The Old Fogies go to Devonport in Auckland

Just across the water from Auckland is Devonport is very attractive small seaside village town with plenty of antiques, gift and book shops with a number of cafes and restaurants. It is popular with locals and visitors and has a number of attractions.

A short twelve minute ferry ride takes you from Auckland’s CBD to Devonport and not far from the ferry stop you have a wide range of book shops and food options.

Devonport is one of the earliest settled areas of Auckland and is rich in history with a strong naval tradition with special links to the New Zealand navy who still has a naval base here and are featured in the informative and attractive Torpedo Bay Navy Museum. Devonport’s foreshore is where the great Waka (Maori canoe) Tainui landed in the 14th century and also where the British Navy arrived in 1840.

Two volcanic cones are two main landmarks of Devonport , Mount Victoria and North Head. Towering over the town is Mount Victoria is the highest volcano on Auckland’s North Shore, a steep walk up its slopes are rewarded with stunning views of Waitematā Harbour, Hauraki Gulf and the Auckland skyline. For some reason there are number of toadstools on the peak and artillery emplacements with a disappearing gun.

Although quite steep, it only takes around twenty five minutes to walk to the top of Mount Victoria and the walk gives spectacular views of the surrounding areas. It strategic importance is reflected in evidence of Maori occupation and the military bunkers, interestingly one of the bunkers is now home to the Devonport Folk Club.

After the delights of Mount Victoria, it is relaxing to just wander around Devonport with its small beaches and a number of beautiful Victorian buildings that are a feature of the area.

All along the waterfront is reminders of Devonport connection with New Zealand history,  it was at Windsor Reserve that the British navy landed and began the European settlement of Devonport in 1840. Near King Edward Parade is the Boer war Arch commemorating the fallen soldiers of the Boer War.

Near Torpedo Bay is a commemoration of the great waka Tainui. The Tainui was one of seven wakas that carried the first Maori from Hawaiiki to New Zealand.

Even if the pace of Auckland is hardly frantic, Devonport has a notably slower pace and locals will stop and have a chat. We had a long chat with an old dear who had lived in the UK for a while but for the last few decades had enjoyed her life in Devonport.

We could understand why Devonport was so appealing, we stopped for a coffee and some homemade scones and watched the stream of visitors exploring the shops and art galleries. Entertainment has obviously been a feature in Devonport for some time having the earliest purpose-built cinema that’s still in existence in the Southern Hemisphere.

Old Fogies Travels are the adventures of two elderly Londoners (The Old Fogies) as they explore their home town and travel around the world looking out for the strange, unusual and absurd.

Our articles are published on our blog but also listed on the website of our friends at Visiting London here.