The journey between the two major tourist centres of Devonport and Geelong merits an entire post! Instead of flying back to mainland Australia, the family opted for a passenger ferry called the Spirit of Tasmania (we love the name). The children had been looking forward to this leg for over six months. This would be their first overnight ferry and they could not wrap their heads around sleeping on a boat. Paige made us reserve an outside cabin, meaning bunk beds AND a window. We were tired of answering the kids’ questions, so we showed them some YouTube clips about the journey.
The ferry departed in the evening from Tasmania and arrived in Geelong at 8:30am. Until recently, the ferry used to dock in Melbourne but now it docks at its terminal in the town of Geelong (which was inconvenient for us). We checked ourselves in 2 hours before as we had nothing else to do in Devonport. Having checked our luggage, we joined the line of twenty, similar-minded, walk-on passengers. Most people take the ferry with their vehicles and there was a massive queue of cars to board.
We boarded the ferry on the car deck (which was somewhat interesting) and rode the escalator up to our deck to drop off our hand luggage. Our paper tickets doubled as our room keys which I found fascinating. The room was a decent size and had its own washroom. Paige and I got into a fight over the kids sleeping on the top bunk, and in the end, she determined the sleeping arrangements. I was banished to the top bunk! My feet were touching the air conditioner. But I got the last laugh as I tricked her and the kids with a “fake” whale spotting. This caused them all to jump out of bed, trying to spot the non-existent whale. Even with the bunk, it was a great night as the boat rocked us to sleep and we all passed out before 10pm.
Some of the family got up at 6am as Isabella didn’t want to sleep through the entire boat ride. She was adamant that we bring Paige a flat-white to wake her up. The boat was quite late and it took a while to unload the foot passengers. I think we disembarked sixty minutes late but then we had to wait another thirty minutes for our luggage!
Due to the delay, the taxis and buses were no longer available. Instead, we went on a ‘hike’ with our gear to the train station. The bus would have been $50 and a cab $20 to the nearest train station. We opted to walk it but first had to circle the ferry terminal which added 600m to the walk. We laughed that in Europe it would have been a more direct route. But the kids were troopers and did a great job with the hike through the industrial district. We made it to the train station in North Geelong and then rode public transportation into Melbourne.
The children were given a journal assignment on their journey. Please see both their accounts below.
Where we stayed:
- Spirit of Tasmania Outside Cabin: Four beds and a window
By the numbers:
- Playstations in the gaming section on the ferry: 3
- Playstations that were broken: 3
- Distance from the dock to the train station: 2.4km through a lovely industrial district
Ciao for now,