A few days after Christmas we packed up Mum and Dad’s new SUV and piled in for the 3 hour drive to Port Melbourne before boarding the Spirit of Tasmania. We arrived early to allow enough time to grab some dinner, which was important given we were sharing the journey with two small boys who need to have blood sugar levels maintained at all times – especially when asked to wait quietly in a car for 90 minutes before we were allowed to drive on to the ship. We finally boarded and, after parking our car in the bowels of the vessel, walked the 5 flights of stairs up to our teeny tiny little cabin.
I’m surprised I didn’t take any photos of the cabin with my big camera but, luckily (or unfortunately), Kei managed to snap this gem on our way back that shows how we squeezed into the cozy living quarters.
A couple of tips for traveling on The Spirit of Tasmania:
- Pack an overnight bag and make it easy to access because they don’t mess around when they’re trying to move you from your car to your cabin. The cars are parked very tightly and there’s not much room to maneuver when everyone is trying to get to their cabin at the same time.
- Pack some medication to avoid sea sickness – even if you don’t think you’ll need it. We were blessed with two very smooth crossings but I was still surprised by the movement of the ship as we exited Port Philip Bay at around 11pm. At first I could hear the water sloshing in the toilet and then the movement became enough for me to reach for another pill. Thankfully, the kids slept through the worst of it.
- Be prepared to be woken at 5am by a loud speaker announcement. Although we were due to disembark at 6am, the process actually begins much earlier and I felt rushed to gather our stuff together. It didn’t help that Thomas slept through the announcement and all the activity. Poor kid didn’t even have time to brush his teeth.
We were blessed with great weather during most of our trip and the departure from Port Melbourne was no exception as, although it was a little chilly, we were able to witness an incredible sunset over the bay.
(Very) early the next morning, we drove off the ship on a mission to find breakfast in Devonport. Devonport, like most of Tasmania, often gives you the feeling of being transported back in time thanks to the prevalence Victorian architecture and the absence of modern buildings in some parts of the state.
We had breakfast next door to these beautiful terraces.
After breakfast we drove about an hour to Launceston where we enjoyed the first day of our Tasmanian adventure. But that’s for another post… I’ll be back with more stories from Tasmania soon.