The pit stop: Devonport
Everything seems a little sunnier in the north, and Devonport shines with Mediterranean weather, clean air and a maritime DNA. It’s the entry point for the Spirit of Tasmania and a perfect base for exploring the north-west and west coasts, writes Stephanie Williams.
Spoilt for Bass Strait views, Drift is open daily for brunch, and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Filled with lush indoor plants, the recently renovated cafe has a massive outdoor deck perfect for lazy cocktails and live music. Brunch is a highlight – think pulled pork Benedict, shakshuka eggs and caramelised banana French toast.
The craft brew explosion has not missed Tasmania and Empress Craft Beer is this city’s contribution to the scene. After launching Launceston’s St John Craft Beer, the team opened Empress with 11 rotating taps including a solid line-up of IPAs, amber ales and stouts. Stop by Hill Street Grocer next door to pick up local cheese and deli supplies.
Tasmania’s coast is littered with shipwrecks of over-confident vessels battered by the elements. Bass Strait Maritime Centre explores the history of the Bass Strait islands alongside stories of European explorers, shipbuilding, wrecks and the port itself. Take the helm of the SS Woniora and virtually guide her in, or jump aboard the restored Julie Burgess ketch for a two-hour sail.
Tasmania’s largest antique store is in Devonport, stocked with incredible treasures across four floors. The Antique Emporium is home to 40 antique dealers – lose yourself while wandering among furniture, collectables, books and clothes.
A 10-minute drive from Devonport, Compass Hut is a self-contained, off-grid tiny house with a double bed, kitchenette and bathroom. The hut sits surrounded by veggie gardens and takes inspiration from the philosophical idea of phenomenology (with architecture that engages the five senses).