Devonport is one of Auckland’s oldest suburbs, founded in 1840 and still linked to the city by a ten-minute ferry journey. The naval station was an early tenant, soon followed by wealthy merchants, who built fine kauri villas. Some of these are graced with little turrets (“widows’ watches”) that served as lookouts where the traders could scan the seas for their precious cargoes and wives watch hopefully (or warily) for their returning husbands. Wandering along the peaceful streets and the tree-fringed waterfront past grand houses is the essence of Devonport’s appeal and there’s no shortage of tempting bookshops, small galleries, cafés and even an aged cinema along the main street to punctuate your amblings. Walkers should consider the North Shore Coastal Walk.

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