Devonport Show is an annual holiday in the city of Devonport, located on the northwest coast of Tasmania. The two-day festival is held on the final Friday and Saturday of every November on the Devonport Showgrounds.
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Note: Municipal area of Devonport only.
The Devonport Show has been put on by the Devonport Agricultural and Pastoral Society (DAPS) since 1907 in what, in the Southern Hemisphere is springtime, hence its full name, the “Devonport Agricultural and Pastoral Spring Show.”
After purchasing swampy land in the middle of Devonport in 1906, the DAPS drained and improved the land, transforming it into multi-use showgrounds that have been used ever since.
They also accommodated other organisations wishing to locate on the grounds, such as the Devonport Harness Club, Devonport Greyhound Racing Club, and Devonport Trotting Club, which means tourists get more than just an “ordinary” fair-like experience.
Devonport Show is a true weekend full of family fun. There are rides, games with prizes, fireworks displays, live performances, petting zoos, judged exhibits, arts and crafts to purchase and learn about, fashion parades, and more. It is a widely popular event along the whole northwestern coast of Tasmania, throughout the whole state, and even brings in tourists from mainland Australia and beyond.
Those visiting Devonport on and around the last weekend of November may wish to consider putting the following activities on their tour schedules:
- See the Farmers Market at the showgrounds, where all manner of local produce will be on display and for sale. You will also see handicrafts for sale and a “car boot sale,” which is a kind of garage sale where people, originally at least, sold items from the trunks (“boots” in UK and Australian English) of their cars. Also, there will be plants, flowers, jams, pies, cake, fresh bread, cold drinks, and barbecued meats for sale.
- Stop by the showgrounds’ Cheers Building to “dine with Ben.” Ben Milbourne holds a multi-course, gourmet, “degustation” dinner prepared using locally grown produce and locally made wines. It is not cheap (around $100 a head), but it is a truly unforgettable experience.
- Tour the many national parks surrounding Devonport. Going from west to east, try: Savage River National Park, the biggest pristine, temperate-zone rainforest in all Australia; Cradle Mountain-Lake Saint Clair National Park, which abounds in mountain peaks, rare wildlife, and hiking trails; Walls of Jerusalem National Park, which has rock formations thought to resembling the walls of Biblical Jerusalem, a long, wooden walking track, and 5,000-foot tall King David’s Peak; and Narawntapu National Park, where you can swim at Bakers Beach, visit a historic farm, camp, hike, picnic, and watch wildlife graze on grasslands nicknamed “the Serengeti of Tasmania.”
- Take advantage of any of the numerous sports opportunities in the city of Devonport. It is truly “sports city,” having a state-level Australian rules football team, the Magpies, who play at the Devonport Oval; another regional football team called the Swans;
a rugby team; soccer, cricket, hockey, and basketball teams; two tennis clubs; a touch football association, which meets at Meercroft Park; the Devonport Golf Club on Woodrising Avenue; as we saw above already, horse racing and harness racing at the showgrounds; the Splash Devonport Aquatic and Leisure Centre, with its top-tier gym and swimming pool; and the Devonport Athletic Club, which puts on a Woodchopping event at the Devonport showgrounds.
There is plenty to do in Devonport, Tasmania, all year round, but it is beyond dispute that the best time to visit is in late November, during Devonport Show events.