The 'Spirit of Tasmania'
Ferry to Tasmania

Catching the ferry to Tasmania is a fun and exciting way to start your Tassie road trip, and in this guide I answer all the questions you might have, helping you experience the best ferry crossing ever.

Spirit of Tasmania prices, ferry crossing travel times, timetable details, how to travel with pets – and plenty more!

This page contains affiliate links. If you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Read my full disclosure policy here.

It makes a lot of sense to start your Tasmania road trip with a sail on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. 

No excess baggage fees, your own vehicle that you know and love, no need to pay for hire car or campervan insurance, and you can even bring your pet pooch!

At the same time I know the options can be a little confusing, and I get a lot of questions about how it all works, and what you can expect on the ferry to Tasmania. 

Spirit of Tasmania prices and cost? How to bring your pet on the ferry? Should you pay more for a Spirit of Tasmania cabin? Entertainment options…and the list goes on.

That’s why I’ve created this guide – to use my experience as a local Tasmanian to help answer all your questions and to get your road trip started in the best way possible!

Want to skip ahead? Click on the menu down the left hand side 😊

I must thank the Lap of Tas community for helping me put this guide together. If you have any extra tips or advice, or any questions that I don’t answer, please let me know here and I’ll ensure it gets included in future updates! 

Ferry to Tasmania - Things you need to know

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Ferry 4

How far ahead do I need to book the Spirit of Tasmania ferry?

The Spirit of Tasmania ferry to Tasmania is very popular with road trippers, and it is critical that you start planning your Geelong to Devonport ferry crossing as early as possible.

First of all, you can book your tickets up to 11 months before your sailing date, so there is no point trying to book any earlier than that.

The two most important factors impacting on how early you book you Spirit of Tasmania ticket are your vehicle type, and the time of year you want to visit and return from Tasmania.

  • Cars and campervans – If you are driving a car or small campervan then I recommend booking at least 6 months ahead
  • Caravans and motorhomes – If you are towing a caravan or driving a tall vehicle such as a motorhome then you should aim to book your ferry tickets at least 9-12 months in advance.

I hear a lot of people saying, “Nahhh, she’ll be right mate. I’ll leave it until closer to the date.” But these same people so often get caught out by the extremely high demand for travel to/from Tasmania, and the lack of deck space for tall/long/wide vehicles on the ferry.

The time of year is critical – especially for your return sail. As the temperatures start to drop in late autumn and early winter, many campers and caravanners leave Tasmania for warmer temperatures up north. Fares at this time of year are very limited, and it is not uncommon for travellers to be stuck in Tasmania for weeks or even months waiting for a spot to open up. Mind you, some might say this is a good thing 😂

The other bonus for booking early is that you can often secure cheaper rates, and that’s always a good thing!

Spirit of Tasmania route and map

The Spirit of Tasmania ferry sails in both directions between Geelong in the Australian state of Victoria, and Devonport in the state of Tasmania.

Geelong is a large city on the southern Victorian coastline, about a 1.5 hour drive from central Melbourne (75km).

Devonport is a small city on the northern coastline of Tasmania, about a 1.5 hour drive from Launceston or 4hrs from Hobart. 

The ferry crosses Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait, with a total route measuring 415km (224 nautical miles).

For our international travellers, you will be pleased to know that you don’t need to worry about special visas for transiting between Victoria and Tasmania.

Spirit of Tasmania Route Map - Geelong to Devonport
Spirit of Tasmania map

Spirit of Tasmania travel time

Are you wondering how long does the Spirit of Tasmania take?

Depending on weather conditions the Spirit of Tasmania travel time varies between 8.5hrs and 11.5hrs from Geelong to Tasmania, and vice versa.

When working out how much time to allow, don’t forget that you can’t just turn up at your ferry departure time, as you need to allow time to be processed and to board.

Check-in opens between 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours prior to departure and closes strictly 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time. If you are a special needs passenger then you will need to check in at least 2 hours prior to departure.

Disembarking from the ferry can take as long as 30 minutes, but in speaking with other travellers it is normally more like 15-20mins.

Best time of year to sail on the Spirit of Tasmania

Demand for the Spirit of Tasmania varies greatly throughout the year – pick your dates wisely and you can save a lot of money!

🌞 Summer – December to February – is the most popular time for visiting Tasmania, and berths book out early. A second ship sails during these times to provide greater capacity.

🍂 Late summer and autumn – February to May – is very popular for the return sail from Devonport to Geelong, as this is when many ‘grey nomads’ and other long term travellers head north and leave Tasmania for warmer weather. Weather conditions at this time of year are also a bit more calm than usual meaning a smoother sail is a little bit more likely.

❄️ Winter – June to August – is the least popular time to visit Tasmania due to the cool conditions and the possibility of a rougher sail, but many agree this is when Tasmania is at its most beautiful. Tickets for the Spirit of Tasmania ferry can be cheaper at this time of year due to lower demand.

Read More: The Best Time to Visit Tasmania

Spirit of Tasmania timetable and sailing times

The Spirit of Tasmania timetable is surprisingly consistent throughout the year, making it easy to remember what your sailing times are.

There are two types of journey – a ‘Night Sail’ and a ‘Day Sail’.

  • Night Sail – The night sail is available year-round in both directions and leaves at varying times between 6:45pm and 11:30pm.
  • Day Sail – The day sail operates in both directions mostly during peak periods, leaving at either 8:30am or 10:30am. During off-peak periods you will most likely find there are no day sailings.
There are pros and cons to each type of sail, but on balance I feel that the upside of having your own private cabin – especially on a night sail – is well worth the extra cost.

🌞 Day Sail

 More time to enjoy the cruise

More time to enjoy the entertainment options

More time to try food/drink options

More time to book tours

More to see during daylight hours

Good for light sleepers

It’s a long time to keep the kids occupied

Earlier start to the day, so less time to prepare

 May need to stay the night before in Geelong

You may arrive in Tasmania in the dark

🌘 Night Sail

More time to prepare and arrive on time

Save on accommodation costs

Wake up refreshed and ready to start your road trip

More accommodation options on arrival

Don’t need to entertain the children for as long

You can sleep through potential sea sickness

 Less time to enjoy the facilities on board

Early wake up before disembarking

Less things to see from on deck due to the dark

Not good for light sleepers

"During winter, make sure you have a cabin so you get a good night's sleep before a big drive the next day. In summer, if you are on a day sail still get a cabin so you can rest before you have to drive. I found the cabins to be substantially cheaper on a summer day sail."
Jacquie
Lap of Tasmania FB Group Member

Spirit of Tasmania prices

It’s the big question for all travellers, what is the Spirit of Tasmania price and how much am I going to have to put aside in my budget?

There are four parts to your fare, depending on how you plan on travelling:

  • Passenger price
  • Vehicle price
  • Room price
  • Pet price (if applicable)
I’ll break it all down for you in the next few sections, starting with some typical total prices for couples and families, and then showing how each component can vary.

Spirit of Tasmania ferry price for couples and families

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Top Deck Lounge Deck Chairs
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Play Area

Spirit of Tasmania ferry prices are heavily dependent on the season and passenger demand.

This means that prices are always changing over time, and the best way to check prices at different times and for different vehicle combinations is to create a fake booking.

Things that affect your Spirit of Tasmania cost include:

  • Time of year
  • Traveller demand
  • No. of passengers
  • Your vehicle size
  • Your choice of accommodation for the sail
  • Bringing a pet and using their secure kennels

To give you an idea of typical prices I created fake bookings for four common scenarios in high season (January). The table below shows you how they vary for a return ticket, depending on how you plan on travelling.

In winter (June) prices are around 50% cheaper if you are just bringing a car, or 30% cheaper if you are towing a caravan.

You can also see that bringing a caravan will increase the price by around $1,000 – however this can vary substantially depending on just how big your caravan is. 

Couple + CarCouple + CaravanFamily + CarFamily + Caravan
Depart7 Jan7 Jan7 Jan7 Jan
Return11 Feb11 Feb11 Feb11 Feb
TypeNight SailNight SailNight SailNight Sail
Adults2222
Children--22
VehicleToyota CamryToyota LandcruiserToyota CamryToyota Landcruiser
Total Length-12m / 39 feet-12m / 39 feet
DogNoNoNoNo
Accommodation4-bed inside cabin4-bed inside cabin4-bed inside cabin4-bed inside cabin
Total Price (return)$1,897$2,916$2,295$3,314

Note: Prices are indicative only and were correct at the time of writing (December 2023)

You will be pleased to hear that all online bookings have a 48hr ‘cooling off’ period, which means that if you cancel your tickets within 48hrs of purchase then you will receive a full refund of the ticket value (as long as you purchased your ticket more than 7 days before your travel date). 

Please note that any amendment fees or payment fees that you may have incurred are non-refundable (just the ticket value). You can find more info about their fare types and T&Cs here.

Spirit of Tasmania passenger prices

Passenger prices underpin every Spirit of Tasmania ticket price.

While most people choose to bring a vehicle, this isn’t always the case, with many travellers picking up their rental car on arrival in Devonport.

As you can imagine, the passenger-only fare is the cheapest Spirit of Tasmania price option.

Spirit of Tasmania passenger prices are typically around $540 per person (adult) for a return ticket in summer, and around $280 in winter.

These walk-on fares are sometimes placed on sale (particularly during off-peak times) resulting in prices as long as around $140 return, and I also noticed that ‘last minute walk-on‘ fare reductions are occasionally made available – so it’s definitely worth checking the Spirit of Tasmania website and signing up to the newsletter to keep abreast of special offers!

Spirit of Tasmania cabin prices

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Deluxe Cabin
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - 4B Port

Booking a cabin is the most popular option for travellers that value their privacy, and unless you sleep like the dead on a night sail I would say a cabin is absolutely essential for a good night’s sleep. You’ll be pleased to hear that Spirit of Tasmania cabin prices are also very reasonable!

There are a number of different options:

  • Deluxe Cabin (from $499*) – Queen bed, ensuite, TV, twin windows, table and chairs, plenty of space
  • Twin Bed Porthole Cabin (from $199*) – Two single beds, ensuite, window
  • Four Bed Porthole Cabin ($199*) – Two bunk beds, ensuite, window
  • Four Bed Inside Cabin (from $149*) – Two bunk beds, ensuite
  • Three Bed Accessible Cabin** – One single and a bunk bed, wheelchair accessible ensuite, alarm button

All cabins include adjustable air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom, 230V power point, desk/chair, bedding, towels and soap.

Before covid hit the travel industry it used to be possible to book a ‘share’ cabin, however this is no longer possible and now all cabins are private.

Prices are indicative only, as they vary throughout the year (and can be lower when ‘on sale’) – but they give you a good idea of what to expect

** Accessible cabins are not available via the website and you will need to call them to check availability and make your booking

Spirit of Tasmania recliner chairs

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Recliner Chairs

If you feel like a cabin is overkill for your journey – especially if you’re a solo traveller – you may like the idea of booking a recliner on your day sail.

Recliners are like the chairs you see on an airplane in business class. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide great views, and the cinema-style design provides a lot of extra comfort compared to the public lounges.

Spirit of Tasmania recliner prices start from $39 on day sails, and on a night sail every traveller is provided with a recliner at no charge.

Using a free recliner on a night sail is a good way of saving money, but keep in mind that you will be sleeping in proximity to strangers who may snore or get restless in the night. If you’re a light sleeper I don’t recommend this option at all.

Spirit of Tasmania 'Day Ticket'

The last option to keep in mind is a ‘Day Ticket’.

These tickets are available on day sails only, and they are free.

When you select a Day Ticket you are essentially saying, “I don’t want any accommodation, and I’m happy to just walk around the ship and use the public lounge seating and other public facilities.

Spirit of Tasmania vehicle prices

Passenger and cabin prices are all pretty easy to understand, but where things get more complicated is your vehicle price. The reason for this is because there are only so many vehicles that can fit on the Spirit of Tasmania, and space – especially for large vehicles – is at a premium.

When making your booking online you will see that it asks you for the make and model of your car/van/motorhome, and the details of any vehicles you might be towing.

The critical information you need to provide here are the length and height of your vehicle(s).

When calculating the length make sure you include the drawbar and anything attached to the rear of your caravan eg. bike racks or a jerry can. They will then add the length of your caravan to the length of your vehicle to work out your total parking space.

When calculating the height, don’t forget to include anything on your roof rack as well. If you find that you are just over the 2.1m height threshold, you may want to reduce your tyre pressure to get you under – but please only consider this if it can be done safely.

I’d love to provide you with specific $s, however there are far too many combinations for me to give you all the prices, and you will need to create fake bookings to check for yourself. 

For a quick guide, check the table I provide above, where I show you prices for a standard 4WD towing a caravan in summer.

Important: Spirit of Tasmania check these heights/lengths, and if you under-report your vehicle dimensions you may need to pay more, or in the worst case scenario you may not be allowed to travel due to a lack of sufficiently large berths.

Spirit of Tasmania pet prices

If you love travelling with your furry friend then you’ll be pleased to hear that you can take your dog on the Spirit of Tasmania!

There are two options – using a kennel, or keeping your dog in your own vehicle. 

A kennel will cost you around $22 each way.

Leaving your pet inside your vehicle is free, but there is a specific process you must follow. I provide more information about this below.

How can I get a Spirit of Tasmania ferry discount?

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Couples
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Road trip 2

There are two ways to secure a discount on your Spirit of Tasmania booking.

  • Take advantage of their regular specials; or
  • Become a member of a Spirit of Tasmania partner

Regular Specials

The best way to find out about Spirit of Tasmania deals is to:

  • Check their website regularly
  • Follow them on Facebook
  • Sign up for their newsletter
  • Join their Sailors Club – You can only apply after you’ve made your return booking, but if you’re thinking of revisiting Tasmania it can save you money on future bookings.

Association Memberships

The following discounts are also available:

  • RACV – Members can save 10% on passenger fares
  • Big4 Holiday Parks – Members can save 5% on passenger fares
  • Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA) – Members can save 5% on passenger fares

Pets on the Spirit of Tasmania

One of the best things about the Spirit of Tasmania ferry to Tasmania is that, unlike a plane, you can bring your pet dog or cat with you!

There are two options – using the Spirit of Tasmania kennels, or keeping your pet in your own vehicle.

If you are bringing a dog you must ensure Fido has been Hydatid wormed within 14 days of sailing.

Spirit of Tasmania ferry to Tasmania - Pets

🚢 Option 1 - Pay for a Spirit of Tasmania pet kennel

During the sail pets are kept in cage kennels on a lower deck with excellent ventilation. 

Pet Attendants regularly check all animals staying in the kennels and fresh water is also supplied throughout the journey.

Bedding isn’t provided by the Spirit of Tasmania, and to help your pet settle in and stay warm on the open air deck it’s a good idea to leave their favourite blanket or chew toy in the kennel.

Unfortunately for safety reasons you can’t visit your pet during the sail ☹️

To learn more about bringing your pet on the ferry to Tasmania I found this video by the Spirit of Tasmania to be the best place to start, and for a traveller’s perspective this video by ‘Chasing Dreams‘ is really useful as well.

🚘 Option 2 - Use your own vehicle

Keeping your dog inside your vehicle is a great option if you have concerns about keeping your dog in a kennel, and how your dog will handle the sea crossing.

The Spirit of Tasmania neither promotes nor recommends this option, but it is permitted so long as you follow the correct process.

To do this you need to:

  1. During the online booking process select ‘0’ pets
  2. When you have completed your booking call the Spirit of Tasmania and tell them that you would like to keep your dog in your vehicle
  3. They will send you a disclaimer form that you need to fill in and send it back to them (email or post) at least 24hrs prior to sailing

Spirit of Tasmania staff will not be checking on your pet during the sail, so it is completely up to you to ensure their comfort, and that they have adequate ventilation and water to last the trip.

The ship may encounter rough seas, so it is very important that you make sure their water isn’t going to tip over. Toilet training is also recommended 💩😝

Spirit of Tasmania Boarding Process

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Geelong Ferry Terminal Aerial
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Geelong Terminal 3

The Spirit of Tasmania boarding process is very simple and easy to follow.

The team that greet you in Geelong have been helping travellers get their cars, campervans, caravans and motorhomes onto the ferry for decades and they have got the process down to a fine art.

  1. Enter Geelong terminal in your vehicle.
  2. Undergo the security and quarantine check (gas bottle check, inspection inside and outside the car, under-bonnet check, boat and fishing gear check, fridge check, esky check).
  3. Follow their instructions and drive to the ticket booth (remember to have your printed tickets and licence ready) and collect your boarding passes
  4. Follow the car in front until directed to enter the correct waiting lane (cars and small trailers on the right – caravans and small trucks on the left)
  5. Commence boarding up the ramp, following instructions (caravans go after cars) – toilets are available if needed
  6. Park your vehicle. If you have a manual then put it in ‘Neutral’. If you have an automatic then put it in ‘Park’
  7. If you have a dog you will then follow the instructions of staff to kennel your dog
  8. Leave the deck, remembering to pick up a flyer describing your deck number (so you can find your car when it’s time to disembark)
"I did a Night Sail recently - over and back - and getting the car on and off was easy. The staff are all friendly and very helpful."
Karen
Lap of Tasmania FB Group Member

Tasmania Quarantine

Here is a summary of Tasmania’s strict quarantine laws. For the full list click here.

You are allowed to bring…

You are not allowed to bring…

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Geelong Terminal 1
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Geelong Terminal 4
⚓ IMPORTANT – Before you leave your vehicle don’t forget to…
  • Close your side mirrors
  • Disconnect your electrics
  • Check that fridge/freezer is shut
  • Take your one allowed day bag
  • Put your car in neutral or park
  • If you are leaving your dog inside your vehicle for the journey make sure you leave enough water and that there is adequate ventilation
  • Lock all doors
  • Take note of the deck number

Where to stay in Geelong

Lots of travellers tell me they they were so glad they booked a night in Geelong before sailing on the Spirit of Tasmania – especially for a day sail with an early start.

It can make a big difference to not have to worry about traffic jams, and to start the boarding process fresh and without the stresses of a day on the road.

I’ve spoken with many travellers to get their recommendations for the best accommodation options in Geelong that are close to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry terminal and my recommendations are listed below (including distances and drive times to the ferry terminal).

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Caravan Parks in Geelong

  • Discovery Parks Geelong (15mins / 9km) – Check availability Promo Code: TASBINGO for 25% OFF
  • Tasman Holiday Parks Geelong (15mins / 9km) – Check availability
  • Barwon River Holiday Park (15mins / 8km) – Check availability
  • Eldorado Tourist Park (10mins / 7km) – Check availability
  • Geelong Showground (15mins / 9km) – Bookings essential on 5221 1707 (Mon-Fri, 8am – 4pm)

Hotels and Apartments in Geelong

  • Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong (7min / 5km) – Paid Parking (on-street free parking is often available though) – Check Availability
  • The White House (9min / 7km) – Free Parking – Check Availability
  • Quest Geelong Central (7min / 5km) – Paid Parking – Check Availability

Where to stay in Devonport

Spending a night in Devonport after your arrival is the perfect way to get your Tasmania road trip started. 

Kick back for a day or two, get a feel for your surrounds, and enjoy the laid-back vibes of this seaside city.

Caravan Parks in Devonport

B&Bs and Hotels in Devonport

  • The Grand on Macfie B&B – My favourite place to stay in Devonport. Gorgeous property, delicious cooked breakfasts, and perfect for exploring the region – Use my LAPOFTAS10 code and SAVE 10%Check availability
  • Waterfront Apartments – Perfect for  ‘luxe’ couples wanting spectacular water views on the banks of the Mersey River – Check Availability
  • Quality Hotel Gateway Inn – A great all-rounder hotel for couples and families, right in the heart of Devonport – Check Availability

🎉 Special Offer - The Grand on Macfie (Devonport)

Tasmania Itinerary 21 Days – Tasmania’s Best Bed and Breakfast Trail – The Grand on Macfie

The Grand on Macfie is your best B&B accommodation option for your first night in Tasmania!

Use my LAPOFTAS10 code online, or mention the Lap of Tasmania on the phone when booking your sumptuous king or queen suite at The Grand on Macfie and receive:

  • a generous 10% OFF room rates; and
  • FREE cooked breakfast 🍳

Click here to check availability

Things to do on the Spirit of Tasmania

You’ve done the hard work, now it’s time to relax and enjoy the cruise!

Entertainment Options

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Cinema
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Game Zone_

Cinema

There are two cinemas on board, showing latest release movies for both adults and children at multiple times throughout the cruise. It isn’t free, but it’s a great way to spend the time.

Live Music

Throughout the sail you’ll find musicians popping up to keep your toes tapping.

Reading Room

Want to get away from it all? The reading room is the perfect place to curl up with a good book.

Public TV

Chill out with some light TV entertainment at one of the many public TVs scattered throughout the ship.

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - The Pantry
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Top Deck Lounge Stools

Playground

This colourful and safe play space will be a magnet for the littl’uns. There’s slippery slides, a jungle gym and plenty of other fun things to keep them occupied.

Free Digital Magazines

In the 48 hours prior to boarding you can download as many premium magazines and newspapers as you like using the PressReader app, for later offline reading on your cruise or as you travel around Tasmania.

Kids Game Zone

Filled with arcade games and plenty of comfy lounges, your kids will have hours of fun.

School Holiday Entertainment

From December to April the Spirit of Tasmania makes things really special for the children on board, with musicians, face painters, entertainers and other exciting activities.

Internet and Phone Service

I recommend using your cruise on the Spirit of Tasmania to do a digital detox, but if you need to get online you’ll find WiFi is available in all public spaces for a fee.

Travellers tell me that Telstra has the best coverage for the crossing, with just a small section in the middle of Bass Strait where you will lose signal.

What to Wear on the Ferry?

In Tasmania the best way to dress for comfort is in layers – and this works just as well on the Spirit of Tasmania. Feeling warm? Simply remove a layer. Feeling cold? Throw on an extra layer from your day bag.

Get it Here: Tasmania Road Trip Packing List

Climate control is excellent in all public spaces during the day and you won’t need anything particularly heavy to stay warm. If you’re in a recliner for the Night Sail you’ll also be provided with a blanket which should be enough to keep you warm. If you plan on getting some fresh salty air on deck then I strongly recommend taking a warm jacket, as it’s going to be brisk – especially in winter. All cabins have adjustable climate control, and can take up to an hour for the new settings to take effect.

Baby-Changing Facilities

Baby-changing facilities are available at multiple locations across multiple decks.

Special Needs Passengers

Just because you have special needs does not mean a cruise on the Spirit of Tasmania is off limits.

They have the people and the equipment to help you embark and disembark safely, and the ship layout has been designed to cater for all passengers with special needs.

Let them know at the time of booking.

Food and Drink

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Tasmanian Market Kitchen
Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Bar 7 Communal table

Tasmania is renowned for its amazingly fresh and delicious food and drink, and you will get your first taste of this incredible cuisine at either the Tasmanian Market Kitchen (TMK) or The Pantry.

Antipasto plates, roast dinners, dessert platters, massive buffet, and heaps of options for the kids – they’ve got every base covered.

Still feeling hungry? The Spirit of Tasmania run a fantastic program called the ‘Flavours of Tassie‘, where you can taste a range of gourmet Tasmanian products while chatting with the producers themselves!

And when it’s time for a beverage or two you’ll love the extensive selection of premium Tasmanian beers, wines, ciders, spirits, and non-alcoholic options. Anyone for a Moo Brew? 😀

Tour Bookings

There is a Tourism Hub on the ferry where you can continue your holiday planning.

Staff can even make tour or accommodation bookings for you, so it’s all ready to go when you arrive in Tasmania!

National Parks Pass / Fishing Licences

If you plan on visiting Tasmania’s National Parks then a ‘Parks Pass’ is essential.

It’s easy to register online before you leave, but if you’ve forgotten or would rather do it face-to-face then you can sort it all out at the Tourist Hub.

At the same time you can also organise any fishing licences you may need.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted indoors, however there a number of designated smoking areas on outside decks.

Last-minute ferry checklist

Pro Tip  Check these items 2-3 weeks before departure.

Spirit of Tasmania Ferry to Tasmania - Check list

Buy your sea sickness medication – Travacalm or Kwells are popular over the counter medications. Ginger tablets or acupressure bands have also been found to help some travellers.

They are also very easy to order online:

Allow enough time to check in and board the ferry – The terminal gates open for quarantine checks 2.5 hours prior to departure, while boarding commences 1.5hrs prior to departure. Final check-in is 45 minutes prior to departure.

Plan your meals – There are plenty of meal options on the Spirit of Tasmania (see below), but to save money you might prefer to pack your own. Remember that Tasmania has strict quarantine laws that are enforced before you get on the ferry (see below for more info), so don’t pack something that is only going to get thrown out by the quarantine officers.

Worm your dog – All dogs travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania must be Hydatid wormed within 14 days of travel. At the quarantine checkpoint they will ask for evidence (eg. dated receipt, or vet’s note).

Mild sedation for your pet (if necessary) – If you are worried about how your dog will handle the crossing, see your vet and ask whether mild sedation is a good idea or not.

Plan your day bag – Every traveller on the ferry is allowed to take one bag on board (66cm x 46.5cm x 27.5cm, and no weight restrictions apply):

  • medications
  • sea sickness tablets
  • toiletries
  • food
  • camera
  • games for the kids
  • books
  • warm jacket
  • favourite pillow (for a Night Sail)

Prepare for the quarantine and security check:

  • Check your fridge, esky and/or bags and remove any prohibited food
  • Wash down your fishing and/or boating gear, and also your vehicle/caravan if they are muddy
  • Make sure your gas bottles are turned off, and fully secured

Make sure your tickets are easily accessible – You will be asked to present your tickets prior to boarding – this can be either a paper copy, or you can have a digital copy ready to show them on your phone

Disembarking and leaving the Spirit of Tasmania

Disembarking from the Spirit of Tasmania is super-easy and is a lot quicker than boarding the ferry – it is likely you’ll be on dry land in less than 30 minutes.

Disembarking happens in stages, and they will tell you exactly when your stage is planned to commence.

If you’re on a Night Sail you’ll get a wake-up call about an hour before the disembarking process starts.

If you want to eat breakfast on the ship I recommend getting up early as the kitchen gets very busy with people making coffees and buying snacks etc. the closer you get to arrival.

🚘 Plan your Tasmania road trip!

I hope you’ve found this guide useful in planning and booking your sail on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry!

If I’ve missed anything or you would like me to cover something in more detail please let me know as I am always looking for ways to improve my information and advice.

Are you interested in connecting with other travellers and Tassie locals?

I’ve got a fantastic community on Facebook who are super keen to help you with road trip inspiration and advice. 

It’s the perfect place to ask questions and to plan an awesome itinerary that perfectly suits your style of travel – Click here to join my Facebook group. 

If you’ve got any questions at all please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy road tripping!

Andrew.

Andrew Strikis

Andrew Strikis

Andrew is an award-winning travel writer and photographer from Tasmania. Over the last 10 years he has been an advocate for Tasmanian tourism, working with and supporting many of Tasmania's prominent organisations such as Tourism Northern Tasmania, Hobart and Beyond, and MONA. Together with his wife he enjoys exploring Tasmania by road, and he looks forward to helping others plan and enjoy their own Lap of Tasmania road trip.

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