For those who tour Australia by road in their own, or a rented, vehicle, one of the most practical ways of crossing Bass Strait to Tasmania was by ferry.
This was traditionally done on the thrice-weekly Spirit of Tasmania which not only ferried passengers from Melbourne to Devonport on the Tasmanian north coast but also their cars.
Melbourne to Devonport
The Melbourne-to-Devonport ferries cross Bass Strait for the trip to Tasmania with schedules that may change with fluctuating demand.
More cruise ships than ferries
The Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II more cruise ships than ferries not only had sleeping accommodation but also a variety of amenities and features such as restaurants, bars, swimming pool, sauna, nightclub, and casino to make the Bass Strait crossing a pleasant experience.
Spirit of Tasmania III
On January 13, 2004, a new Spirit of Tasmania began a service between Sydney and Devonport. After just about two and a half years, as a result of mounting losses, it was decided on May 5, 2006, to discontinue this service and sell the ferry Spirit of Tasmania III.
The Spirit of Tasmania III made its last voyage from Sydney on August 27, reaching Devonport the following day.
The two remaining Spirit of Tasmania ferries continue to ply between Melbourne and Devonport.
Current schedules, prices and booking information are available on the Spirit of Tasmania website.