Spirit of Tasmania fares

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 00:04
ThreadID: 106332 Views:3633 Replies:15 FollowUps:19
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Has anyone used the "Travel with a Cause" website to try to get cheaper fares on the Spirit of Tasmania - is it kosher or a scam/ripoff?
[I'm looking for an alternative to being to being ripped off by the prices on the main Spirit of Tasmania website]
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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 00:48

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 00:48
Can you get a discount, or does that amount go to a charity?
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Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 04:57

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 04:57
We worked with Blaze Aid over in Tassie last year and could have got a reduction in return fare. Never bothered, donated it to Blaze Aid.
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Reply By: Shaker - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 08:11

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 08:11
We have booked through them, saved about $100.00 & some of our fare went to charity.
What are you comparing the "Spirit of Tasmania" fares with to determine that they are a 'rip off'?

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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:17

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:17
I'm comparing the cost of being with or without a 4.8 metre camper trailer. No problems with the cost of the car or the cabin, but as soon as you put even something small on the back of the tow bar the price goes through the roof !!
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Follow Up By: Gnomey - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:30

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:30
It drives me Wild too Max but it's my understanding the cost of cars is subsidised by the feds and you pay full whack for a trailer. Our Tassie friends will probably know better than I do but i vaguely recall it's something to do with the ferry being treated as a highway extension. Why anything towed is treated differently doesn't make sense but it just might be the feds getting cute.

I have need of a small trailer to handle my inflatable boat. One trip there and back would be a lot more than the trailer is worth so I got a second one custom built and will leave the first one in Tassie with a mate. Don't imagine you have that option. :(

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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:53

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 09:53
I think you're right Mark, about the trailer not being subsidised, even though a large Winnebago or similar would be.
No, we don't have the option of a second camper trailer - have thought of leaving this one on the mainland all the time to save costs, but we also use it regularly in Tasmania during the summer, so need it both sides of Bass Strait - one of the penalties of relaxed island living I guess !
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:10

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:10
The subsidised fares were originally put in place after the Port Arthur massacres, to help stimulate dwindling tourism.
I guess that they don't see taking your own accommodation as much of a benefit compared to using B&Bs etc.

To determine if it is a rip off or not, you would have to check it against the cost of other shipping companies sea freight charges, you may be surprised!

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:37

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:37
Shaker, the subsidies have been on since the introduction of the latest ferries. I don't know if there were any subsidies for the previous ferry.

The commonwealth government just increased the subsidy a bit after the massacre.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:10

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:10
Rebates (paid by federal government, not Tasmanian state government).

The following rebates are available from 1 July 2013:

Up to $204 each way for cars
Up to $408 each way for motor homes
Up to $408 each way for eligible vehicles towing a caravan
Up to $103 each way for motorcycles
Up to $29 each way for bicycles
The rebates are reviewed annually.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:52

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:52
Does a rebate mean that we can apply for some of the fares back from the Government after we travel?

Phil
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 13:06

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 13:06
No Phil, Spirit take it off the fare they quote and charge, and claim it back on a monthly basis.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 15:10

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 15:10
It's right on the ticket. But you never know. Maybe I missed one.

Thanks

Phil
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Reply By: John and Regina M - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:29

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:29
I too am curious why u consider it a ripoff.

Has always seemed to be a realistic price to me. We did the sums some time ago and decided to leave our camper at home one year. Had a better and cheaper month holiday staying in great 4 and 5 star accommodation everywhere we wanted to go. For the same total price and no crappy camping areas, 'friendly' dogs, annoying old fart chatty neighbour's etc.

Sometimes it makes sense to look at the bigger picture. That's just us tho. Flexible when we tour.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:12

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:12
Yes, if you reckon it's a rip-off then price shipping your rig with one of the other shipping lines.
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:51

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 10:51
I must be missing something. I just had a look at the prices at Vehicle costs. I estimated that the trailer is no wider than 2 meters and the overall length is around 8 meters. That being the case you are actually taking up the space of two cars and naturally you should pay for two car spaces.

What am I missing?

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:05

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 12:05
Yep, you've actually confirmed my point.
Because cars are subsidised but trailers/caravans are not, it would actually be cheaper to take two cars than a car and camper trailer - go figure !!
But the underlying point is that for any Tasmanians travelling for a few months each year, as we do, the up front cost is anywhere from $1400 to $2400 depending on what you are towing, BEFORE you start your holiday - that's a bit more expensive than driving out of the garage in Melbourne and picking up your first tank of fuel.
Having said that though, it's a relatively small price to pay for living in paradise for much of the year :-)
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:28

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:28
Quote "Because cars are subsidised but trailers/caravans are not, it would actually be cheaper to take two cars than a car and camper trailer - go figure !!"

Motorhomers towing with an A frame make use of that idea. They remove the A frame from the towed vehicle, stash it in the motorhome, the husband drives the motorhome on and the wife drives the fully subsidised car on.

They do not publish a schedule of fees these days. You have to use their calculator to find out the fares. They published a fee schedule when I first went over and it was easier to figure out your costs with that. Back in those days qualifying vehicles had a fee for a vehicle up to 6 metres. When you exceeded 6 metres you paid that fee for the first 6 metres and then a fixed price by the metre (or part there of) over that 6 metres. If you multiplied that cost per metre by 6 it was a hell of a lot more than the fee for the subsidised first 6 metres of your rig.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 23:21

Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 23:21
Subsidy for cars is $208 and for cars towing a caravan $408.

"Because cars are subsidised but trailers/caravans are not, it would actually be cheaper to take two cars than a car and camper trailer - go figure !!"

I figure that two cars as $208 each is $408, or one car and one caravan $408. Seems fair enough to me. Does a camper trailer not come under the same classification as a caravan?

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 10:36

Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 10:36
No, that's not right.
I don't know how they work out the subsidies, but the price for my Hilux alone is $89 each way, but once I add the van (less than 5 metres) it goes up by $239 to total of $328.
For a trip taking TWO cars it would cost a total of only $178 each way, which is $150 less than car plus camper - that's the bit that doesn't make sense to me.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:15

Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:15
It might be worth asking them Wildmax. They don't show any itemisation on tickets (or didn't on ours) so we can't see what we are getting. From the Government website it is meant to work out the same.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:45

Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 12:45
No need to ask. I see there is a schedule of fees back on their web site - try this link

The standard fare for family vehicles is $89 if less than 5.3 m or $99 up to 6.0 m

If you tow a van or drive a motorhome it is $109 for the first 7.0 m plus $73 for each additional metre or part thereof.

If you tow a boat it is $308 for the first 7.0 m plus $73 for each additional metre or part thereof.

So it pays to car-top your boat.

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 13:57

Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 13:57
For anyone looking at the subsidies I have posted in this section, I have made a typo. $204 not $208 is correct as per my earlier post. My extension was correct on the correct amount.

Make your camper pedal power like a rickshaw and pedal it on board booked as a "car"? :O LOL

Mh
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Reply By: Ross M - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 13:33

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 13:33
For the distance traveled and the costs for each, if you think to Tassie is dear then don't even consider the very short trip to Kangaroo Island,
Not sure if KI was a penal colony, but in modern times they absolutely cane you.
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Follow Up By: Member - wicket - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:28

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:28
Has paid for their millions of profit !

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Follow Up By: AdrianLR (VIC) - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 17:40

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 17:40
And at least Tassie is worth every cent you spend getting there unlike KI that we found to be the most over-hyped place we've been camping (running for cover now before a few of the EO members who love the place respond :))
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Follow Up By: Mogul - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 20:09

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 20:09
Wicket,

Assuming an average of 2.5 sailings per day, it's a profit of around $9,000 per sailing. Lots of loss making sailings in the off season especially in winter.

It's hard to see how they are gouging and ripping off people.

For the investment made $4M profit isn't very good at all.
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:15

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:15
Thanks for your input everyone - and yes, Kangaroo Is ferry does sound a shocker based on reports from friends who used it late last year.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:32

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 18:32
Wildmax, I have seen reports where travellers have claimed they done better by phoning than by booking on line. Give that a try when you are ready to book.
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Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 19:11

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 19:11
I paid $1410 return [off season both ways] this trip [still in Tassie].
The charge for trailers Vans 5er's etc is because you get charged freight rate. If you are over 2.5m or long etc. MH that tow vehicles, one drives the and one drives the toad.
Used a chair o/n.

PS My combination is 13m overall.

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Reply By: Member - Chooky and Wobble - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 20:31

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 20:31
We are on our way to Tasmania this Saturday and back on the 5th of April. We found it cheaper to book through our travel agent. They also said if you stay for more than 5 or 6 weeks it can be about the same as motelling it, depending on where you stay.
We are taking a 14 foot van behind the BT50.

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Reply By: wbsl - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 21:16

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 21:16
Check your booking as a camper trailer is also subsidised, A lot cheaper tan towing an equivalent length box trailer
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Reply By: setsujoku - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 21:41

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 21:41
Back in 2009 we booked the ferry through Travel with a Cause and had no issues and would definitely use them again next time as they were the cheapest, and the process was no fuss.

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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 09:25

Friday, Feb 21, 2014 at 09:25
I'm not entering the $$ debate, but if your van or camper has a permanent bed you
receive the benefit of the subsidy. If you throw your swag in a box trailer you do not.
Day trips are cheaper than night I am told......oldbaz.
AnswerID: 526928

Reply By: Member - mepvic - Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 15:58

Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 15:58
We tried Travel with a Cause but they messed up the booking a bit. Had us in a cabin going over on the day cruise. Bit old to be needing a cabin during the day. Eventually gave us a price of $759 for a return trip with a Prado. No cabin going over, mid boat cabin coming back.

Tried the Spirit website, searched their Red Hot Deals and got the same trip over and back for $746

Not much difference. Could have stayed with Travel with a Cause but elected to go direct with Spirit. Lucky we did as we had to change the return booking by a few days. The Red Hot Deal was completely flexible and cost us nothing to change other than a phone call.

The Travel with a Cause booking when I checked later was not that flexible and we would have been up for quite a few dollars extra to change.

Enjoy the trip
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