Devonport, Tasmania

Devonport is a city in northern Tasmania, Australia. It is situated at the mouth of the Mersey River. Devonport had an urban population of 23,046[1] at the 2016 Australian census. A larger urban area, including Latrobe has a population of 30,297[2] at June 2018, having grown at an average annual rate of 0.17% year-on-year over the preceding five years.[2]

Devonport and the Mersey River from the air
Coordinates41°10′50″S 146°20′47″E
  • 23,046 (2016)[1]
  • 30,297 (2018)[2]
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s)City of Devonport
State electorate(s)Braddon
Federal Division(s)Braddon
Mean max temp[3] Mean min temp[3] Annual rainfall[3]
17.0 °C
63 °F
8.3 °C
47 °F
773.0 mm
30.4 in


During the 1850s the twin settlements of Formby and Torquay were established on opposite banks at the mouth of the Mersey River. Torquay on the eastern shore was the larger community with police, post, magistrate, at least three hotels, shipyards and stores. A river ferry service connected the two communities. Between 1870 and 1880 the shipping industry grew and work was undertaken to deepen the mouth of the river. When the mouth of the river could support a shipping industry the first regular steamer services commenced, operating directly between the Mersey and Melbourne.

In 1882 the Marine Board building was built and remains the oldest standing building in Devonport.

In 1889 the Bluff lighthouse was completed and the turn of the century saw the railway make a significant difference to the Formby community. It combined a railhead and port facilities in the one place. A wharf was created on the west bank, close to the railway and warehouses. The railway brought a building boom to Formby. In 1890 a public vote united Torquay and Formby, and the settlements became the town of Devonport.

The Victoria bridge was opened in 1902 which enabled a land transport link between Devonport and East Devonport.

Devonport was proclaimed a city by Prince Charles of Wales on 21 April 1981 in a ceremony conducted on the Devonport Oval.

The cross river ferry service was discontinued in 2014 after 160 years of continuous service when the vessel the "Torquay" was taken out of service.[4] It has since resumed operating.[5]


Areas within Devonport as a suburb include Highfield
Areas within East Devonport as a suburb includes Pardoe Downs, Rannoch, Pannorama Heights

The full list of Suburbs of the City of Devonport are: List of suburbs

Facilities and the arts

The main CBD is on the west side of the Mersey River and includes a pedestrian mall, cinema, speciality stores, chain stores such as IGA and hotels. There are several local restaurants and cafes.

Local theatre and Conventions are held at the Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre in the city's CBD.

The Devonport Regional Gallery evolved from the inception of The Little Gallery, which was founded by Jean Thomas as a private enterprise in 1966. The Gallery presents an annual program of exhibitions, education and public programs including events and workshops. A broad range of selected local artisan works are displayed at the North West Regional Craft Centre and gift store in the CBD.

Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum displays petroglyphs, designs in rock and exhibits that depict the traditional lifestyle of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.[6]

The Bass Strait Maritime Centre housed in the former Harbour Master's House has objects, models and photographs that tells the stories of Bass Strait and Devonport.

A volunteer run vintage railway and museum, the Don River Railway, is situated at Don, a suburb of Devonport.

The former Devonport Maternity Hospital was recently demolished and the land sold to a developer for building affordable housing. [7]

The Mersey Community Hospital at Latrobe serves the Devonport community for their health needs.

Devonport's night club was known as "City Limits" in the 1980s, "The Warehouse" from 1991, and then re-branded as "House" in 2014.

Kokoda Barracks is an army barracks in Devonport.


Annette Rockliff was elected mayor of the City of Devonport in 2018.[8] There are 9 aldermen that govern the Devonport City Council[9]


Devonport Airport

Devonport Airport is located at Pardoe Downs approximately 7 km to the east of the city of Devonport, about a 15 min drive by car. The airport is serviced by Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop aircraft, operated by QantasLink, with four daily services to Melbourne, Victoria.

There are several bus companies serving Devonport including Mersey Link, Redline Coaches and Phoenix Coaches. Metropolitan Devonport bus services are limited on Saturdays and there are no services on Sundays or Public holidays.

Freight (Shipping)

Searoad Road Shipping operate two roll on roll off vessel of general freight between Devonport, Melbourne and King Island. These vessels include MV Searoad Mersey, MV Searoad Mersey II (2016- ) and MV Searoad Tamar.[10]

Cement Australia has exported cement products produced from Railton to Melbourne since 1926. Other exports via ships include tallow.

In early days coal was an export product.

Imports include petroleum, bunker fuel, fertiliser and caustic soda.


A rail line still services the ports area of Devonport. Devonport once had a roundhouse and railway maintenance yards on the foreshore of the Mersey River. A park exists there today.

Passenger Ferry Terminal

Devonport is the southern terminus for the Spirit of Tasmania ferries – Spirit I and II travel the 11 hours to Melbourne.[11]

Melbourne – Devonport Passenger Ferry History

VesselYearsShipping Company
SS Oonah 1921–1935 Tasmanian Steamers
SS Loongana 1921–1935 Tasmanian Steamers
SS Nairana 1921–1948 Tasmanian Steamers
SS Taroona 1935–1959 Tasmanian Steamers
MS Princess of Tasmania 1959–1972 Australian National Line
MS Empress of Australia 1972–1986 Australian National Line
MS Abel Tasman 1986–1993 TT-Line Company
Spirit of Tasmania 1993–2002 TT-Line Company
MS Spirit of Tasmania I 2002– TT-Line Company
MS Spirit of Tasmania II 2002– TT-Line Company


The Devonport area has rich red soils that are ideal for producing vegetable crops (beans, onions, peas, potatoes etc.) and very significant values of cereals, oil poppies, pyrethrum and other crops.


Primary schools

  • Hillcrest Primary School
  • Devonport Primary School
  • Miandetta Primary School
  • East Devonport Primary School
  • Nixon Street Primary School
  • Spreyton Primary School
  • Devonport Christian School
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School

Secondary schools

Senior secondary education (Years 11–12)

A TasTAFE campus, an adult training institution, is situated in Valley Road.



Devonport has an warm-summer mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb) , bordering on an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), with mild to warm summers, cool and moist winters and high humidity (about 70%) all year round. Most days from January to March are pleasantly warm, averaging 19 to 24 °C (66 to 75 °F) with frequent sunshine. The warmest and driest days can occasionally reach up to 28 °C (82 °F). Unlike the south and east coasts of Tasmania, humid northerly winds prevent heatwaves and temperatures rarely if ever reach above 30 °C (86 °F). Winters are cool and cloudy with frequent light rain; July and August are the wettest months of the year. Due to almost constant cloud cover and coastal influence, winter temperatures rarely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) or rise above 15 °C (59 °F). September to December usually features mild and windy weather with frequent showers, and occasional warm, sunny breaks.

Climate data for Devonport Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33.2
Average high °C (°F) 21.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.7
Average low °C (°F) 12.2
Record low °C (°F) 4.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 41.4
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 7.5 6.0 7.3 9.4 11.3 12.4 15.0 14.6 14.2 11.8 9.9 8.2 127.6
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 61 61 59 62 66 68 69 68 66 63 65 61 64
Mean monthly sunshine hours 263.5 240.1 210.8 171.0 142.6 132.0 136.4 151.9 186.0 232.5 246.0 257.3 2,370.1
Source #1: Bureau of Meteorology [3]
Source #2: Bureau of Meteorology (1981–1996 sunshine hours)[12]


Australian rules football

The Devonport Football Club, Magpies, is an Australian rules footbal team competing in the Tasmanian Statewide League with their home base being the Devonport Oval.

The East Devonport Football Club an Australian Rules Football Club, the Swans play in the North West Football League alongside teams like Ulverstone and Penguin, to name but two.


Devon Netball is located just outside Devonport in Spreyton, and is the main centre for netball within the Devonport area. The club participates within state wide netball events and tournaments, with some of their best players playing within the State League roster.

Rugby union

The Devonport Rugby Club[13] is a Rugby Union team competing in the Tasmanian Rugby Union Statewide League.


Devonport City Football Club an Association Football club that competes in the statewide National Premier Leagues Tasmania, as well as fielding a reserve team in the Northern Championship.

Touch football

The Devonport Touch Football Association is located at Meercroft Park and play touch football

Athletics, cycling and woodchopping

The Devonport Athletic Club,[14] a professional athletic club, hosts a leg of the Tasmanian Cycling Christmas Carnival Series[15] each year in December attended by local and international cyclists, other sports at the carnivals include athletics and woodchopping. Woodchopping events are also held at the Devonport Agricultural & Pastoral Society Spring Show[16] in November.

The Devon Amateur Athletics Club compete at the Dial Ranges Sports Centre at Penguin, Tasmania.

The Mersey Valley Devonport Cycling Club host track cycling, the Mersey Valley Tour, Devon 80 Road Race and the Ulverstone Criterium.


Devonport Cricket Club is a cricket team which represents Devonport in the North Western Tasmanian Cricket Association grade cricket competition.


Devonport Hockey teams compete in the North and North West Hockey roster of Hockey Tasmania.


Devonport Warriors are a Devonport-based basketball team that compete in the North West Basketball Union.


The Devonport Golf Club is located at Woodrising Avenue, Tasmania and has been home to the Tasmanian Open and Tasmanian Seniors Open.

Harness racing and horse racing

The Devonport Harness Racing Club conduct harness racing events at the Devonport Showgrounds.

The Devonport Cup a horse race is held annually in January at the Spreyton racecourse. There is a gazetted local holiday for the event.

Power boats

Power Boat racing has been a feature at the Devonport Annual Regatta held each March long weekend. The Regatta commenced in 1958.

Swimming and aquatic sports

The Splash Devonport Aquatic and Leisure Centre has a world class gym and indoor swimming pool and is based within the Don Reserve.


The Devonport Tennis Club and East Devonport Tennis Club compete in the Tennis North West Association rosters.


The Devonport triathlon held annually in February is the continental championship for Oceania.

Notable sportspeople

VFL/AFL players

Notable players that went on the play in the VFL/AFL:

Notable people

Sister cities

The city of Devonport has a formal sister city agreement with Minamata City in Japan. This was ratified in 1996. Both cities share a similar setting and area.

See also


  1. "2016 Census QuickStats". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  2. "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2017-18: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2008 to 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019. Estimated resident population, 30 June 2018.
  3. "Climate statistics for Devonport Airport". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  4. Devonport to lose its Torquay Ferry service
  5. Devonport's Torquay ferry to return
  6. Ian Elsner (15 April 2019). "62. David Gough Reclaims Stewardship of Tiaggarra for Aboriginal Tasmanians" (Podcast). Museum Archipelago. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  7. Declan Gooch (18 July 2018). "Devonport maternity hospital site bought by developer; Government hopes units built there will be affordable". ABC NEWS. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  8. "Tasmanian council elections: Reynolds new mayor of Hobart, as Christie brings up the rear". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  9. "Mayor and Aldermen". Retrieved 25 June 2009.
  10. "Tasmanian Shipping". Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  11. "Devonport to Melbourne Ferry Journey Length". Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  12. "Climate statistics for Forthside Climate Research Station (1981–2010)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  13. "Devonport Rugby Club". Archived from the original on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  14. "Devonport Athletic Club". Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  15. "Sports Carnival Association of Tasmania". Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  16. "Agricultural Show Council of Tasmania". Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  17. , Sister Cities
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