Getting to Tasmania from Melbourne

March 10, 2015

Since at least 40% of Tasmania consists of National Parks and reserves, it’s the ultimate place to get away from it all, experience the great outdoors and relax. A self-driving campervan or motorhome adventure makes the perfect way to explore this island-state of mountains, beaches, animal sanctuaries and quaint towns.

Tasmanian Freedom Camp

Lake Mackintosh Freedom Camp

Driving is easy on good roads connecting all of the top tourist spots. Some free campgrounds and over 50 commercial ones are located in strategic positions all over the island. Many of the best places to see and experience, however, are often located in out-of-the-way places with little or no accommodation available. A campervan provides the perfect solution to those sites.

You can rent a campervan or motorhome from Hobart, but if you own your own or want to bring one from the mainland as part of a longer adventure, you’ll need to use the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. The ship sails between Melbourne and Davenport. A trip takes nine to eleven hours either at night or during the day.

Staying in your campervan while on the ferry is not permitted, however the ship provides other accommodation options. You many reserve a cabin or simply rent an ocean recliner set in a private lounge. Blankets and pillows are furnished and toilets are nearby. You can also watch a free movie, explore the gift shop, buy munchies at a snack bar or visit the gaming lounge. Ferry restaurants offer dining and you can also enjoy a drink at one of several bars. If you haven’t already planned your self-drive tours, this is a good time to do it as the “Spirit” also provides tourist information on board.

Nelson Waterfall, Tasmania

Nelson Waterfall, Tasmania

Ferry prices vary depending on the size of the campervan and the time of year. Lowest fares are in the off-season, generally between July 1 and November 30. Check Spirit of Tasmania Website for booking and pricing details. To make a reservation go to “booking”, click on “vehicle”, then select “motorhome or campervan”.

Once on the island, there are any number of self-drive routes to take. Nineteen National Parks provide access to mountains, beaches, rainforests and wilderness. If you are interested in flora, fauna and animals unique to the island, such as the Tasmanian Devil, check out the reserves and sanctuaries around the island. There is a self-driving wine tour in Tamar Valley. In the north, Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake are popular hiking places. On the east coast, Freycinet Peninsula with its Wineglass Bay and Hazard Peaks is one of the most beautiful areas in the state. Explore the history of Port Arthur and surrounding areas where convicts were transported from England and forced to settle the island.  Have a look at our online video on to give more inspiration to your self-drive holiday in Tasmania.

Cradle Mountain National Park

Cradle Mountain National Park

Whatever your interest or length of stay, a campervan allows you to optimize your visit. Self-driving Tasmania is the way to go!  To get an idea of prices to hire a camper from Hobart or on mainland Australia, fill in our easy online quote request, or send us an email to [email protected].

We have a range of other online videos which you may find useful if visiting Tasmania is part of a longer trip in Australia like exploring the stunning coastline from Sydney to Melbourne, or Melbourne to Adelaide.

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