Spirit of Tasmania

Submitted: Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 13:50
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Hi all,

We are currently in Victoria (we are travelling Australia with the 2 kids) we hope to travel to Tassie in early May. Its going to cost a small fortune on the boat as we are approx 11m long (80 series and 23foot van), we plan to stay at least 3mths perhaps more - time is not an issue (how good it feels to be able to say that!!!!!). Our questions are:

Do we travel on the spirit at night or during the day????

The girls are 7yrs and 8yrs -

We can only afford the "recliners'"

Also what are some good places to visit with the kids? they both love nature ect and yes were are going to visit the Cadbury factory (This is all Racheal is hanging out for!!! that and the snow)

any feedback is appreciated.

Cheers
Caroline
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 14:11

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 14:11
Caroline, I'm not sure there are day sailings in May. You may need to check the website. Currently advertising $99 day tickets but I
think they run out in April......oldbaz.
AnswerID: 350571

Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:49

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:49
Hi Oldbaz

Didn't realise that I will have to check it out, Thanks
Caroline
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Reply By: Jarse - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 14:14

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 14:14
Caroline, I thought day sailings finished around April.??

We travelled on a night sailing in April 07, but had an inside cabin on the way over and a porthole cabin on the way back. We managed to get a (slight) discount on these via their website.

During the night we wandered around the ship, and based on some of the things we saw, were glad we took a cabin. (Mostly misbehaviour and quite a bit of noise in the seat areas).

Having said that, it was quite an enjoyable experience. The food was reasonable quality and moderately priced in the bistro. We splurged on the way home and ate in the restaurant. The food there was quite good (and priced accordingly).

Would we take a caravan over again? Not at the prices they charged. But the experience was fantastic.

Places to go:

Tahune Air Walk
Arthur River Cruise (Very entertaining, with BBQ lunch)
ABT Railway from Strahan to Queenstown (coach return)
Ben Lomond (snow). The drive up is breathtaking.
Bruny Island. If you like oysters (like my 2 do) stop at "Get Shucked". The girls told me they are the best oysters they've ever tasted...
Lake Pedder. Take a walk across the dam wall.

There are so many places that it's unlikely your kids will be disappointed. We spent a month there, and barely scratched the surface! We plan to go back but this time we'll fly/hire a camper or mobile home. The ferry is just too expensive for caravans IMHO.

Wherever you go, you'll thoroughly enjoy it. I know we did!
AnswerID: 350573

Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:15

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:15
I would definitely add Dismal Swamp and it's ride for kids, Zeehan and the mining museum and a cruise up the Gordon and to Sarah Island Gaol from Strahan, and Stanley.

If I had a caravan ( instead of a camper), I would book the $99 seats then sleep in the van ;-) No one would ever know.

Or ..the sleepers are not much more than the recliners. Also if you book 3 sleepers in a 4 berth, they won't book the 4th. So you could do one cheap seat and 3 sleepers or even 2 sleepers in a dual cabin, and 2 cheapies, lots of dual cabins are 4 berth with the top 2 bunks folded up.

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Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:20

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:20
Forgot to mention the other thing is you could sleep 3 by booking 2 and taking an inflatable matress in a double room.

Normally I would not be so cheap but given the outragous rip off with the van you get 9 hours each way to think about how to get better value.

I would definitely reccomend a sleeper with kids though. Take it is shifts if necessary.
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:51

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:51
Hello,

Thanks for all this valuable info!!!! don't reckon any of us would cope too well not getting any sleep (especially me!!!)

Yes its is expensive on the ship thats why we figured we would stay a few months. And by the info shared here there's heaps to see and do.

Cheers
Caroline
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 14:14

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 14:14
Jarse, in 2006 it cost us a bit over $1,200 for the day crossing and night return (peak and shoulder). Divide that by the seven weeks we spent there is around $24-25 per day. With so many good free camp sites, i can't see any economy in not taking your own van. I don't know the cost of hiring to put that into the equation. We also had the added cost of getting from the West and return, but did some touring each way.

Caroline, We often left the van and did day tours without having to worry about the width of the road or the turn around in the car park, so to maximise the benefit, made these very full days; not something i would do with children. My notes do not say what was done with or without the van.

I felt six weeks was a bare minimum for a quick "Taste of Tasmania" tour - i allowed seven to leave room for a bit of visiting people. I have heard people say they've spent three months, with heaps more still to see.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Jarse - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:37

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:37
Oh I forgot to add:

I think you sent me a stack of information, Motherhen, when we were planning our trip back in 07.

We found it essential, and thanks again!!
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 13:54

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 13:54
Hi Jarse, yes i did. Glad you found it useful. I'm sure Caz and family will have a wonderful time, and her children are sure to experience snow.

Mh
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Reply By: Foxhound (WA) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:10

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:10
We went over in early June last year,took our 20Ft van and Navara ST-R. Travelled at night with a cabin and with pensioner discount cost around $1200 return trip. Sorry, but the Cadbury factory does not do tours anymore. Regards.
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Follow Up By: The Geriatric Gypsies - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:21

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:21
foxhound not quite right
at cadbury you now sit and watch a dvd and a girl gives a talk about the factory then you recieve your box of chockies and then go into the shop costs though but chocky is cheap in shop we did this last wednesday

steve
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Follow Up By: Boobook2 - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:08

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:08
We did it last week too. IMHO it is a rip off. It is a cynical way of offloading their out of date and seconds stock. And they charge you $8.00 per head for the privalege! Add that up and you get a lot more chocolate at coles for the less bucks.

Imigine going to coles and paying $32 to get in then you get 20% off the old and mislabled chocalate and you will have a similar experience.

RIP OFF
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Follow Up By: Member - swagman(VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:45

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:45
i went there the week before,i thought the same,no tour ,video instead and only the chocolate with no paper wrappers , were cheap you could buy a lot of chocolate in the supermarket especially when they have specials on and still be in front
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 23:32

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 23:32
There are a couple of small chocolate factories that have 'walk through' mini tours - all free. We gave Cadbury a big miss because of the fee.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:56

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:56
Hi All,

I do believe Cadbury stopped the "tours" in April last year due to the workplace health and safety. I knew you could buy discounted chocolate however I am very disappointed to hear that it's out of date..................... figured that they discounted because there were no freight fees or perhaps wrong labeling - how odd.

We are in Shepparton at the moment and have gotten some really good deals at the SPC factory (I learnt the other day what SPC stands for - Shepparton Preservative Company - you will all sleep better knowing that wont you?? - the things you learn).

Cheers
Caroline
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Reply By: The Geriatric Gypsies - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:25

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:25
goodday matt and caz
we are currently in tassie what a great place so much to see, we only came over for 6weeks and now wish we had at least another 3/4 weeks lots of things to see and do ,will be getting cold when you get over here and somethings will be slowing down

steve
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:45

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 15:45
Hi Caroline

We went over on a day crossing in Feb, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Returning in April, we had no choice but night, although others that extended got day crossings back at later dates as it seems they put them on at peak times. My husband felt we couldn't afford a cabin, but i felt it necessary and we got a lovely porthole cabin with a good bathroom. I was glad of it as it was a very rough night and we slept without any hint of sea sickness (we both have a history of poor sea legs).

Do your children enjoy walking? You need to walk up or down to all the waterfalls and sights. Check out my blogs, and if you see anything that interests you, MM me.

I agree that with the cost, spend some time there, and be prepared for it to get cold. My husband hasn't experienced snow, but we missed out. We had a stiff frost, but it didn't snow until the day after we got to the mainland. My daughter spent a year in Tassie including a winter as the Ferryman on the Pieman River (your rig is to long). It snowed on Cradle mountain in December.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:58

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:58
Hi Motherhen

Thanks for the info, will definately check out your bloggs

Cheers
Caroline
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Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:02

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:02
last year I went with my son Had a cabin but by the time we got on, (night cruise) had dinner, looked about, watched the movie, spoke to some friends we realy only had less than 5hrs in our cabin as your up before 6am from memory I would not worry about it save the $ for later.
when I booked it was cheaper as a than as a patrol (gov subsidy?) has to have bed & fridge.(our Patrol is a 6wheeler 7.5mtrs cost $69.00 last Easter) the guy that told me to book as a camper booked he's landcrusier in as a camper & still towed he,s caravan & it was a tri axle

The Cadbury factory has a tour BUT its not the good old tour, so check if the old tour is back on as the Kids will be boarded with the NEW one

The Snow, if you go to one of the ski fields its like going back in time, my son could not believe it, I told him it was like that at 40 years ago, I am so old now & that proved it

When at go to Australia's longest running play (near the wharf & timber mill) kids will love it, but tassie has so much to see & do. Tassie also has some of the toughest 4wding you can do so be prepared
regards Vince
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Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:05

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:05
Cheaper as a Camper (don,t know what happened)
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Follow Up By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:10

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:10
The play is at strawn? (south west)
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:43

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:43
Spent 7 weeks in Tassie 12 years ago and loved it (time to go again). The play at Strachan, as Vince says near the wharf and timber mill, was one of the highlights. I think its called "The Ship that never Was" or something like that. Kids will love it.

Other places and things to do....The Bay of Fires and the NE corner have some good coastal camping spots, but the water is cold. The Hastings Caves and thermal pool are great. Climb the Nutt at Stanley.

Our favourite camp was a tiny little rural caravan park at Mole Creek; basic facilities but a fast flowing stream where platypus could be seen morning and evening. Just wonderful.
Cheers,
Val.
J and V
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Reply By: wato35 - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:04

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:04
We went across during the day, the recliners are OK for awhile, then your butt goes numb. You will not get a good nights sleep. Heaps of people snoring around you as well. Day crossing might be a bit boring for the kids, but they do show 3 or 4 movies during the day in the theatre (which is where the recliners are). They also have TV's all around the ship. You can buy food, from pies etc to a full sit down meal. Hope this hepls.
Wato35
AnswerID: 350594

Reply By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:13

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:13
Hi Caz,
We went over July 05. With the kids I wouldn't go with out a bunk room. The seats are pretty noisy swaying past them my thoughts were im glad we booked a room. We got caught in a storm and the waves were smashing. I went to sleep as my usually iron stomach quickly went sour. Make sure that heater works. We froze. Want to go back in summer time.
Sharon
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Reply By: Seakarvan - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:35

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 16:35
G'day Caroline,

You would have found out by now its a night show so forget about port hole views. My advice is be prepared, particularly with the kids. If anyone is sea-sickness prone (and that's most of us if it's swelly enough) go for chemist advice for remedies.
We have been over and its been good water, but last year we hit swells that kept us awake most of the night. When your line up for the "Ferry" you will appreciate waves that spray over the top deck if the winds are up.

Recliners are ok - cabins are for when the kids leave home.

However, Tassey is still a must see but watch your 23 footer on most of the narrow twisty roads and slow down.
The Gunn's Logging contractor trucks don't slow down.

My wife's Hobart highlight of an earlier trip was Cadbury's mine was the Brewery Tour.

3 months in Tassey?? Hmmmmmm.
AnswerID: 350602

Reply By: Skippy In The GU - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 17:44

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 17:44
We were meant to go over top Tassie last Xmas and I worked out it was cheaper for only the driver to board the boat and make the cook and kids fly over there.
AnswerID: 350619

Reply By: Madfisher - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 17:57

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 17:57
One piont overlooked by most, if you do not get a cabin you cannot have a SHOWER. First trip over we took the seat option NEVER AGAIN , NO SLEEP where all like bears with sore heads next morning(had driven down from Bathurst previous day so a bit tired) Last trip took the cabin option and had a great nights sleep both way. They will not let you sleep in your vehicle as its a safey issue.
But you are better off going right up the top decks and bunking down which is what the tassies do.
But it is a great place, cannot wait to get back hopefully next feb.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 350623

Reply By: Holden4th - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:04

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:04
Having travelled to Tas on the Ferry a couple of times now the first thing I'd recommend is to use their freecall number and talk to one of their consultants. They give considerably cheaper option than the website and have their'finger' on all the specials.

The big cost on the boat is passenger fares and if you are going off peak, then you do a deal.

Furthermore, Spirit of Tasmania has a 50% off deal going for people recommended by past passengers. I got a letter from them asking me to recommend the trip. There is a prize for doing this (which I'm not really interested in) but it sounds kosher and suggests that the Ferry is looking for customers. I don't know how (or even if it applies) but if you e-mail me at holden4th@gmail.com I can supply details. It may not save on the cost of the car/van but it could seriously reduce the cost for passengers.
AnswerID: 350677

Reply By: Member - John M (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:16

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:16
We spent 3 weeks doing all the 4wd treks in Tassie during last christmas and new year period.
Travelled on Spirit and used the Ocean Recliners, very again, very uncomfortable. I slept on the outdoor seating which at least had a padded cushion. If you can afford it get a cabin and travel at night, why waste 2 good days at see when you can use them to explore beautiful Tassie. From Arthur River travel down the west coast to Temma and then on to Sandy Cape if the conditions are good.
The western explorer is a good drive and good gravel road. If at Zeehan definately take the track to the Montazuma Falls (very beautiful) and relatively easy with beautiful rain forest and if you are well equipped also do the Ring River track although once committed there is no way of turning back.
Take the Fat Boy Ferry accross the Pieman River and vist Granville Harbour and Trial Bay. Both beautiful places and good camping.
We didn't get to the south west wilderness but the Huon Valley is very beautiful and good camping all the way down to the most southern point (Coral Point I think).
Definately Deep Creek at the most top eastern end, Bridport is highly recommended with good camping facilities and hot shower.
At St Helens there is a very good laundrymat / cafe for your washing.
Hope you have a good trip and don't be shy to ask the local for advice, they are extremely friendly and we camped at some beautiful places on private properties next to rivers and fast flowing creeks. Especially at Western Creek near Deloraine.
Regards John & Pill
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Reply By: TassieD - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:40

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:40
You can get the $99 fares on day/night sailings until the 12th April for the recliners. Bring your sleeping bags and go upstairs to the back of deck 9. They have reasonable padded bench seats to sleep on. You won't get any sleep in the recliners.


This link has downloadable pdf's on activities & attractions, destinations, events etc.
AnswerID: 350729

Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 11:04

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 11:04
Hi all,


Thanks so much to all of you, the info provided is so much appreciated. Will let you all know how we get on.

Cheers
Caroline
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 14:22

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 14:22
Caroline, Once you have booked you can change the return date, subject to availability. While we were there, people were 'extending' as they had underestimated their time frames.

We got on special and one 'ship saver' fare. I think the one going over was no movable (unless a really valid reason, then it could be re-scheduled within a twelve month period but no refund if not taken). The return one had the flexibility as i didn't want to lock us in completely if my schedule proved unreasonable.

I'll talk to you a bit later about places i think the children might enjoy.

Mh
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Reply By: cito - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 15:29

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 15:29
Caz,

It may be a bit late for you but today TT Line are offering a 55% reduction for sailings from 02 May until September. Only available for the first 200 but worth a try if you get this in time.
There are no day sailings but be thankful for that as they are the most boring way you can spend a day. I recommend an inside cabin for the trip.

Lynds
AnswerID: 350784

Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 15:11

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 15:11
Hi Lynds

thanks for the tip.

Cheers
Caroline
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 16:32

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 16:32
On the subject of length - I think you have way underestimated. Our Disco (shorter than the Cruiser) and 19' van came in at 13 metres. Next time you stop for morning tea, measure it. Drop verticals from the front of the Cruiser and the back of the vans spare tyre, mark the ground at these points. Drive forward and then measure between the two marks. Don't cheat, they measure you at check in.

PeterD
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 15:12

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 15:12
Hi Peter,

Thanks for this info, it was Matt who guessed the length mmmmm.......... I will make sure we check it all out before we book.

Cheers
Caroline
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Follow Up By: PMR - Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 14:51

Saturday, Mar 07, 2009 at 14:51
Caroline, I hate to state the obvious, but men CANNOT estimate length!
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