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Best Picnic Spots in Devonport, Auckland

Updated on July 6, 2016
Jean Greer profile image

Jean is a 27 year old living and writing in Auckland, New Zealand. She's passionate about acting, travel, wellness, and filmmaking.

Live Like a Local

Devonport locals, myself included, love their suburb. And it's for good reason. The seaside suburb of Devonport is widely known as the prettiest suburb in Auckland.

Just 12 minutes by ferry from Auckland's CBD, Devonport is full of character, charm, beaches, and history.

Here are some of my personal favourite Devonport spots to explore and take in the sights. Grab a picnic basket and visit these beautiful spots!

Cheltenham Beach

Rangitoto Island from Cheltenham Beach, Devonport
Rangitoto Island from Cheltenham Beach, Devonport | Source
Cheltenham Beach, Devonport
Cheltenham Beach, Devonport | Source

Cheltenhem Beach

A true secret of locals - this gorgeous beach is hidden from most passersby. You'll have to take one of the accessways to find it (from Bath Street, Cheltenham Road, Arawa Ave, or North Head) but once you're there you'll find golden sands, safe waters, and a perfect view of Rangitoto Island.

With it's calm shallow waters, it's perfect for swimming, strolling, or taking a picnic

The main stretch is populated by old villas and character homes, and the Southern End has access way to the historic WWII Tunnels of North Head!

Cheltenham Dairy and Milkbar

PRO-TIP: Start at the Northern End of the beach (accessible via Bath Street) and grab an incredible icecream or milkshake from the Cheltenham Dairy and Milk Bar on nearby Vauxhall Road. It's a gorgeous old-school style milkbar, serving up icecream, coffee, and old-school charm. And it's frequented by popstar Lorde!

A true old-school NZ Dairy - Cheltenham Dairy and Milk Bar
A true old-school NZ Dairy - Cheltenham Dairy and Milk Bar | Source
Lorde at Cheltenham Dairy and Milkbar
Lorde at Cheltenham Dairy and Milkbar | Source
Gourmet Ice Cream at Cheltenham Dairy and Milk Bar
Gourmet Ice Cream at Cheltenham Dairy and Milk Bar | Source

Chateaubriant - French Style Deli and Cafe

PRO- TIP: Or, for something a little more sophisticated, cross the road and grab a croissant and coffee from Chateaubriant - a gorgeous Deli-Style French Cafe. They have a gorgeous selection of authentic French cheeses and fare - and their lattes are particularly killer!

Chateaubriant - French Deli and Cafe

Chateaubriant, A French Style Deli and Cafe, Devonport, Auckland
Chateaubriant, A French Style Deli and Cafe, Devonport, Auckland | Source
Chateaubriant, A French Style Deli and Cafe, Devonport, Auckland
Chateaubriant, A French Style Deli and Cafe, Devonport, Auckland | Source
A Cheese Board from Chateaubriant, A French Style Deli and Cafe, Devonport, Auckland
A Cheese Board from Chateaubriant, A French Style Deli and Cafe, Devonport, Auckland | Source

North Head

North Head Historical Reserve is NZ's most significant historical coastal defence site. Originally a Maori Pa built on one of Auckland's 50 Volcanic cones, the site is now home to a series of military defences, barracks, and tunnels built in 1885. The tunnels are mostly open for public to explore so take a picnic to the hilltop and learn about this historic site!

There are a number of short easy walks you can take to explore the grounds, tunnels, caves, beaches, and defences, all while enjoying stunning views of the Hauraki Harbour and Auckland City.

Take a picnic, and a torch, and your options are endless for unique picnic sites!

PRO-TIP: Take a torch so you can explore some of the darker tunnels.

North Head Tunnels, Devonport, Auckland
North Head Tunnels, Devonport, Auckland | Source
North Head Disappearing Gun, Devonport, Auckland
North Head Disappearing Gun, Devonport, Auckland | Source
North Head Tunnels, Devonport, Auckland
North Head Tunnels, Devonport, Auckland | Source
North Head, Devonport, Auckland
North Head, Devonport, Auckland | Source

Devonport, Auckland

show route and directions
A markerMount Victoria, Devonport -
Mount Victoria, Auckland 0624, New Zealand
get directions

Highest volcanic hill on the North Shore and the BEST views of Auckland City. Come at sunrise or sunset for the best views!

B markerNarrowneck Beach, Devonport -
Narrow Neck Beach, 0624, New Zealand
get directions

Gorgeous protected waters - perfect for swimming, kayaking, or sailing.

C markerFort Takapuna -
Fort Takapuna Reserve Vauxhall Rd, Narrow Neck, Auckland 0624, New Zealand
get directions

Historic Military Reserve

D markerCheltenham Beach, Devonport -
Cheltenham Beach, 0624, New Zealand
get directions

Gorgeous beach popular with the locals!

E markerNorth Head, Devonport -
North Head, Auckland 0624, New Zealand
get directions

Best military tunnels and exploring!

F marker64 Vauxhall Road, Devonport -
64 Vauxhall Rd, Devonport, Auckland 0624, New Zealand
get directions

Vauxhall Road Shops - for Cheltenham Milk Bar and Dairy and Cheateaubriant French Deli and Cafe.

Mount Victoria

The highest volcanic hill on the North Shore, and the best views of Auckland City.

Drive right to the top and look back over the city - particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset!

Mount Victoria is packed with more military buildings - but these ones aren't as extensive or accessible as North Head. The main draw here is the unbeatable views!

PRO-TIP: 'The Bunker' is home to the Devonport Folk Association and hosts acoustic concerts from a range of musicians monthly in their 'Bunker Hill Unplugged' sessions!

View of Auckland City from Mount Victoria
View of Auckland City from Mount Victoria | Source
Mount Victoria, Devonport
Mount Victoria, Devonport | Source
View from Mount Victoria towards North Head, Devonport
View from Mount Victoria towards North Head, Devonport | Source

Fort Takapuna and Narrowneck Beach

Yup, that's right, more incredible history and gorgeous beaches!

Narrowneck is one bay over from Cheltenham Beach (you can climb around the rocks between them when the tide is low!) and is slightly easier to find, especially if you're driving!

It's even better for swimming that Cheltenham, with deeper but calmer waters! The southern end of the beach leads up to Fort Takapuna - a military base and grounds. These ones aren't as accessible without a booked guide, and are used for functions and events. The grounds are still gorgeous to explore though!

PRO-TIP: Walk around the rocks at the southern end of the beach when the tide is low and find a private little cove for your own private beach picnic!

PRO-TIP: If you're driving into Devonport, approach the beach from Old Lake Road for a stunning view of the beach, harbour, and Rangitoto as you get to the beach!

Narrowneck Beach
Narrowneck Beach | Source
Fort Takapuna, Devonport
Fort Takapuna, Devonport | Source
Fort Takapuna
Fort Takapuna | Source

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