Devonport has been called the Gateway to Tasmania, but much like the island’s first European explorers did, it is often bypassed by travellers who make a quick dash for Hobart, Cradle Mountain, or the beaches of the East Coast.
But The Cove oceanside retreat is ready to put Devonport on the tourism map and make it more than just a gateway, finally offering up a level of luxury accommodation that the city has always lacked.
With a prime central position along Tassie’s northern coast this is the perfect base for exploring all the famous Northwest has to offer. And whether you plan on sailing in via Spirit of Tasmania, or flying into Devonport Airport, you’re just minutes away from Northern Tasmania’s best luxury accommodation.
Set in a sheltered bay in-between Don Heads and Lillico Beach, The Cove is blessed with what are arguably the best ocean views in Tasmania’s north.
For generations, this large full working farm known as Cheviot Dale was enjoyed by its founders and descendant’s of the Lillico family. But now Bruce and Kim Robinson have decided to share their slice of heaven, and welcome all adults to check-in at The Cove!
The Cove Tasmania
Welcome to Devonport 2.0
Devonport may be Tasmania’s third largest city, but few travellers seem to realise just how much the city and its surrounds have to offer.
The city is currently in the process of developing their Living City plan which is regional Tasmania’s largest urban renewal project ever undertaken to date.
We have already seen the construction of the Paranaple 800-seat Conference and Convention Centre, and work is currently underway for a large waterfront park which will feature fountains, large amphitheatre, 165-metre elevated walkway with viewing platforms over the Mersey River, and a nightly sound and light show.
Ever since Prince Charles visited Devonport and officially proclaimed it a city in 1981, the city had ambitions to take it from being more than just a gateway and instead a travel destination in its own right.
Devonport and its surrounding farms such as Cheviot Dale and Lillico make up what is known as Australia’s Market Garden, offering up delicious organic tasting experiences.
The region also boasts abundant wildlife including platypus, Tasmanian devils, quolls, pademelons, sea eagles, penguins, and a range of endemic Tasmanian birds – many of which you can spot in the wild at The Cove.
The land that The Cove sits on has a rich history which you can uncover during your stay.
The Cheviot Dale Farm’s origins date back to around 1860 when Thomas Lillico leased this land. He and his brothers became early Tasmania settlers, having travelled from Scotland’s Cheviot Hills, hence the name of the farm.
Before the Lillico family, it was the Pirinilaplu people of the Palawa nation that cared for the land, Aboriginal Tasmanians that acted as the island’s first custodians for over 40,000 years.
While The Cove offers up just about every modern luxury and convenience you could ask for, it’s still blessed with the same natural vistas and wildlife that have existed here for millennia.
Photos of the Land
The Cove offers up a diverse range of accommodation options, each unique and allowing the site to appeal to a range of different travellers.
All accommodation options allow you to experience everything the farm has to offer and witness its legendary ocean views atop the cliffs.
Guests can choose from cliffside chalets, hilltop cabins, bell tents, and A-frame cabins which will be coming soon in 2022. There’s also an ultra-deluxe premium fully self-contained villa known as two-five-six.
We were fortunate enough to experience one of The Cove’s three cliffside chalets.
Cliffside Chalet One
While all three of the cliffside chalets are stunning, our Cliffside Chalet One one had a few extra bonuses.
One of those perks was the large indoor freestanding bathtub with views of the ocean, and the other being private access to Mums Table, a section of the farm that offers incredible sunset viewing.
Our modern chalet and its private deck are perched atop the cliff overlooking Cheviot Cove and Beach. Lying in the king size bed, we were able to spot a pod of dolphins pass by during our stay thanks to the large floor-to-ceiling windows that invite the ocean inside the chalet.
Three words that sum up our chalet would be modern, spacious, and cosy. The chalet’s heating was welcomed after spending a night with the onsite penguin colony! A lavish en suite offered up both a shower and bath, alongside side-by-side sinks.
Photos of Cliffside Chalet One
The Alexander Centre and Communal Kitchen
The Alexander Centre is comprised of a giant shared lounge, kitchen, and dining area. The centre also features the communal stylish bathrooms and showers which guests of the hillside cabins and current bell tents would use since these accommodation options do not feature en suites.
The Alexander Centre’s size and elegance was a welcomed surprise. Available for all guests to enjoy, the spacious lounge offers up a 75-inch TV if you somehow find the time or the desire to want to settle in for a big game or movie.
Most guests, however, are likely to be transfixed on the views of the ocean which can be enjoyed by one of several couches or other seating areas.
Attached is a communal kitchen and dining area, offering both large dining tables and bar-style seating. The large modern kitchen is equipped with pretty much every modern appliance and kitchen utensil you could ask for including dishes, cutlery, microwaves, ovens, stoves, toasters, full-size fridges, etc…with everything being doubled for convenience to the guests sharing the kitchen.
Should you wish to not cook, there are restaurants just a short drive away or you can have meals delivered thanks to Menulog offering delivery to The Cove. You can also pre-order continental or full breakfast hampers and barista coffee can be purchased on site.
Outside the Alexander Lounge and kitchen area is a lovely outdoor space offering a lawn and fire pit that overlooks the ocean. You’ll find undercover decks, outdoor bar area with honesty bar fridge, barbecue area, outdoor lounges, and plenty of fun outdoor games.
The Alexander Centre and communal outdoor area are just as nice as any resort or five-star hotel, but without the abundance of a lot of people since The Cove’s capacity keeps things at a comfortable level for all guests.
Photos of the Alexander Centre
Activities @ The Cove
While simply sitting and relaxing at The Cove can be a full-time enjoyable experience thanks to unending ocean views with passing dolphins and migrating whales, there are a number of more active things to do on the farm.
There are several great walks along the coast you can take, choosing to hug the coastline during low tide to experience seabirds, blow holes, hidden beaches, and rocky outcrops, or you can hike up the hills for incredible panoramic views that stretch far and wide along Tasmania’s northern coast.
You can also schedule a farm tour to get up close and personal with The Cove’s resident Highland cows, cashmere goats, alpacas, and Angus cows. Enjoy hand feeding the animals and learn about all the workings of the farm from its beef production to its honey, olive grove, poppies, and potatoes.
However, one of the main highlights of the stay for us were the adorable little fairy penguins that live and breed onsite.
This strip of coastline is home to a large colony of penguins which breed in cliffside burrows of their own between September and May each year.
The world’s smallest penguin, the little penguins come ashore just after dusk and waddle their way up the hillsides towards their partners and chicks.
You can easily observe their return to dry land via a self-guided tour or arrange for a guided tour. You’ll also be able to hear them call at night from outside your accommodation.
While you can also observe the little penguins via the nearby Lillico Beach boardwalk and viewing platform which is manned by parks and wildlife rangers during the breeding season, we found The Cove’s penguin experience to be a much more rewarding and private experience.
You also get the chance to witness the countless shearwaters arriving onshore just before the penguins return, reminding me of mainland Australia’s swarms of fruit bats taking to the skies at dusk.
In addition to the penguins, guests of The Cove are likely to spot oystercatchers, sea eagles, native hens, cormorants, harriers, falcons, and gannets. There are also brushtail possums, potoroos, pademelons, and other wild animals that regularly make appearances.
The Cove would be perfect for smaller intimate weddings up to 40 guests who are looking to stay together onsite. Booking out the accommodation at The Cove for your big day will also allow you full private use of the Alexander Centre’s facilities. Be sure to also ask about The Cove’s private wellness space known as The Butter Shed.
The Cove offers the perfect base for exploring both the Devonport area and taking day trips to nearby Cradle Mountain to the south, Stanley and The Nut to the West, or Low Head and Launceston to the East. All can be reached by a 2-hour drive or less.
Within minutes, you can also access the new popular Wild Mersey Mountain Biking Trails of Latrobe and Railton, the Don River Railway scenic passenger train, Mole Creek Caves, and Sheffield’s beautiful murals.
Scattered in-between these well known attractions are also lesser know hikes to hidden waterfalls. You can also drive to the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse and seek out the Aboriginal rock carvings that lay scattered on the hilltop around the lighthouse.
Make a Booking
I hope I’ve been able to showcase what Devonport and the surrounding area has to offer travellers coming to Tasmania.
While the region often gets overlooked in favour of Cradle Mountain, Freycinet, Port Arthur, and Hobart, there are plenty of hidden gems to found along the North/ Northwest Coast.
Let The Cove be the perfect start or finish to your Tasmania journey. While we have tried our best to capture the beauty that awaits you at The Cove through our photography, you can be tempted even more by checking out The Cove’s Instagram page or their own personal website’s gallery.
Visit www.thecovetasmania.com to make a booking, and tell Kim we sent you!