Melbourne to Tasmania and all around it
Three weeks duration
Distance travelled: 4,300 kms ( 2666 miles )
Fuel cost: $673.37 ( $897.72 usd. )
Total fuel used: 776.56 litres ( 204 us gallons, 171 imperial )
Average fuel economy: 18l/100kms ( 13 mpg us. 15.6 mpg imperial )
We undertook this trip in December 2002.
The only place that we had never been together left in Australia was Tasmania so it was time to head to the island state. They had started a new service this year with two new ships made in Norway and sailed under the Superfast Ferry service that ran between Italy and Greece. We have since ridden on another of their exact same sister ships from Italy to Greece as well as one of the newer replacement models on the way back. They are now named Spirit of Tasmania I and II and soon III to go from Sydney to Devonport this December 2003. Except for a couple of months in Summer you can take your car or even RV on for free. Unfortunately we were in those months!
Taking the Cherokee on board a cruise ship!
Loading was done pretty quick but if you are towing and/or a high 4x4 there is no point getting there early as they load the cars on first. The yellow hats you can see on the deck are the tie down points so the cars don't wack into each other in rough seas. For fare prices etc see here: http://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/
Leaving our city of Melbourne behind and arriving in Devonport 9 hrs later.
We set sail at 9.00 pm and arrived at 6.00 am the next morning. Much faster than the old one which took as long as 14 hours instead of the 9 now. As you are fairly pumped on the first day of a holiday we decided to just book seats instead of a cabin which is much cheaper. They are airline type seats and were fine to get a couple of hours kip as the rest of the time you can explore bars and disco's etc on board.
Opium fields in full bloom. Our tranquil first camp site alone.
There were still so many flowers out as being so far south everything tends to flower later than on the mainland. What would surprise many is the huge fields of opium flowers right at the edge of the road down here. You can walk right up to them and they made a great vista. They are grown here for medical use and have so for years. Found a lovely campsite right on the shores of Brushy Lagoon. We used a fantastic book called 4WD Tracks of Tasmania by Chris Boden. You can buy this book from map stores or even on board the boat or from www.roving.com.au . This first camp was shown on page 8 of the book and made a great way to wind down and get into holiday mode. There is a very rough 4wd track along the lake shore to the dam wall which you can drive along the top of.