Friday, January 10, 2020

Tasmania Travels. Melbourne to Devonport

With a couple of weeks off over Christmas and New Year, we decided to head out of town on an extended road trip. Way, way out of town (overseas, even 😆), we went to Tasmania. 
This wasn't a spontaneous holiday, it was a well-planned, advance purchased, much-researched kind of trip for our family of four because we wanted to see as much as we could in the time we had.

Tassie is so close, it's almost like an extension of Victoria. You can even drive there - and we did!

The first thing I did was purchase an RACV Personal Membership for $36. This gave me access to discounts on a few fares, like the Spirit of Tasmania, Gordon River Cruises and West Coast Wilderness Railway and the National Parks Pass (not sure if this pass is still discounted).

I booked the 'Spirit' way back in May, then the cruise and railway later in the year and ended up saving a few hundred dollars on tickets!
I also bought a 30-day Digital Entertainment Book for the Launceston area, as it's a great way to get discounts when travelling around.

Driving distances calculated, accommodation booked, itinerary printed - we were good to go.

DAY 1.
We headed down to Station Pier early one morning, along with about 500 other vehicles (including Scooby Doo and the gang, I think), but soon enough we had parked our car and taken our day packs to our cabin. 
Melbourne to Devonport

We could have just sat anywhere on the boat, or booked recliner seats up the front, but with 2 kids in tow, we decided a cabin would be the most comfortable option for the day cruise. We were thrilled to find ourselves located on the 8th deck, with our porthole overlooking the bow. 
Spirit of Tasmania

Spirit of Tasmania

We bid farewell to Melbourne and set off exploring the ship. The twin cinemas beckoned immediately, so the kidlets dragged us in to see The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. If only they were a few years older, we could have watched Bohemian Rhapsody or A Star is Born on the other screen. 
That killed a bit of time, then we had an early lunch that we had brought from home and some of our ginger stash to avoid seasickness. (Remember to eat any fruit before you board, due to quarantine restrictions.) 
We visited the tourist hub desk to grab some brochures and purchased a couple of Tiger Track packs. These contain a booklet to collect cool stamps from various towns, attractions and information centres right around Tasmania.

Spirit of TasmaniaSpirit of Tasmania

A walk around the decks, bars and lounges kept us busy for a while. Purple stairs, blue lifts, green stairs, orange lift, blue stairs, orange stairs - it was a game to see if we could ever remember our way around.

At 4pm, we headed to the Terrace for a cheeky glass of Tasmanian wine (me, not the kids) and a packet of chips and sat back to listen to the live entertainment - a singer/guitarist playing a mix of her own songs and some well-known covers that even had my kids singing along. It was like being in a seaside pub on a Sunday afternoon.
Spirit of Tasmania Bass Strait

Into the video game arcade for some adrenaline pumping motorcycle and car racing, before heading back to our cabin to collect our bags and begin the disembarking process at sunny Devonport. 

The journey was smooth sailing and we kept ourselves busy enough to not get bored for the 11 hour journey. Having a cabin to leave our day packs in was the best thing. We may have even snuck in a Nanna nap during the day. 

Melbourne to DevonportWhat: Spirit of Tasmania
Where: Station Pier, Port Melbourne

Why: road tripping on a boat

When: Daily 

How much: varies 

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