Like most cities divided by water there is a very healthy north/south divide and we'd heard a lot of reasons why we shouldn't live on the north shore. But Devonport is divine and after ten minutes we both wanted to move there.
It takes ten minutes from the city. When you arrive at the ferry terminal it feels as though you have stepped back twenty years. In a good way. Like Manly might have been once.
A short stroll up the main street and just behind the shops rises Mt Victoria - one of Auckland's many volcanoes. It's a steep but pleasant walk (with kids in tow) along a path that winds through the grass and around the side of the hill.
It is a lovely way to while away a sunny morning. Just don't take friends with hayfever... although there are three pharmacies in the main street.
The "toadstools" are vents to the underground storage bunkers and there's still a disappearing gun you can explore that was built to defend against the Russians. It was fired once in a drill but shattered windows in the surrounding villas and was never fired again!
You can find out more here - I've made a list for our next trip across. Next time I'll take some pics of the charming villas... the real reason I wanted to move here...