Exploring Devonport: Long Weekend Escape to Tasmania’s Hidden Gem

Devonport City Council

While Hobart has traditionally been hailed as Tasmania’s premier destination, Devonport, its lesser-known counterpart, is steadily carving out its own niche in the tourism landscape. Long regarded as the less glamorous city, Devonport is undergoing a remarkable transformation as tourism gains momentum.

With each passing year, Devonport is shedding its understated reputation, enticing visitors to linger and explore its myriad of offerings. Nestled along Tasmania’s North-West Coast, where mountains meet the sea, Devonport seamlessly blends natural beauty with a refined urban charm.  As the Spirit of Tasmania berths, I breathe deeply and squeeze my partner’s hand, anticipating the promise of exploration and rejuvenation. Devonport’s tourism offerings have seen significant investment in recent times.  Discerning travellers can stay at the new coastal retreat “The Cove” or the sleek 4-star Novotel in the city’s heart.

The foreshore has been revitalised, with parklands, artistically curated entertainment spaces and a vast wooden boardwalk extending grandly over the river.  A local council collaboration has developed the Coastal Pathway, 110km off-road trails linking communities across the North-West.


Arriving at The Cove, I’m immediately struck by its picturesque setting.  Perched high on a bluff overlooking the shores of Lillico Beach, this award-winning luxury boutique accommodation offers arguably the best coastal views in Tasmania’s North-West.  It is exclusive, reserved for adults only, a secluded retreat offering a level of privacy and intimacy that is truly unmatched.

We immerse ourselves in Devonport’s vibrant arts scene, wandering, coffee in hand, through laneways adorned with captivating street art by talented young artists of the region.  Devonport Regional Gallery, beckons me to explore.  With an annual program of exhibitions, this impressive gallery has a focus on contemporary Tasmanian art. Next, we delved into Devonport’s rich maritime history at the Bass Strait Maritime Centre, where interactive exhibits and captivating displays tell the story of Tasmania’s seafaring past.

Devonport, with the finest agricultural land on its doorstep offers world-class produce.  Our culinary journey began with an exploration of Devonport’s food scene at the vibrant Farmers’ Market. Here, the bounty of fertile lands was on full display, with organic produce, artisanal cheeses, and freshly roasted coffee enticing me to indulge in the region’s finest offerings.

Image Credit: S. Group

I have always admired dedication to craftsmanship and Devonport has no shortage of passionate locals.  At Southern Wild Distillery, Donna guides us through a tasting of award-winning Tasmanian Gins.  Just next door, Michael at Island State Brewing tears himself away from the vats to outline the impressive row of craft tap beers on offer.

Vines are common sight as we explored the rolling hills around Devonport and cool climate wines reign supreme.  Visiting the tasting rooms at the majestic La Villa, quirky Prickly Mo and beautiful House of Hargrave really highlight the diversity – people do it their way in Tasmania.  At Spreyton Cider, we sample house made ciders and juices while wandering quintessential apple orchards.

For my adventurous soul, Devonport’s network of trails provided the perfect outlet. We pedalled along the picturesque coastline, pausing to admire breathtaking vistas and hidden coves along the way.  Exploring further, we enter the tranquil embrace of Don Reserve where shady paths glide alongside the Don River.  Despite being mere minutes from the city centre, I feel amidst wilderness, then I hear the nostalgic whistle of a heritage steam train pass by, transporting passengers from Don River Heritage Railway to the beautiful Coles Beach.

A short drive out of town, is the serenely beautiful Tasmanian Arboretum, where lush forests and tranquil lakes provided the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll.  To my delight, we had the incredible fortune of spotting resident platypus gracefully circling the lake.

Before departing, do not miss the chance to witness the enchanting Little Penguin Colony at Lillico Beach. Guided by passionate volunteers, I’m captivated by these charming creatures returning to their burrows after a day at sea.

As we depart Devonport, I carry with me memories of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. Devonport may have once been Tasmania’s hidden gem, but it’s clear that its sparkle is now shining brighter than ever before.  No longer just the sea-travel gateway to Tasmania but a destination to linger longer.