To visit Auckland and not get on a ferry would be a shame, and a crime. The city is built around the waters of Hauraki Gulf, and its many islands and peninsulas beckon. For those seeking a short boat ride and to avoid either the crowds of Waiheke Island or the strenuous hiking of Rangitoto, a short ten minute ferry takes you across Auckland Harbor to the suburb of Devonport.
The ferry to Devonport will run you less than NZ$20 for a round trip, and offers spectacular views of the entire harbor. Once off the ferry, though, one finds oneself in a wonderland of Victorian architecture, art galleries, and cafes, stretched along the waters of the harbor.
Victoria Road begins at the end of the ferry pier, and is lined with cute shops, cafes, and galleries. Take some time to explore there, and walk into some truly inviting art spaces!
Just one of many galleries along Victoria Road in Devonport.
One of the highlights of Devonport, for the more athletically inclined, is its two hills and their views of the harbor and the Auckland skyline across it. Mount Victoria is the highest point, and from its top (about a 10-15 minute hike up), you’ll get panoramic views of the area, and this view across the harbor.
The second hill is North Head and, like Mount Victoria, once held a defensive battery. It is also similarly a 10-15 minutes hike to the top, from which one can watch the namesakes of the City of Sails pass by!
Walking between the two hills is a great chance to see the Victorian architecture for which Devonport is known. These are mostly million dollar plus homes, and it’s easy to tell why. They are diverse, well kept, and stunning!
Back along the waterfront, you can pop into the free Navy Museum or just enjoy the view of the water.
If you are looking for a wonderful and relaxing day trip from the busy bustling streets of downtown Auckland, take the ferry to Devonport. You won’t regret it!