Devonport, Tasmania’s third largest city after Hobart and Launceston, welcomes thousands of visitors each year, disembarking from each of the three modern vehicular ferries, called ‘Spirit of Tasmania.’
The Beatle’s 1960’s classic, ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey,’ has a familiar ring here, because the city is sited where its namesake, the Mersey River, flows into Bass Straight.
Devonport’s dominant physical feature is Mersey Bluff, a promontory topped with a traditional lighthouse, that offers fine coastal views. A top attraction is the Tiagarra Aborigine Cultural Centre, which is found on the road to the lighthouse. Their unique collection of 250 indigenous rock engravings has been dated as up to 10,000 years old. The fine interpretive displays profile early arts and crafts and the first encounters with Europeans.
The Maritime Museum has an extensive collection of flags and maritime paraphernalia including superb model ships. The Regional Gallery has 20th Century Tasmanian paintings and contemporary art, plus fine ceramics and glassworks. The Don River Railway, west of town, has brightly painted engines and carriages. Diesel trains and steam trains take visitors on a fascinating 30 minute round trip. The Science Museum furnishes an astonishing array of facts about science, technology and nature.
Other things to do in Devonport include; viewing Home Hill, the mansion of Joseph Lyons, Australia’s only Tasmanian born Prime Minister, admiring the Arboretum's tree and shrub specimens from around the world, penguin watching at dusk from the special viewing area at Lillico Beach, walking along the dramatic coastline in Narawntapu National Park and taking a scenic flight over Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair.
Budget accommodation is readily available in Devonport with hostels, low-price hotels, cabins and camping grounds. Midrange places include two historic cottages with period furniture plus guesthouses, B&B’s, lodges and motels.
Waterfront restaurants feature fresh seafood, sushi and sashimi. Grill houses offer steak and venison and an Irish bistro offers roasts, grills, stew and of course, Guinness. The Gingerbread House has deserts that include pancakes, meringues and the house special - gingerbread men.
Entertainment can be found in numerous saloons, nightclubs and cafes that have DJ’s and occasional live acts. The Cmax Cinema has regular blockbusters and the Convention Centre stages concerts and a variety of shows.