During the 1850s the twin settlements of Formby and Torquay were established on opposite banks at the mouth of the Mersey River. Torquay on the eastern shore was the larger community with police, post, magistrate, at least three hotels, shipyards and stores. A river ferry service connected the two communities. Between 1870 and 1880 the shipping industry grew and work was undertaken to deepen the mouth of the river. When the mouth of the river could support a shipping industry the first regular steamer services commenced, operating directly between the Mersey and Melbourne.
In 1882 the Marine Board building was built and remains the oldest standing building in Devonport.
In 1889 the Bluff lighthouse was completed and the turn of the century saw the railway make a significant difference to the Formby community. It combined a railhead and port facilities in the one place. A wharf was created on the west bank, close to the railway and warehouses. The railway brought a building boom to Formby. In 1890 a public vote united Torquay and Formby, and the settlements became the town of Devonport.
The Victoria bridge was opened in 1902 which enabled a land transport link between Devonport and East Devonport.
Areas within Devonport as a suburb include Highfield
Areas within East Devonport as a suburb includes Pardoe Downs, Rannoch, Pannorama Heights
The full list of Suburbs of the City of Devonport are:
List of suburbs
Facilities and the arts
The main CBD is on the west side of the Mersey River and includes a pedestrian mall, cinema, speciality stores, chain stores such as IGA and hotels. There are several local restaurants and cafes.
Local theatre and Conventions are held at the Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre in the city’s CBD.
The Devonport Regional Gallery evolved from the inception of The Little Gallery, which was founded by Jean Thomas as a private enterprise in 1966. The Gallery presents an annual program of exhibitions, education and public programs including events and workshops. Another smaller gallery is the Blue Apple Gift Store & Gallery. A selected range of local artisan works are also displayed at the North West Regional Craft Centre in the CBD.
Tiagarra Aboriginal Culture Centre and Museum displays petroglyphs, designs in rock and exhibits that depict the traditional lifestyle of Tasmanian Aboriginal people.
The Bass Strait Maritime Centre housed in the former Harbour Master’s House has objects, models and photographs that tells the stories of Bass Strait and Devonport.
The former Devonport Maternity Hospital was recently demolished and the land sold to a developer for building affordable housing. 
Devonport’s night club was known as “City Limits” in the 1980s, “The Warehouse” from 1991, and then re-branded as “House” in 2014.
Kokoda Barracks is an army barracks in Devonport.
- Devonport Airport
Devonport Airport is located at Pardoe Downs approximately 7 km to the east of the city of Devonport, about a 15 min drive by car. The airport is serviced by Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop aircraft, operated by QantasLink, with four daily services to Melbourne, Victoria.
There are several bus companies serving Devonport including Mersey Link, Redline Coaches and Phoenix Coaches. Metropolitan Devonport bus services are limited on Saturdays and there are no services on Sundays or Public holidays.
- Freight (Shipping)
Searoad Road Shipping operate two roll on roll off vessel of general freight between Devonport, Melbourne and King Island. These vessels include MV Searoad Mersey, MV Searoad Mersey II (2016- ) and MV Searoad Tamar.
In early days coal was an export product.
A rail line still services the ports area of Devonport.
Devonport once had a roundhouse and railway maintenance yards on the foreshore of the Mersey River. A park exists there today.
- Passenger Ferry Terminal
Vessel Years Shipping Company SS Oonah 1921–1935 Tasmanian Steamers SS Loongana 1921–1935 Tasmanian Steamers SS Nairana 1921–1948 Tasmanian Steamers SS Taroona 1935–1959 Tasmanian Steamers MS Princess of Tasmania 1959–1972 Australian National Line MS Empress of Australia 1972–1986 Australian National Line MS Abel Tasman 1986–1993 TT-Line Company Spirit of Tasmania 1993–2002 TT-Line Company MS Spirit of Tasmania I 2002– TT-Line Company MS Spirit of Tasmania II 2002– TT-Line Company
The Devonport area has rich red soils that are ideal for producing vegetable crops (beans, onions, peas, potatoes etc.) and very significant values of cereals, oil poppies, pyrethrum and other crops.
- Hillcrest Primary School
- Devonport Primary School
- Miandetta Primary School
- East Devonport Primary School
- Nixon Street Primary School
- Spreyton Primary School
- Devonport Christian School
- Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School
Senior secondary education (Years 11–12)
A TasTAFE campus, an adult training institution, is situated in Valley Road.
Devonport has an oceanic climate with mild to warm summers, cool and moist winters and high humidity (about 70%) all year round. Most days from January to March are pleasantly warm, averaging 19 to 24 °C (66 to 75 °F) with frequent sunshine. The warmest and driest days can occasionally reach up to 28 °C (82 °F). Unlike the south and east coasts of Tasmania, humid northerly winds prevent heatwaves and temperatures rarely if ever reach above 30 °C (86 °F). Winters are cool and cloudy with frequent light rain; July and August are the wettest months of the year. Due to almost constant cloud cover and coastal influence, winter temperatures rarely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) or rise above 15 °C (59 °F). September to December usually features mild and windy weather with frequent showers, and occasional warm, sunny breaks. With the pattern of a drier summer and wetter winter, the weather has some characteristics of a Mediterranean climate.
Climate data for Devonport Airport Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year Record high °C (°F) 33.2
Average high °C (°F) 21.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 16.7
Average low °C (°F) 12.2
Record low °C (°F) 4.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 41.4
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 7.5 6.0 7.3 9.4 11.3 12.4 15.0 14.6 14.2 11.8 9.9 8.2 127.6 Average afternoon relative humidity (%) 61 61 59 62 66 68 69 68 66 63 65 61 64 Mean monthly sunshine hours 263.5 240.1 210.8 171.0 142.6 132.0 136.4 151.9 186.0 232.5 246.0 257.3 2,370.1 Source #1: Bureau of Meteorology (1981–2010 normals; extremes since 1991) Source #2: Bureau of Meteorology (1981–1996 sunshine hours)
Australian rules football
The Devonport Touch Football Association is located at Meercroft Park and play touch football
Athletics, cycling and woodchopping
The Devonport Athletic Club, a professional athletic club, hosts a leg of the Tasmanian Cycling Christmas Carnival Series each year in December attended by local and international cyclists, other sports at the carnivals include athletics and woodchopping. Woodchopping events are also held at the Devonport Agricultural & Pastoral Society Spring Show in November.
The Mersey Valley Devonport Cycling Club host track cycling, the Mersey Valley Tour, Devon 80 Road Race and the Ulverstone Criterium.
Devonport Hockey teams compete in the North and North West Hockey roster of Hockey Tasmania.
Devonport Warriors are a Devonport-based basketball team that compete in the North West Basketball Union.
Harness racing and horse racing
The Devonport Harness Racing Club conduct harness racing events at the Devonport Showgrounds.
Power Boat racing has been a feature at the Devonport Annual Regatta held each March long weekend. The Regatta commenced in 1958.
Swimming and aquatic sports
The Splash Devonport Aquatic and Leisure Centre has a world class gym and indoor swimming pool and is based within the Don Reserve.
The Devonport Tennis Club and East Devonport Tennis Club compete in the Tennis North West Association rosters.
The Devonport triathlon held annually in February is the continental championship for Oceania.
- David Foster (woodchopper)
- Nita Burke (basketball)
- Corey Cadby (darts player)
- Owen Kelly (NASCAR and V8 Supercar driver)
Notable players that went on the play in the VFL/AFL:
- Darrel Baldock (St Kilda)
- Graham Wright (Collingwood)
- Grant Birchall (Hawthorn)
- Brady Rawlings (North Melbourne)
- Jade Rawlings (Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne)
- Matthew Richardson (Richmond)
- Ben Harrison (Carlton, Richmond, Western Bulldogs)
- Dion Scott (Sydney, Brisbane Bears, Brisbane Lions)
- Matthew Febey (Melbourne)
- Steven Febey (Melbourne)
- Joseph Lyons – Prime Minister of Australia 1932–1939 Premier of Tasmania 1923–1928
- Dame Enid Lyons
- Prema Smith – film director and producer
The city of Devonport has a formal sister city agreement with Minamata City in Japan. This was ratified in 1996. Both cities share a similar setting and area.
- Minamata, Japan (1996)
- City of Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia (destination for “Spirit of Tasmania” ferries from Devonport)
- “2016 Census QuickStats”. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2017-10-23. Retrieved 2019-01-14.
- “Climate statistics for Devonport Airport”. bom.gov.au. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
- Devonport to lose its Torquay Ferry service
- Devonport’s Torquay ferry to return
- Declan Gooch (2018-07-18). “Devonport maternity hospital site bought by developer; Government hopes units built there will be affordable”. ABC NEWS. Retrieved 2019-01-03.
- “Tasmanian council elections: Reynolds new mayor of Hobart, as Christie brings up the rear”. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
- “Mayor and Aldermen”. devonport.tas.gov.au. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
- “Tasmanian Shipping”. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- “Devonport to Melbourne Ferry Journey Length”. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
- “Climate statistics for Devonport Airport normals (1981–2010)”. bom.gov.au. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- “Climate statistics for Forthside Climate Research Station (1981–2010)”. bom.gov.au. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- “Devonport Rugby Club”. devonportbulls.rugbynet.com.au. Archived from the original on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- “Devonport Athletic Club”. tas.cycling.org.au. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- “Sports Carnival Association of Tasmania”. tascarnivals.com. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- “Agricultural Show Council of Tasmania”. ascti.com.au. Retrieved 26 June 2009.
- , Sister Cities