Devonport, Tasmania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Devonport, TAS.JPG
Devonport and the Mersey River from the air
Devonport is located in Tasmania
Coordinates41°10′48″S 146°21′01″E / 41.18000°S 146.35028°E / -41.18000; 146.35028Coordinates: 41°10′48″S 146°21′01″E / 41.18000°S 146.35028°E / -41.18000; 146.35028
Population26,150 (2021)[1]
Elevation9 m (30 ft)
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[2] Mean min temp[2] Annual rainfall[2]
17.0 °C
63 °F
8.3 °C
47 °F
773.0 mm
30.4 in

Devonport (/ˈdɛvənpɔːrt/ DEV-ən-port;[3] Palawa Kani: Tiagarra)[4] is a city in northern Tasmania, Australia, located on the lands of the Pannilerpanner clan[5] of the Palawa nation. It is situated at the mouth of the Mersey River. Devonport had an urban population of 26,150[1] at the 2021 Australian census.


The first European settlement before 1850 was on a block of land at Frogmore, near present-day Latrobe. In 1850, a settler named Oldaker occupied land at present-day Devonport.[6] Saw milling and coal mining developed with settlers arriving from England in 1854 on board the sailing ship 'Balmoral'.[7] During the 1850s the twin settlements of Formby and Torquay were established on opposite banks at the mouth of the Mersey River.[8] 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.[6] 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 one of the oldest standing buildings in Devonport.

In 1889 the Bluff lighthouse was completed. 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 "Torquay" ferry was taken out of service.[9] It has since resumed operating.[10]

Jumping castle disaster[edit]

On December 16th 2021, a jumping castle and two zorbs were lifted into the air by a gust of a wind at Hillcrest primary school, located in the south-west Devonport, killing six children and injuring three.[11][12]


The population of Devonport is 26,150, of which 1,971 (7.5%) are First Nations people.[13]

The median weekly household income is $1,167, compared to $1,746 nationally. 24.6% of households total weekly income is less than $650 week, while 10.4% of households weekly income exceeds $3,000. This compares to national rates of 16.5% and 24.3% respectively.

34.3% of households renting, and 8.1% of owned households with a mortgage experience housing stress, where rent or mortgage repayments payments exceed 30% of total income.

83.6% of residents were born in Australia. 2.9% were born in England, 0.8% in India and New Zealand and 0.6% in each Nepal, Philippines and Mainland China.[14]

89.9% of people spoke only English at home. 6.3% of households use a non-English language, including Mandarin (0.8%), Nepali (0.7%), Punjabi (0.4%) and Vietnamese and Tongan (0.3%).

In the 2021 census, 51.1% of Devonportions nominated no religion. 38.8% specified a Christian religious affiliation (including 12.4% as Anglicanism and 11.6% Catholicism). Other religious affiliations include Hinduism (1.1%), Buddhism (0.9%), Islam (0.4%) and Sikhism (0.3%).[15]


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

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

Facilities and the arts[edit]

The Rooke Street Mall in the CBD of Devonport

The main Central business district (CBD) is on the west side of the Mersey River and includes a pedestrian mall, cinema, specialty stores, chain stores, hotels, local restaurants, and cafes. Stores in Devonport include Coles, Woolworths, Kmart, Harvey Norman, Bunnings Warehouse, The Reject Shop, Best & Less, Cotton On and Kathmandu. As part of nationwide restructuring,[16] Target closed its department store on Rooke Street on 27 March 2021, being the only closure of a Tasmanian Target store.[17][18]

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.[19]

The Bass Strait Maritime Centre housed in the former Harbour Master's House has objects, models and photographs that tell 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 repurposed into a gated community.[20]

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.[21] There are 9 aldermen that govern the Devonport City Council.[22]


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 Merseylink, 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.[23]

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

Historically, 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 Geelong.[24][25]

Melbourne – Devonport Passenger Ferry History

Vessel Years Shipping 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[edit]

  • 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 (Years 7-12)[edit]

Senior secondary education (Years 11–12)[edit]

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



Devonport has an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) bordering on a warm-summer mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb). Summers are mild to warm and relatively dry. Winters are cool and moist. There is high humidity (about 70%) 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, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1991–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33.2
Average high °C (°F) 21.6
Average low °C (°F) 12.4
Record low °C (°F) 4.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 48.0
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 4.7 4.6 5.0 6.8 8.9 9.3 11.9 11.7 10.7 7.8 7.4 6.1 94.9
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
Percent possible sunshine 59 61 55 52 48 47
Source 1: Bureau of Meteorology[2]
Source 2: Bureau of Meteorology (1981–1996 sunshine hours)[26]


Australian rules football[edit]

The Devonport Football Club, Magpies, is an Australian rules football team competing in the North West Football League with their home base being the Devonport Oval. 2020 NWFL Grand finalist.

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[edit]

The Devonport Rugby Club[27] 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[edit]

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

Athletics, cycling and woodchopping[edit]

The Devonport Athletic Club,[28] a professional athletic club, hosts a leg of the Tasmanian Cycling Christmas Carnival Series[29] each year in December attended by local and international cyclists, other sports at the carnivals include athletics and woodchopping.

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.

Power boats[edit]

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


The Devonport Harness Racing Club conduct harness racing events at the Devonport Showgrounds. Inside the harness track is a greyhound racing track used on a weekly basis on Tuesday afternoons by the North West Greyhound Racing Club.[30]

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

Swimming and aquatic sports[edit]

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[edit]

VFL/AFL players[edit]

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

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]

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[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2021 Census All persons QuickStats". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 28 June 2022. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Climate statistics for Devonport Airport". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  3. ^ Upton, Clive; Kretzschmar, William A. Jr. (2017). The Routledge Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 351. ISBN 978-1-138-12566-7.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Map of Indigenous Tasmanian Place Names". Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Devonport's early days - Noted ship-building centre". Advocate. 8 November 1938. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Balmoral" (PDF). Tasmanian Ancestry. 9 (2): 75. 1 June 1988. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Eighty Years Ago - Early days in Mersey District". Advocate. 30 March 1938. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  9. ^ Dingwall, Doug (22 May 2014). "Devonport to lose its Torquay Ferry service". Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Devonport's Torquay ferry to return". 2 October 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  11. ^ "Australia jumping castle tragedy: five children dead and several critically injured in Tasmania". The Guardian. 16 December 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Sixth child dies after jumping castle tragedy, as community unites in grief". ABC News. 19 December 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  13. ^ "2021 Devonport, Census All persons QuickStats". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  14. ^ "2021 Devonport, Census Community Profile". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  15. ^ "2021 Devonport, Census Community Profile". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Business Update | Target Australia". Target Australia. Retrieved 18 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Devonport Target to close on March 27". The Advocate. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 13 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "The Target stores closing and those converting to Kmart revealed". The Examiner. 23 May 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  19. ^ Ian Elsner (15 April 2019). "62. David Gough Reclaims Stewardship of Tiagarra for Aboriginal Tasmanians" (Podcast). Museum Archipelago. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  20. ^ Leah McBey (7 February 2019). "Multi-million gated community planned for old Devonport maternity hospital land". ABC NEWS. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  21. ^ "Tasmanian council elections: Reynolds new mayor of Hobart, as Christie brings up the rear". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Mayor and Aldermen". Retrieved 25 June 2009.
  23. ^ "Tasmanian Shipping". SeaRoad. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  24. ^ Macdonald, Lucy (23 April 2020). "Spirit of Tasmania to move Victorian operations from Port Melbourne to Geelong". ABC News. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Spirit of Tasmania facilities at Geelong on track for first sailing". 1 July 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  26. ^ "Climate statistics for Forthside Climate Research Station (1981–2010)". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Find My Club". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  28. ^ "Devonport Athletic Club". Retrieved 26 June 2009.
  29. ^ "Sports Carnival Association of Tasmania". Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  30. ^ "The North West Greyhound Racing Club". Go Racing Tasmania. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  31. ^ "Devonport prepares to welcome Sister City delegation from Minamata". 12 March 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2020.