Getting There in TasmaniaEdit This
Australia has three domestic airlines flying to Tasmania, VirginBlue, Jetstar and Qantas. Which you choose to fly will depend on their deals of the moment, or which one code-shares with your international carrier. Most flights to Tasmania depart from Syndey or Melbourne and arrive in Hobart. It is possible to fly into Launceston or even Devonport by plane, both of these destinations are reached from Melbourne.
Both airlines currently operate five flights a day. A direct flight from Sydney to Hobart takes two hours, but most flights will take three because you will connect through Melbourne. The flight time from Melbourne is one hour and ten minutes.
A typical fare previously used to be $A 270 return from Melbourne and $A 370 return from Sydney (21 days advance). However, as a result of more competition among airlines you can now easily get flights from Sydney or Melbourne for below A$100 each way.
Recently two new domestic carriers have commence operation in Australia, Jetstar (Qantas' low cost subsidiary) and Virgin Blue (formerly Richard Branson's Australian venture but now owned by a different publicly listed company). Both these airlines are aimed at the budget travel market, and may offer substantially lower fares on some flights, especially for last minute or web-only deals.
If you are travelling cheap, or you have a car, you can take an overnight ferry from Melbourne to Devonport. The price for a hostel berth varies between $A 106 and $A 136 one-way over the year, or it can be economical to book a 4 berth cabin if travelling as a group. The cost of bringing a car is $A 30-40.
The ferry leaves about 6 pm every second day (note: you must arrive earlier to board), arriving on the other side of Bass Strait at 8 am the next morning. Facilities on the boat include four restaurant, bar, pool and plenty of lounges. Also on board are souvenir shops and a visitors information centre.
A new transport option (started December 1999) is the DevilCat, a high-speed catamaran service that travels between Melbourne and the port of Georgetown - 70 km north of Launceston. The travel time is significantly faster - six hours - and the cost is only an extra $30 compared with the ferry. This option is good for someone travelling with a car who wants to make the crossing in the day-time (perhaps planning a night drive to the South or interior), but unless you are really pushed for time why not take the ferry and enjoy the ride.
As a personal note, I have taken the ferry on numerous occasions both as a child with my family and when travelling with a car, and I quite enjoy the experience. Air transport in Australia is safe and of high quality, and can often be the most economical for foreign travellers because of favourable domestic rates linked to an international flight, or because time is limited. However, if you aren't pushed for time and have a car, then the ferry is a pretty good option.
Could you please advise how do we find out for two senior couples +1x12 year dog to travel by boat 1 Toyota Land Cruiser & camper trailer , 1 Toyota Prado & Caravan from Melbourne To Tasmania Via Boat & what approx Cost may be. This Trip will be about Mid Febuary 2011 Many Thanks Frank Dowdle