We discovered Devonport in Auckland on our recent trip to the North Island of New Zealand. Situated just across the harbour from downtown Auckland, Devonport is an ideal home base for a visit to New Zealand's largest city. We rented an Airbnb in Devonport and enjoyed pretending to be locals for four nights. Devonport is also a great hub for day trips around Auckland. Read on for ideas of day trips you can do by car or ferry from Auckland's Devonport neighborhood.
Why Stay in the Devonport Neighborhood of Auckland?
You may wonder why we chose to stay in Devonport rather than in downtown Auckland. Devonport is a popular local community with thousands of commuters boarding the ferry every day for high powered jobs in downtown Auckland. Devonport features quaint homes and a charming main street with shops and restaurants. Parking is a breeze in Devonport and the ferry terminal opens up a bunch of possibilities for day trips as you'll see below. We knew we'd be heading from Auckland to Paihia in the Bay of Islands in the Northern part of the North Island of New Zealand and knew that staying in Devonport would shave a decent chunk of time off of that drive. On the whole, Devonport Auckland was an ideal place to station ourselves for a few days.
Devonport to Downtown Auckland Day Tripquick trip to downtown Auckland. How long does it take to get from Devonport to downtown Auckland by ferry? Just 10 minutes! How much does it cost to take the ferry from Devonport to Auckland? $12.50 NZD for a return ticket at the time of writing. Driving takes at least twice as long and is highly dependent on traffic. On the way, we were treated to stunning views of Auckland's skyline including the iconic Sky Tower. By taking the ferry, we didn't have to worry about parking on arrival in Auckland saving both time and money.
We spent some time walking around Auckland's downtown core. It was fairly rainy when we visited so we spent most of our time indoors eating and drinking. Not a bad way to spend a day if you ask me :-) Start the day with a visit to Chuffed for brunch. Iced coffee and oatmeal with berry compote and macadamia nuts really hit the spot.
Devonport to Arataki Visitors Center
Devonport Day Trip to Piha Beach
A Hike to New Zealand's Kitekite Falls
While Piha Beach was our main day trip goal for the day, there are other attractions nearby including a couple of waterfalls (Karekare and Kitekite Falls). At a stretch, you could potentially visit both waterfalls in a day from Devonport, but we decided to keep our day trip more chill and relaxing with less driving and chose to drive to Kitekite waterfall and do a short hike.
You can hike a loop trail from a parking lot to Kitekite Falls or walk to the falls and then backtrack. It's helpful to bring a waterproof bag for any electronics if you decide to do the loop trail. The best views of the waterfall involve fording a shallow but fast moving stream. In addition, if you continue on after you get to the waterfall, you'll have to balance on a series of rocks to get across another small stream on the way back to the parking lot. I have to say, it was a bit more of an adventure than I bargained for. Fortunately, we did make it without too many problems: just one wet shoe from losing our balance trying to cross the stream. At least there were no phone or camera mishaps!
Note: As of July 2018, Kitekite Falls is closed due to the spread of Kauri dieback. More information on track closures can be found here.
Day Trip by Ferry to Waiheke Island
As you can see, there are a variety of places to explore if you set up a home base in Devonport Auckland.
Map of Devonport Auckland Day Trips
For more on the destinations that we visited on our day trips from Auckland's Devonport neighborhood, check out this handy map.
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