Today, 24,000 citizens call Devonport home, and it continues to be a hub of transportation between Tasmania and the rest of the country. There is daily air service from the local airport to Melbourne and Devonport is the southernmost terminus for the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry. The city is also a key hub for farming and food processing in Tasmania.
Nestled between river, ocean, and mountains, Devonport is a popular tourist area in Tasmania. Attractions include the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse, the aboriginal rock carvings of Mersey Bluff, the Bass Strait Maritime Centre, annual exhibits of the Robinson Photography Collection and the Tasmanian Arboretum.
Exhibits at the Bass Strait Maritime Centre explore both the natural history and human developments in the Bass Strait. A visitor can try their hand at bringing a simulated, turn of the century steamer into Mersey River or take a two-hour sail on the Julie Burgess ketch.
The Robinson Collection is a 100,000-piece collection of photographs. Taken by Bert Robinson and his son Albert, the photos chronicle family, business, culture, sports and politics in Devonport from the 1920s to the 1970s.
The bountiful agriculture in “Australia’s Market Garden” drives a thriving restaurant industry. Forty percent of Tasmania’s annual crops grow in and around Devonport, and many of the newer restaurants focus on local produce.
Australia, Tasmania and the local city council are investing in the future of tourism, retail, and food production in Devonport through The Living City Project. The first phase of the project launched in October of 2018 and represented a $71.1M investment. This phase included a new library, visitor center, conference facility and a new home for the Davenport Regional Gallery, which is now complete.
Currently, Stage 2 of the Living City Project is underway, which will include a privately funded waterfront hotel and waterfront park.
Future work will focus on the retail precinct and the southern business district.