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Why are the best childhood memories of the simple things in life?
Playing with the kids next door, going on mad bike rides with your flatmates, winter walks with someone special. Devonport is just the kind of place where those memories are made.
Taking a short ferry trip to Devonport is the easiest of days out. No crowded theme parks with long queues, no need to suffer angst looking for a parking space and no chain stores. Devonport village has an eclectic retro feel about it with boutique stores, galleries, parks, cafes and museums.
Exploring around the village you’ll see superbly restored Victorian homes, hotels and restaurants. Children experience a freedom in Devonport that busy city or suburban precincts just can’t offer.
Historic North Head
Explore historic North Head, once home to a heavily armed fort built to defend Auckland. It was first used in the1880s against a suspected Russian invasion, and then again in 1941 during WWII. Fortified tunnels, mounted artillery, underground storerooms, barracks and guardrooms were all installed.
And parents, for the record, the minefield has been cleared. You can only go so far into the tunnels, and the disappearing gun at South Battery is still in place, but it won’t even fire blanks! So let the kids run wild and play hard.
Somewhere else with a strong sense of history is the Naval Museum, a short 1.5km stroll from the ferry. Housed in a refurbished 19th Century submarine mining station and situated at Torpedo Bay, this place is no musty museum. We’re talking a state-of-the art space with unique collections of objects that tell the stories of New Zealand’s Navy. It’s free for entry and tours but donations are gratefully accepted.
Devonport is just a 12 minute Fullers ferry ride from downtown Auckland.