What to do when you arrive in Devonport on the Spirit of Tasmania
It's a gorgeous morning on mighty Bass Strait and the sun is rising beautifully on the east side of the boat. The announcement comes through the speaker system that the Spirit will soon be arriving into the coastal hub of Devonport, Tasmania.
It's early, 6.30am to be exact, and you've heard about this busy little Tassie city, but you're not quite sure how to tackle exploring it before venturing off to explore the rest of the Cradle Coast and beyond.
In an effort to help with your Google search, here's a short round-up of a few must-experience places in Devonport before you take your journey elsewhere.
But first, coffee
You've heard right... Tasmania is on island time and a lot of cafes are shut first thing in the morning. However, Fundamental Espresso, an upbeat, stylish cafe in the heart of Devonport makes an excellent cuppa first thing. Open from 6am, it's a go-to spot for many early rising locals and visitors. If you're ready for a feed, they also serve a delicious selection of toasted bagels.
Stretch the pins
If you're looking for a beautiful short morning stroll, be sure to stop at Mersey Bluff. There's a parking lot at the lighthouse with a short, paved trail that hugs the coast and leads you to the Devonport Surf Life Saving Club and all the way back into the centre of Devonport. The sweeping rocky coast line and fresh air are a perfect recovery for a night on the boat.
Something for the kids
The Berry Patch in Turners Beach is a short ten-minute drive out of Devonport and offers a great introduction to Tasmanian agriculture and the farm gate experience. The Berry Patch offers a great selection of breakfast and lunch options, as well as local Tasmanian products for sale in their farm shop. The friendly atmosphere, pick your own berries in summer and the play area, pingpong tables and hay bails will surely have the kids excited after a long boat ride.
A bit of Tasmanian heritage
Wandering over to Home Hill, the residence of Tasmania's only Prime Minister, you'll get to experience the fascinating Timber House built in 1916 belonging to Joseph Lyons and Dame Enid Lyons. They built the home themselves, and lived there together with their 12 children. The home was the heart of the family’s life although politics meant parents and children were often separated. The collection of personal material provides an unexpected insight into Australian political life and international relations during the momentous events of the mid twentieth century.
Take a walk on the wild side
A short 30-minute drive from Devonport is Narawntapu National Park. Though it's situated close to the third biggest city in Tasmania, it's a slice of quiet wildlife paradise and often you will only see a handful of people there at any given time. Bakers Beach is a long sandy beach running along the edge of the National Park and walking along it to the Archers Knob trail is also a great way to stretch the legs and get a pleasant introductory view of the coast.
A fine dining experience, Tassie style
The newly opened CharlotteJack restaurant in Devonport is bringing dining to a whole new level. A local contender in the Master Chef series, Ben Milbourne opened the tapas-style restaurant in 2018. Since then it has received glowing reviews for its offerings, which focus mainly on local produce. If you're staying for the evening, it's a great place to sit back, relax and share delicious Tasmanian food.
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