Tasmania Road Trip Part I

spirit_of_tasmania_shipThis is part I of our road trip around the apple isle, the first time in Tasmania for my partner and for myself. For those who don’t know Tasmania it is Australia’s most southern state and not physically attached to the main Australian land mass, i.e. it’s an island state. Its closest Australian state is Victoria and they are separated by a sea known as the Bass Straight. It is about 250km wide at its narrowest point and averages about 50m in depth. It is notorious for being quite rough because of its shallow depth and early in the 20th century many ships were lost during the crossing to Tasmania.

After our brief sojourn in Sydney we flew to the port side city of Melbourne (capital city of Victoria) to catch a ferry from Melbourne to Port Dennison in Tasmania. This would be our first time on such a large ocean going vessel and I have to say I have discovered it is by far my most favourite way to travel. If you have been reading my posts I am sure by now you have worked out that I am not exactly a ninja traveller, I don’t like heights, I get seasick, I don’t like flying, I don’t like being away from home too long etc etc. However I love new places and people and experiences it’s just the actual travelling I don’t like, endless waiting and sitting it makes me crazy!

Sea Travel To Tasmania

With the prospect of getting seasick we paid the extra expense and booked a cabin with 2 single beds on The Spirit of Tasmania. I figured if I am going to get sick and throw up I am going to do it in privacy without anyone watching me. So with feelings of excitement and trepidation about the next 12 hours or so we checked in and prepared for the night time crossing.

Before we could board the ship we had to wait for cars and trucks to be loaded as they must be very unruly and need time to settle in for the 11 hour crossing. The bow of the ship opens up and I was amazed how many trucks and vehicles it swallowed up before 600 hundred passengers were allowed to board.

Night Time Crossing

We opted for the night time crossing even though I knew we would not see anything once we were at sea proper, there is just something romantic and exciting about travelling at night. The first few hours of the voyage were quite exciting. We watched the port of Melbourne recede into the distance as the sun set and then watch the lights of Melbourne begin to appear before disappearing over the horizon. We then had a lovely meal of Atlantic salmon and Tasmanian beef and salad at the Leatherwood Restaurant and then a few beers in the main bar.

At this point we were well onto the sea proper and the ship did start to roll a little and I could feel the beginnings of sea sickness begin to stir. We headed back to our cabin for a shower and to retire for the evening. We had the luxury of a portal in our room but could see nothing it was perfectly dark outside. A glass of water beside my bed reminded me that we were on a ship rolling at sea as the water would seem to magically climb the sides of the glass.

Bass Straight Adventure

After a busy 2 days in Sydney we were exhausted and as soon as our heads hit the pillow we were fast asleep and awoke to the ship pulling into Port Dennison in Tasmania. A great way to travel and all feelings of sea sickness banished. Sure the bathroom was too small and the bed was too small for a big doofus looking guy like me but the freedom to move around the ship and eat in a restaurant with good food far outweighs these modest cons.

Click here for part II

Click here to visit the Spirit of Tasmania Website

About Peter

Walkabout Editor and Writer and the administrator of the Walkabout Travel Network, Peter says "All these pages are yours, use them wisely and use them in peace!" We think Peter watches far too many movies!

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