Don River Railway
Since 1976 volunteers have operated Don River Railway’s steam engine journeys from Don River to Coles Beach.
The train line was first built circa 1854 and used by the pioneers to move logged timber to the mill.
Now you can enjoy a half-hour return trip that takes you through the bushland and to the junction at Coles Beach. Your journey will finish at the depot, where you can browse the locomotive museum.
Island State Brewing
Island State Brewing is Devonport’s only brewery. Here they brew roughly ten different varieties – notably the ‘Devonporter,’ ‘Port City Pale Ale, ’ and ‘Mersey River Mid.’
Alongside the fermenting equipment is a tap room that fits around 60 patrons; here, you can enjoy a fresh pot or pint from the tap. There’s also a beer garden for the warmer days.
‘The Bluff’ is Devonport’s most popular beach. It’s home to the Devonport Surf Club, a cafe, restaurant, playground, and amenities. It’s also right next to the caravan park and Mersey Bluff Lighthouse.
This beachside cafe has a peaceful view of the Bluff. Its floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to look across the ocean while sipping your latte. There’s outdoor seating and beanbags to sink into when the weather permits.
Drift is licensed, so expect some local beers and wines. And of course, it wouldn’t be a beachside cafe without offering takeaway hot chips.
Drift is next to the walking track that takes you to the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse.
Mersey Bluff Lighthouse
Built in 1889, the construction of the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse ended an era of wrecks in the area. Located right next to Bluff Beach, this iconic site has become symbolic of the larger Devonport area.
Accessible by foot and car (there’s plenty of parking), the view from the lighthouse looks straight over the Bass Strait. It’s a lovely place to visit and admire the sunset from one of the many benches.
A short walking track takes you down to Bluff Beach and past several viewing points, including one overlooking the infamous blowhole.
The Julie Burgess
First launched into the Tamar river in 1936, The Julie Burgess can hold up to 4000 crayfish. It was built by Harry Burgess, whose family had pioneered the crayfish industry in the 1890s.
The Julie Burgess no longer fishes but instead offers sailings to the public. Join the experienced crew for a 2.5-hour twilight sail and watch the sun set over Don Heads. Bring your own wine and get the camera ready as you admire the majestic coastline.
Southern Wild Distillery
Since opening in 2017, Southern Wild Distillery has won over 60 awards for its Tasmanian Gin. Head distiller George Burgess set out to make gin that was unabashedly Tasmanian, taking inspiration from the rugged land and sourcing seasonal produce from local businesses.
Next to the distillery is the Southern Wild Bar, where you can enjoy a gin flight and purchase a bottle to take home.
Coles Beach is where I spent my summers as a youth. It’s more secluded than Bluff Beach, and it only has a toilet; no cafes, bars, or playgrounds. But it’s peaceful and much larger than The Bluff.
Things to do near Devonport
Jump in the car and take a short trip to the following attractions.
The Tasmanian Arboretum is a 66-hectare botanic garden and the best location in Australia to see a wild platypus; platypus appearances are reliably witnessed in the Founder’s Lake. There are also eighty different bird species. You can spend several hours wandering the grounds, even longer, if you utilise their barbeques for lunch. The Tasmanian Arboretum is a not-for-profit and relies heavily on the help of volunteers.
Lillico Beach is a pebbly beach that sits between Devonport and Ulverstone. It’s most known for being a fantastic vantage point to see fairy penguins.
The viewing platform is free, and during penguin season, volunteers from ‘Friends of Lillico Penguins’ are happy to answer any questions. You’ll find them there between September to May each year. Visitor lights and flash photography is prohibited, but the volunteers will have a red torch. Donations are welcome.
The apple trees at Spreyton Cider have been tended to across five generations. They were planted in 1908 and used to produce Spreyton Fresh Apple Juice.
In 2021 the team built their production shed and began turning that apple juice into cider.
Visit the cellar door and try a tasting paddle. There are various flavours, including pear, apple & raspberry and sour cherry.