Most people fly to Hobart or Launceston to visit the island. It is quicker and sometimes cheaper. But a sea voyage is much more interesting and pleasant. It is part of the holiday rather than just a way to get to your holiday.
Go to Devonport located on the Mersey River's mouth.
It is the home harbour of the Spirit of Tasmania ferry.
The journey between Melbourne and Devonport across the Bass Strait takes about 9 to 11 hours.
Depending on your budget you can go on a mini cruise with a deluxe cabin, twin cabin or shared berth.
If you are travelling during the day, a recliner is fine, you don't need a cabin. Unless you want to take a nap, rather than stay on deck.
An option cheaper than the recliner for the day journey is an unallocated seat ticket.
You can take your car or caravan with you.
The shining red Spirit of Tasmania and the smaller Spirit of Devonport
When entering the harbour you'll see two constructions: the lighthouse and the Spirit of the Sea bronze statue with a trident above its head.
The bronze statue
The statue is quite recent and controversial. At the time it was erected, in 2009, it had both supporters and opponents. But it is a good spot to take a picture and remember where you were.
Mersey Bluff lighthouse
The inscription at the lighthouse on the Mersey Bluff headland mentions it was built for a cost of 1559 pounds and first manned and lit by kerosene in 1889, then automated to gas in 1920 and to electricity in 1952. It is 16 metres high and sends 4 white flashes every 20 seconds. Their range is 27 km and their intensity - 43800 candella.
Other interesting things to see in Devonport Tasmania include the park along the coast with its beautiful flowers, the Maritime Museum and the Tiagara Aboriginal and Cultural Centre, both close to the lighthouse.
You could also include a railway visit and a fun train ride along the Don River to your list.
On the way out of town you may get past the most unusual roundabout with a rail track running right in the middle of it.
But if you don't want to leave and you'd rather stay in Devonport overnight, book your hotel by inserting your day in and out in the search box below.
Beach at Port Sorell
Before getting to the Tamar you can visit more of the North Coast. For example you could go to Port Sorell, a nice holiday town located on the Rubicon River and its estuary. It is just a 15 minutes drive.
From there head south inland and then turn back to north to visit Beaconsfield and Beauty Point, on the Tamar.
Beaconsfield is the town that became famous with the dramatic rescue of two miners who were trapped in a shaft for two weeks, in 2006, when a gold mine collapsed.
Beauty Point is a fishing town with two nice attractions: the Platypus House and the Seahorse World. They are located in two adjoining sheds on a wharf and you can get tickets to visit just one or a pass for both.
After you visited them go back to Beaconsfield and about 10 kilometres to the south cross the Batman Bridge.
Here is a bit of history about it.
Batman Bridge is named after John Batman who sailed from the river Tamar in 1835 across the Bass Strait and towards Melbourne to settle at Port Philip. The bridge connects the two sides of the Tamar River. Steel cables hanging from its pylons support the bridge.
It is actually the first of its kind in Australia. It was built between 1964 - 1968, which makes it a precursor to Anzac Bridge in Sydney, a similar construction supported by cables.
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