Tasmania has a strange reputation in this country. Its isolation has created various assumptions – that the hills must be inhabited by hicks, that the interior is filled with Tasmanian tigers, and that families are a little closer than they should be, if you get our drift… Happily, Devonport, in the north of the state, is doing its best to fight back against these unfair and unfounded (but actually quite amusing) assumptions.
Every morning and every night, the Bass Strait Ferry unloads visitors from Melbourne, so a town has developed out of serving these guests in new and innovative ways. Situated on the Mersey River, Devonport enjoys a rich farming tradition and an emerging artistic and cultural one. So not only is the town is going from strength, but Devonport is a great introduction to the real Tasmania…
DEVONPORT’S TOP 10
10. Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum The local indigenous history dates back thousands of years, with this centre housing artefacts and history.
5. Imaginarium Science Centre Breaking down complex science into basic information and putting it in the palm of your hands. Interactivity is the order of the day.
9. Tasmanian Trail Passing through Devonport is the 480km hiking trail that takes in every environment Tasmania has to offer.
4. Maritime Museum and Historical Society Provides an interesting glimpse into the way things were.
8. Tasmanian Arboretum This 66-hectare nature reserve allows you to get truly lost.
3. Home Hill The former home of Joseph Lyons (PM from 1932 to 1939), this fully restored estate is a real step back in time.
7. Don Village Market Showcasing the best in fresh local produce as well as artistic handicrafts, this weekly market oozes charm.
2. Don River Railway Cruising and winding along the Don River, this beautiful train journey is a must.
6. Devonport Regional Art Gallery The best in regional art gives you a glimpse into the artistic community of the area.
1. Lillico Beach A coastal nature reserve and – get ready for it – penguin colony.
The best in Tasmanian and Australian jazz come down to do their best be-bop for Devonport Jazz in March.
Each November a giant pine tree is ringed with lights and baubles bright for the Christmas Tree Light Up. A great community concert completes the festivities.
November’s Devonport Spring Show has everything you’d expect from a county fair: sideshows, petting zoos, live music and fresh food. Plus, spring is a great time to visit.
The Taste the Harvest festival brings together the best produce from around Tasmania.
WHEN TO VISIT
- Tasmania is too far south to experience blistering heat in summer, but the weather is still warm enough to enjoy strolling around in T-shirt and shorts.
- Tassie turns beautiful shades of russet and gold in autumn.
· The best time to visit is mid-year, when tourists aren’t around, festivals aren’t raging, and a sense of gentle tranquillity gives new meaning to the word isolation.
· Cycling is a great way to explore the city, with a cycle path encircling most of the main attractions.
· Remember that Devonport (despite the giant ferry terminal) is a small country town, so most of it can be reached on foot.
· Driving is a great way to explore the Tassie interior. Motoring from nature walk to hiking trail, you can conquer this tiny state one square metre at a time.
Tasmania has a feral, exotic allure. Home to only 500,000 people, almost half of whom live in the capital of Hobart, the island offers dramatic biodiversity and wilderness to explore. With close to 40% of Tasmania under national or UNESCO World Heritage protection, the island is a natural magnet for eco and adventure tourism.
A short flight from Melbourne makes Devonport a suitable gateway to the rest of Tasmania. Just three hours drive from Hobart and less than one hour from Launceston, the small town at the mouth of the Mersey River is convenient and full of charm. Notable points of interest include the Tiagarra Aboriginal Centre, retro-pioneer Don Village, Maritime Museum and Devonport Art Gallery. Above all else however, Devonport is a quiet community and rest stop, where visitors mingle on their way to and from other parts of Tasmania.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurants & Nightlife
Devonport has a mild climate, with four distinct seasons.
- Summer (November to February) 9-22°C
- Fall (March to May) 7-20°C
- Winter (June to August) 5-13°C
- Spring (September to October) 6-16°C
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