Best Picnic Spots in Devonport, Auckland
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!
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!
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
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.
Highest volcanic hill on the North Shore and the BEST views of Auckland City. Come at sunrise or sunset for the best views!
Gorgeous protected waters - perfect for swimming, kayaking, or sailing.
Historic Military Reserve
Gorgeous beach popular with the locals!
Best military tunnels and exploring!
Vauxhall Road Shops - for Cheltenham Milk Bar and Dairy and Cheateaubriant French Deli and Cafe.
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!
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!