With all the amazing trails popping up in Tassie over the last few years, you’ll no doubt be planning a trip down to the Apple isle pretty soon… only problem is 200 km of water in the way called Bass Strait. Yea OK so you could fly, but what if you’re in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, hate packing your bike and gear into an impossibly small box and dealing with airline baggage rules and overweight charges… Also if you have an e-bike check with your airline as we have found that e-bike batteries are not allowed to fly on regular commercial flights and have to be shipped via a “dangerous goods” carrier. Gnarly…

So… The Spirit of Tasmania is your solution.

The Spirit of Tasmania runs daily crossings from Melbourne to Devonport and you can choose to cruse either in the day or overnight. We have used the Spirit to get to Tassie a couple of times now and have found that the overnight trip works best. Drive down to Melbourne and straight onto the boat around 6pm, hang out, have dinner and a beer, then arrive in Devonport at 6am with only a couple of hours drive to your favourite Tassie trails.

There are a few options and prices available but the main difference comes down to where you want to sleep. A basic daytime crossing for two people with a car starts from around $250 each way, so it’s possible to make your crossing way cheaper than two flights and a car hire. Even though the night crossing is a little more expensive we found it more convenient, especially if you need to add extra accommodation before and after a day crossing. Night crossings start around $350 one way but this price only includes a recliner chair for sleeping… So for an extra $139 grab a cabin with comfy beds and a private bathroom. So the total return trip is now around $1000, which still works out cheaper than flying, and you get to pack all your gear, multiple bikes and whatever else in your own car for the trip.

Spirit has a bunch of onboard restaurants, bars, shops and a movie theatre to keep you entertained, plus a stack of lounges and spots to hang out… There’s wifi on the boat but we found our phones still had good coverage way out into Bass Straight.

When you arrive in Devonport grab a quick breakfast from our favourite spot, the Laneway cafe, they are open early for the boat arrival. Then it’s an easy two and a half hour drive to Derby via Launceston or three and a half to Maydena, either way you’ll be riding before lunch.

You can check out all the info and book your trip at www.spiritoftasmania.com.au, so get packing and head over to Tassie next weekend…