A trip on the Spirit of Tasmania

We arrived early in Port Melbourne and found the wharf very easily coming in from Ballarat. We parked nearby at no cost and adjacent to a parkland along the water’s edge. We had a late lunch before going to a walk to the ship and check out the actual road in for boarding etc.

The simple directions from Ballarat

Hop onto the M8 from Ballarat
Then onto the M1
Turn off (left) at Todd Street – that goes around and under the highway. You’ll see a sign for the ship to go left, we went straight ahead to the end of the road where it turns left and you are
On Boulevard where we parked the motorhome.
BTW We left Ballarat at 11.45am and parked at 1.45pm. Plenty of time for lunch and a familiarisation walk along the walk and the road we’d end up taking to get to the ship before the gates open at 4.30. We didn’t start the motorhome to join the queue until about 5.15pm.

Around the Port

There are some nice little cafes near the wharf and in the opposite direction to where we parked there is a shopping mall judging by the signs. Since I am deaf and will be driving the car myself whilst Rob is driving the motorhome, I went up to the gate house and specifically asked what happens so that there was no confusion since I imagine with that with the noise of all the vehicles and the number of people getting on, that I could have difficulties hearing instructions enroute. As it turns out, everything runs very smoothly and efficiently as far a knowing where to go and when. The only time I needed to listen was when 2 custom inspections occurred. Once I explained that I was deaf and that I needed to lip read they were patient with me and made sure I could see their faces. (I can hear but I didn’t want to have ANY misunderstandings!)


Loading starts at 4.30 and outside gates close at 6pm. It all went quite well for the first 20 minutes and then the wait really started. I managed to stay right behind Rob nearly all the way, basically until just before we got onto the ship, then we split to go to different locations. We were even on different decks by the time we parked our vehicles. All in all it took 90 minutes me for to get from the gate to my parking spot on the ship. It took Rob another 20 minutes. BTW don’t think that you can come in late and be the first off. That’s not the case at all – it is almost last in - last off!

Find your spot

Once on board, find your seat or cabin. There are plenty of tv’s scattered through the ship. Most of the socializing occurs on levels 7 and 8 as are most of the cabins. The restaurants, bars and the movie theatre are on level 7 the reclining chairs are on 8.

The cabin

We had booked an overnight trip and decided that a decent night’s sleep would be worth the investment of a cabin room.

The room is basic but adequate. We had a four berth cabin to ourselves and so I folded the top bunks up against the wall. We did have a private ensuite with shower and toilet, including towel, soap and floor mat. There is a small hanging space with coat hangers near the door.

I would have liked the addition of a chair to lounge in private but it wasn’t hard at all to read on the bed though there was no bed light only the room lights.

The actual trip

We had booked an overnight trip and decided that a decent night’s sleep would be worth the investment of a cabin room.

We had a very pleasant voyage and we were fortunate as it was a very gentle swell the whole way. We met up with the people we met whilst parked at Port Melbourne and socialized with them for an hour or so. Then Rob watched the end of a kid’s movie and the beginning of the next movie which he didn’t like so eventually he gave up. None of the movies or televisions were captioned and so that leaves me out. Instead I grabbed a book and spent some time relaxing in our cabin.


Disembarkation is slightly quicker with another customs check. You will have a hold up if you have used fishing gear within 2 weeks. Don’t forget to pick up your gas containers etc.

Joining up again.

We met up at just near the exit gates in Devonport. We decided to stay separate for now and wait to see just what we were going to be doing as we were trying to get in touch with friends who were staying in Devonport for a while and they were not responding to our phone calls at that time. We found Maccas and decided to have a cuppa as made phone calls to decide when and where we were going.


  1. Hi Michelle, Interested in your blog. What did you mean by "don't forget to pick up your gas containers?"

    1. All gas containers including butane cylinders have to be handed in when you embark on the ship for safety reasons. Thanks for dropping by, I hope you enjoyed reading my blog!


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