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How Long Is The Ferry Ride From Melbourne To Tasmania


by Ardene Palomares



Embarking on a ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania is an incredible way to experience the beauty and diversity of Australia’s landscape. Situated off the southern coast, Tasmania is known for its stunning wilderness, pristine beaches, and charming cities. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, the ferry journey offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.


As you cruise through the Bass Strait, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the expansive ocean and rugged coastline. The ferry ride not only provides a convenient transportation option but also allows you to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature. From the moment you set foot on the ferry to the time you reach your destination, the journey is filled with anticipation and excitement.


In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about the ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania. We’ll cover departure points in Melbourne, arrival points in Tasmania, the duration of the ferry ride, ferry operators and their schedules, facilities on board the ferry, the scenic views you can expect during the journey, and helpful tips to make your trip as smooth as possible.


So pack your bags, prepare your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable ferry adventure from Melbourne to Tasmania!


Overview of the Ferry Ride

The ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania offers a picturesque journey across the Bass Strait, providing travelers with a unique perspective of Australia’s stunning coastal scenery. This scenic route is a popular choice for both tourists and locals alike, offering a convenient and enjoyable way to reach the island state.


Departing from Melbourne, the ferry takes passengers towards numerous arrival points in Tasmania, including Devonport and Hobart. These destinations offer a diverse range of attractions and activities, making them perfect starting points for exploring the wonders of Tasmania.


During the ferry ride, you will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the onboard amenities while soaking in the breathtaking views. The Bass Strait is known for its crystal-clear waters and fascinating marine life, and if you’re lucky, you may spot dolphins, seals, or even whales along the way.


The duration of the ferry ride can vary depending on the route and weather conditions. On average, the journey can take anywhere from 9 to 12 hours, providing ample time to unwind, dine, or catch up on some sleep before arriving at your destination.


The ferry ride is suitable for all types of travelers, whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure, traveling with family and friends, or even bringing along your furry companions. Most ferry operators allow pets onboard, although it is advisable to check their specific pet policies when making your booking.


Overall, the ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania offers much more than just transportation. It is an experience in itself, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of Australia’s coastline and prepare for the adventures that await you on the island.


Departure Points in Melbourne

When embarking on the ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania, you have several departure points to choose from, offering convenience and accessibility for travelers. These departure points cater to different preferences and provide easy access for those coming from various parts of Melbourne.


1. Station Pier:


Located in Port Melbourne, Station Pier is a popular departure point for the ferry ride to Tasmania. It is easily accessible by public transportation and offers ample parking facilities for those arriving by car. The pier is well-equipped with amenities such as cafes, restaurants, and waiting areas, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free experience before setting sail.


2. Spirit of Tasmania Dock:


Located at Station Pier in Port Melbourne, the Spirit of Tasmania Dock is dedicated solely to the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service. This modern and convenient location provides efficient check-in processes and smooth boarding procedures for passengers. It is easily reachable by public transport and offers parking facilities for those who prefer to drive.


3. Avalon Airport:


For those who prefer to fly into Melbourne and seamlessly transfer to the ferry terminal, Avalon Airport is an excellent departure point. Located approximately 50 kilometers southwest of Melbourne’s city center, Avalon Airport offers domestic flights from various parts of Australia. Shuttle services are available to transport passengers from the airport to the ferry terminal.


4. Southern Cross Station:


Situated in the heart of Melbourne, Southern Cross Station is a convenient departure point for travelers coming from all over the city. It is a major transportation hub, providing train and tram services, as well as direct bus connections to the ferry terminal. The station also offers a variety of amenities, including shops, cafes, and ticketing facilities.


5. West Gate Park:


Situated near the West Gate Bridge, West Gate Park offers a unique departure point for those who wish to combine their ferry journey with a visit to this picturesque park. The park provides stunning views of Melbourne’s skyline and serves as a popular spot for recreational activities. The ferry terminal is easily accessible from the park, making it a great option for nature enthusiasts.


When planning your journey from Melbourne to Tasmania, consider these departure points to find the one that suits your preferences and travel arrangements. Whether you’re looking for convenience, accessibility, or a unique experience, these departure points provide a seamless start to your ferry adventure.


Arrival Points in Tasmania

Once you step off the ferry from Melbourne, you’ll be greeted by the pristine beauty of Tasmania. This island state offers a range of arrival points, each providing unique experiences and opportunities to explore the wonders of Tasmania.


1. Devonport:


Devonport is a popular arrival point and gateway to explore the northern region of Tasmania. Located on the Mersey River, this vibrant coastal city offers a charming harbor, stunning beaches, and a variety of attractions. From here, you can easily access the stunning Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park or embark on a food and wine adventure along the Tamar Valley Wine Route.


2. Hobart:


This bustling capital city is often the preferred arrival point for many travelers. Hobart offers a unique mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. Famous for its stunning waterfront, historic sites such as Salamanca Place and Battery Point, and the iconic MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart provides endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the arts, food, and outdoor adventures.


3. Burnie:


Located on the northwest coast of Tasmania, Burnie is a vibrant city known for its rich industrial history and creative arts scene. This arrival point offers easy access to the stunning Tarkine Wilderness and the scenic coastal drive along the Great Western Tiers. Explore the Makers Workshop, a creative space showcasing local artisans, or simply relax on the beautiful beaches surrounding Burnie.


4. Launceston:


Situated in northern Tasmania, Launceston offers a blend of history, natural beauty, and vibrant city life. This arrival point is known for its beautifully preserved Colonial and Victorian architecture, scenic Cataract Gorge, and the iconic City Park. Take a stroll along the Tamar River, visit the nearby vineyards of the Tamar Valley Wine Region, or indulge in the delicious local produce at the city’s lively food scene.


Regardless of which arrival point you choose, Tasmania’s natural beauty and unique experiences await you. From exploring the picturesque coastline to immersing yourself in the vibrant arts and culture, Tasmania offers something for every traveler’s taste. So, get ready to make unforgettable memories as you step foot on this captivating island state.


Duration of the Ferry Ride

The duration of the ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania can vary depending on several factors, including the route, weather conditions, and the specific ferry operator. On average, the journey takes between 9 to 12 hours, providing ample time to relax and enjoy the onboard amenities.


The most common route for the ferry ride is from Melbourne (either Station Pier or Spirit of Tasmania Dock) to Devonport in Tasmania. This route usually takes around 9 to 10 hours, providing a comfortable overnight journey. Departure times are typically in the late afternoon or evening, allowing passengers to sleep onboard and wake up refreshed upon arrival in Tasmania.


Other routes, such as Melbourne to and from Hobart, may be offered by different ferry operators, and the duration can vary. These routes often take longer than the Melbourne to Devonport route, sometimes up to 12 hours or more. It’s essential to check the schedules and duration with the specific ferry operator you choose to travel with.


It’s worth noting that weather conditions can influence the duration of the ferry ride. During periods of rough seas or adverse weather, the journey may take longer than usual. Ferry operators prioritize passenger safety and may adjust the speed or routing to ensure a smooth and comfortable journey.


Regardless of the duration, the ferry ride offers an opportunity to unwind, enjoy onboard amenities, and take in the breathtaking views of the Bass Strait. Most ferries are equipped with comfortable seating, cabin options for overnight journeys, restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities. Whether you choose to relax with a book, savor a delicious meal, or watch the sunset from the deck, the journey is sure to be memorable.


It’s advisable to check the ferry schedules and book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons or holidays, as availability may be limited. Planning your trip in advance allows you to secure the desired departure and arrival times, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable ferry experience.


So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey as you sail across the Bass Strait towards the captivating beauty of Tasmania!


Ferry Operators and Their Schedules

Several ferry operators provide services for the journey from Melbourne to Tasmania, offering a range of schedules to accommodate different travel preferences. These operators ensure that you have options to choose from, allowing flexibility and convenience when planning your trip.


1. Spirit of Tasmania:


Spirit of Tasmania is the most well-known and established ferry operator for the Melbourne to Tasmania route. They offer both day and overnight sailings, with departures from both Station Pier and Spirit of Tasmania Dock in Port Melbourne. The ferry operates daily, with varying departure times throughout the week. The overnight sailings allow passengers to rest in comfortable cabins, while day sailings provide entertainment and dining options to make the journey enjoyable.

2. TT-Line Company Pty Ltd:


TT-Line operates the Spirit of Tasmania vessels and provides a reliable and consistent schedule for the Melbourne to Devonport route. Departures take place in the late afternoon or evening, allowing for an overnight sailing experience. The return journey from Devonport to Melbourne follows a similar schedule. It is advisable to check the TT-Line website for accurate and up-to-date schedules.

3. Other Charter Services:


In addition to Spirit of Tasmania and TT-Line, there may be occasional charter services or seasonal operators that offer the Melbourne to Tasmania route. These services may have different schedules and durations, so it’s important to research and check their availability during your desired travel period.

When planning your trip, it’s essential to consider factors such as departure and arrival times, duration of the voyage, and any stopovers or connections that may be required. This will help you choose the ferry operator and schedule that best suits your travel needs.


It is highly recommended to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or holidays, to ensure availability and secure your preferred departure and return dates. Online booking platforms or the websites of the respective ferry operators provide a convenient and secure way to purchase tickets.


Remember to consider any additional services or amenities offered by the ferry operators, such as cabin options, dining facilities, and entertainment. Some operators also provide pet-friendly accommodations, allowing you to bring your furry friends along for the journey.


By taking the time to research and select the ferry operator and schedule that aligns with your travel plans and preferences, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey from Melbourne to Tasmania.


Facilities on Board the Ferry

When embarking on the ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania, you’ll find a range of facilities and amenities on board to enhance your journey and make it as comfortable as possible. Whether you’re traveling during the day or opting for an overnight sailing, these facilities will ensure you have a pleasant experience throughout the voyage.


1. Seating Options:


The ferry offers a variety of seating options to suit different preferences. You can choose from comfortable reclining chairs in the seating lounges, which come with charging points for devices, or opt for premium lounge access for a more exclusive experience. Some operators also provide private cabins with bunk beds, perfect for those on overnight sailings who wish for a restful sleep.


2. Dining Choices:


Ferry operators understand the importance of good food during a journey. Most ferries have onboard restaurants or cafes where you can enjoy a delicious meal, snack, or beverage. These dining establishments serve a variety of options to suit different tastes and dietary requirements. From a la carte menus to grab-and-go options, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings while enjoying the stunning ocean views.


3. Entertainment and Activities:


To keep passengers entertained during the journey, ferries often provide a range of entertainment options. From live music performances and movie screenings to children’s play areas, there is something for everyone on board. Some ferries even offer gaming arcades, onboard shops, and duty-free shopping, allowing you to relax or browse for souvenirs during the sailing.


4. Pet-Friendly Facilities:


If you are traveling with your furry companion, some ferry operators offer pet-friendly facilities and accommodations. This allows you to bring your pets along and ensure their comfort during the journey. It is recommended to check with the specific ferry operator about their pet policies and any additional requirements for traveling with pets.


5. Accessibility Options:


Ferry operators strive to provide accessibility for all passengers. They offer facilities for individuals with disabilities, including wheelchair-accessible areas, accessible restrooms, and assistance services. It is advisable to notify the ferry operator in advance regarding any specific accessibility requirements you may have.


These facilities on board the ferry ensure that your journey from Melbourne to Tasmania is not only convenient but also enjoyable. You can relax, dine, and be entertained while taking in the scenic views of the Bass Strait. Whether you choose to socialize, have some quiet time, or engage in various activities, the ferry provides a comfortable environment throughout the voyage.


It’s important to check the amenities and facilities offered by the specific ferry operator you choose, as they may vary. This will help you plan and make the most of your time on board during the memorable sailing from Melbourne to Tasmania.


Scenic Views During the Journey

The ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania offers breathtaking scenic views as you sail across the Bass Strait. From the moment you depart to the time you arrive at your destination, you’ll be treated to stunning landscapes and captivating natural beauty.


1. Coastal Delights:


As you leave Melbourne behind, the ferry takes you along the southern coast. Be prepared to witness picturesque coastal vistas, with rugged cliffs, golden beaches, and crashing waves. The ever-changing colors of the ocean create a mesmerizing spectacle, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins frolicking in the water.


2. Bass Strait Islands:


The ferry route passes through the Bass Strait, dotted with several islands. These islands, such as King Island and Flinders Island, are known for their untouched beauty and diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out for seabirds soaring above, and if you’re an avid bird-watcher, you might catch a glimpse of rare and endemic species.


3. Sunset and Sunrise:


If you’re traveling during the late afternoon or early morning, you are in for a treat. The vast expanse of the ocean provides the perfect canvas for awe-inspiring sunsets and sunrises. Witness the sky transform into a palette of vibrant colors as the sun dips below the horizon or emerges from the sea, creating a truly magical experience.


4. Tasmanian Wilderness:


As you approach Tasmania, the landscape changes to lush greenery and stunning wilderness. You’ll be able to admire the untouched forests, rolling hills, and majestic mountains in the distance. The sight of this pristine natural environment is a reminder of Tasmania’s unique and exceptional biodiversity.


5. Port Arrival:


As the ferry approaches the arrival point in Devonport or Hobart, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the coastal towns and harbor. Glimpses of the city skyline, boats bobbing in the water, and bustling activity along the waterfront welcome you to Tasmania, igniting a sense of anticipation for the adventures ahead.


Throughout the journey, the ferry allows ample opportunities to take in the scenic views. Whether you choose to relax on the deck, gaze through panoramic windows, or capture the beauty through your camera lens, these captivating sights will create lasting memories of your trip from Melbourne to Tasmania.


Remember to pack your camera, high-quality binoculars, or even a sketchpad to capture the beauty of the landscapes you encounter along the way. Embrace the natural wonders of the Bass Strait and savor the scenic views that make the ferry ride a truly remarkable and immersive experience.


Tips for the Ferry Ride

Embarking on a ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania is an exciting adventure that requires some planning and preparation. To make the most of your journey, here are some tips to consider:


1. Book in Advance:


To secure your spot on the ferry, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or holidays. This ensures availability and allows you to choose your preferred departure and arrival times.


2. Pack Essentials:


Ensure you have all the essentials for the journey, including valid identification documents, appropriate clothing for varying weather conditions, any necessary medications, and any personal items you may need during the sailing.


3. Arrive Early:


Arriving at the ferry terminal early will give you enough time to check-in, go through security procedures, and familiarize yourself with the facilities on board. It also reduces the stress of rushing and allows you to settle in comfortably before departure.


4. Carry Entertainment:


While the ferry provides onboard entertainment options, you may still want to bring some personal entertainment, such as books, magazines, or electronic devices with movies, music, or games. This ensures you have options to keep yourself occupied during the journey.


5. Stay Hydrated and Packed with Snacks:


Although the ferry offers dining facilities, it’s a good idea to bring along some snacks and a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated during the sailing. This ensures you have access to refreshments at all times, especially during overnight journeys when onboard dining options may be limited.


6. Consider Motion Sickness:


If you are prone to motion sickness, it’s advisable to take appropriate precautions before the journey. This may include taking motion sickness medication, choosing a seat in a stable part of the ferry, or focusing on the horizon to alleviate discomfort.


7. Enjoy the Scenic Views:


One of the highlights of the ferry ride is the stunning scenery along the way. Take time to appreciate the panoramic views, relax on the deck, or find a cozy spot with large windows. Capture the beauty through photographs or simply immerse yourself in the experience of the journey.


8. Follow Safety Instructions:


Pay attention to safety instructions and guidelines provided by the ferry crew. Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency exits, life jackets, and other safety equipment. Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance during the sailing.


9. Check Pet Policies:


If you plan to travel with a pet, it’s essential to check the pet policies and requirements of the specific ferry operator. Make sure you have all the necessary documents, carriers, and supplies for a comfortable journey for your furry companion.


10. Relax and Enjoy the Journey:


Finally, remember that the ferry ride is not just a means of transportation but an experience in itself. Relax, embrace the tranquility of the seas, and enjoy the journey as you make your way to the beautiful island of Tasmania.


By following these tips, you can ensure a smooth, comfortable, and enjoyable ferry ride experience from Melbourne to Tasmania. Sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on a memorable adventure across the Bass Strait!



Embarking on a ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania is a remarkable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Australia’s coastline and discover the wonders of the island state. From the scenic views of the Bass Strait to the excitement of exploring Tasmania’s diverse landscapes, this journey offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience.


Whether you choose to depart from Station Pier, Spirit of Tasmania Dock, Avalon Airport, Southern Cross Station, or West Gate Park, each departure point provides convenience and accessibility for travelers from different parts of Melbourne.


Upon arrival in Tasmania, you’ll be greeted by a range of arrival points, including Devonport, Hobart, Burnie, and Launceston. Each destination offers its own array of attractions, providing endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.


The duration of the ferry ride can vary depending on the route and weather conditions, with an average journey time of 9 to 12 hours. Throughout the voyage, you can make use of the facilities on board, such as comfortable seating options, dining choices, entertainment, and pet-friendly accommodations.


As you sail across the Bass Strait, be prepared for breathtaking scenic views. From the coastal delights and Bass Strait islands to stunning sunsets and Tasmanian wilderness, the journey offers a visual feast that will leave a lasting impression.


To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, it is recommended to book your ferry tickets in advance, pack essentials, arrive early, and take necessary precautions for motion sickness if needed. It’s also important to follow safety instructions and guidelines provided by the ferry crew.


In conclusion, the ferry ride from Melbourne to Tasmania offers not only a convenient mode of transportation but also an adventure filled with natural beauty, relaxation, and anticipation for the wonders that await you on the island. So, pack your bags, prepare your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey across the Bass Strait to experience the magic of Tasmania.