Taking the Ferry -- Catching the Fullers Ferry to Devonport is one of the nicest day's outings you can have in Auckland. Make your way to Pier 1, Ferry Terminal at 99 Quay St. (tel. 09/367-9111; www.fullers.co.nz), and take to the water. You'll get great views of the city, Viaduct Basin, and the America's Cup Village as you head out aboard the catamaran Kea.The ferry operates daily every half-hour from 7:15am to 8pm and every hour from 8 to 11pm, and the trip takes 12 minutes. The round-trip fare is NZ$11 adults, NZ$5.50 children ages 5 to 15. If you're planning to base yourself in Devonport, buy a 10-trip or weekly ferry pass.
Devenport Village Attractions -- The village of Devonport is all about atmosphere, charm, historic buildings, the arts, and cafes. It has a summer holiday feel, even in the middle of winter, and especially on weekends. Stop at the Devonport i-SITE Visitor Centre, 3 Victoria Rd. (tel. 09/446-0677; www.aucklandnz.com or www.devonportnz.com), where you can find out about things to see and do. It's open daily from 8:30am to 5pm.
The two historic backbones of the village are Victoria and Church streets, now the main business area. Many of the buildings here date to the first European settlement; a brochure called The Old Devonport Walk gives you all the details as you wander.
There are three excellent white-sand beaches in close range -- Devonport, a good swimming spot with a playground; Cheltenham, a safe tidal beach; and Narrow Neck Beach, with safe swimming and a playground. Mount Victoria sits near the business center and allows great harbor views, and North Head was a significant defense spot for both Maori and the Europeans. The volcanic hill was further developed during World War II, and it's honeycombed with underground tunnels, chambers, and gun emplacements. Devonport Explorer Tours (tel. 09/357-6366; www.devonporttours.co.nz) can take you here on a 1-hour minibus tour (allow 2 hr. with ferry ride) for NZ$35 per adult (including ferry ride); booking ahead is essential. Tours run daily 10am to 3pm all year.
At the colorful Art by the Sea, King Edward Parade and Church St. (tel. 09/445-6665; www.artbythesea.co.nz), you'll find top-quality work by New Zealand artists. It's right next door to cafes and across the road from the sea; hours are Sunday through Friday from 10am to 5pm, Saturday from 10am to 5:30pm. Peter Raos Glass Gallery, Shop 5, 2 Queens Parade (tel. 09/445-4278; www.peter-raos.com), is also worth checking out for handmade art glass by a local resident and master glass artist. It's open Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm and weekends 10am to 3pm.
Two museums worth visiting are the Devonport Museum, 31A Vauxhall Rd. (tel. 09/445-2661; www.devonportmuseum.org.nz), open Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 4pm with free admission; and the new Devonport Naval Museum, 64 Kind Edward Parade, Torpedo Bay, Devonport. (tel. 09/445-5186; www.navymuseum.mil.nz), open daily from 10am to 5pm, with free admission. The latter is housed in a 19th-century submarine mining station and showcases the story of the New Zealand Navy. If you decide to stay for dinner, there are numerous restaurants and cafes. For something completely different, check out Devonport Chocolates, 17 Wynyard St. (tel. 09/445-6001; www.devonportchocolates.co.nz), where you can see chocolate being made. The shop is open Monday through Friday 9:30am to 5pm, and weekends 10am to 4pm. (If you don't get to Devonport, visit their second store at 177B Ponsonby Rd., Ponsonby.)
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.