many wonders of Devonport describing its colourful history. If you’re in Auckland for the summer take the ferry, 12 minutes or drive 20 minutes by car. Once you’re there, the only form of transport you need is your feet.
Things to do…
Eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants that spill onto the side-walk and get yourself a glass and watch the world go by.
DO SOME SHOPPING
Cruise the shops. There are some great things to be found including art, books, housewares and fashion.
This book store is one of Auckland’s best second-hand bookshops. Have a good fossick and you’re sure to come away with a treasure.
The Vic, built-in 1912 is a community cinema and performing arts centre and had a big refurbishment in 2010. It is New Zealand’s the oldest operating purpose-built theatre.
LEARN ABOUT NEW ZEALAND SEA WARRIERS
Devonport’s naval heritage dates back to the 1840’s and is showcased at the Navy Museum at Torpedo Bay. It’s housed in a 19th Century submarine mining station looking over the Waitemata Harbour.
EXPLORING NORTH HEAD
Nearby, North Head provided the city defences during WWl and WWll. Here you’ll see bunkers, battery forts, gun pits and army barrack as well as many other structures. Auckland was never invaded but it makes for a fascinating glimpse for Auckland’s wartime history.
HISTORY & CULTURE
Devonport Museum was established in 1977 has been collecting historical artefacts and archives for nearly forty years.
WALKS & TRAILS
Walk to the top of Mount Victoria, an extinct volcano and see the stunning panoramic view of Auckland. This 360-degree view showcases Rangitoto Island, the Waitemata Harbour and the Harbour Bridge. Following the Old Devonport Walk around the seaside town you’ll see beautifully restored Victorian villas, picturesque white sandy swimming beaches, volcanic cones and Devonport’s navy heritage.
For more information on Devonport click here