Top things to see and do in Devonport

Tasmania’s third largest city is conveniently located where the Mersey River meets the Bass Strait.


There’s so much to discover here, including museums, hikes and lookouts, it can sometimes feel impossible to choose where to start. Luckily, we have you covered with this list of the best things to see and do in Devonport for every type of traveller.


see and do in Devonport
Don River Railway © Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman


History and heritage 


Located a five minute drive or 14 minute bus ride from Devonport, you will find the historical town of Don.

Originally built to transport timber from the River Don in 1854, the Don River Railway now operates as a not-for-profit museum and workshop. Members and volunteers are happy to take you through the grounds, where you will find heritage carriages and locomotives on display.

While visiting, you can jump on board a restored train for a 30-minute return ride boasting unbeatable views over the Don River and township. The museum hosts regular events including dog-friendly days and murder mystery rides, so there’s always something new to experience.

While in Don, we suggest checking out the weekly market. Now in its 48th year, the market includes indoor and outdoor stalls selling fruit and veg, plants, crafts, coffee and more. The main hall has maintained its original facade, adding to the historical feel of the town and its surroundings.


Mersey Bluff Lighthouse © Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman


Great Outdoors 


Walking through Devonport, it’s hard to miss the stunning natural landscape surrounding the city on every side. There are plenty of cycling and walking trails to choose from, including the popular Don to Devonport Cycleway, which winds along the Bass Strait and through bushland to finish in the city centre. 

Once in town, we suggest heading to Tiagarra Cultural Centre to experience one of the oldest Aboriginal operated cultural centres in Australia. The centre is home to many Indigenous artefacts, but is only open to groups by appointment. However, winding along the Tiagarra Walking Track is always permitted, and here you will come across rock art, tea tree living grounds and petroglyphs.

For another popular walk, visitors can hike the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse, known for its distinctive red and white vertical stripes, for views over the Mersey River. First constructed in 1889, the lighthouse is an important symbol of Devonport’s maritime heritage and a popular place to take photos thanks to the sweeping ocean backdrop.


Lillico Beach © S. Group


Animals abound 


Just 12 km from Devonport lies the Tasmanian Arboretum, a 66 hectare botanical tree park and nature reserve. On site, you will find 81 species of bird, possums, echidnas and possibly even Tasmanian Devils.

The Arboretum is also one of the best places in Australia to see a platypus, often found swimming in Founder’s Lake. Wandering around, visitors will come across forests, limestone outcrops, lakes, creeks and the largest collection of Tasmanian living woody plants in the world. It’s easy to lose a day here just soaking in the sights, so we recommend stopping by the Tree Park Kiosk for a well earned break, coffee, or scoop of home made ice-cream.

For a different type of animal encounter, you can drive ten minutes from Devonport to Lillico Beach. This coastal reserve is home to a Little Penguin colony, with a designated penguin viewing platform open year round. During penguin season, between September to April, Lillico guides educate visitors on the Little Penguins each night and bring red-light torches to help you spot these magnificent birds.


Spirit of Tasmania © Jess Bonde


Family fun 


Located on the waterfront where Devonport meets the Bass Strait, you will find the Bass Strait Maritime Centre. Here, you can learn all about the maritime history of the region including legendary shipwrecks and exciting ocean discoveries. The museum has a regular calendar of events, with a wide range of holiday programs such as crafts and citizen science workshops. 

Launching later this year, the ship simulator allows you to get behind the wheel and navigate Mersey River as the captain. It’s a great way to entertain the kids, and one of the top things to do while visiting the maritime centre.

Families planning a holiday should also check out the Spirit of Tasmania, an iconic travel experience taking visitors from Melbourne to Devonport on an 11-hour boat ride. As you travel across the Bass Strait, you can relax in a private cabin with ocean views and comfortable beds. Kids will love the arcade-style game zone, jungle gym and comfy cinema with screenings of all the hottest releases. Plus, there are several lounge and dining options for a delicious meal and refreshing drink after a long day.

Once you’re back on dry land, we recommend checking out eGuide for a range of Devonport-based tours. The Cradle Mountain guided tour takes visitors through the national park with scenic walks and a visit to the Tasmanian Devil sanctuary. But our favourite has to be the Tasting Trail full day tour, where visitors take a curated journey to some of the best farms and vineyards in Tasmania. Sample lavender delights, olives and award-winning wines from some of the best artisans around.


For our favourite places to eat and drink in Devonport, click here.

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