Spirit of Tasmania: the best staycation in Launceston

One of Australia’s most iconic travel experiences, the Spirit of Tasmania is a comfortable, convenient and memorable way to launch an amazing Tasmania getaway. Enjoy spectacular views as you travel from the beachfront of Geelong to the lush beauty of historic Tasmania on one of the famous twin Spirit of Tasmania ships. 

Departing daily from the Spirit of Tasmania Quay terminal in Geelong, you’ll also be treated to restaurants, bars and even a cinema. Find out more about this cruising ‘staycation’, including things to do in Geelong before you board, tips for a memorable trip and fun things to do in Launceston once you arrive.

Booking and checking in

Don is a suburb of Devonport, Tasmania. Mostly known for the Don Village Market and Don River Railway, a volunteer run vintage railway and museum. Don Reserve walking trail leads to the top of the bluff and along the coast to a number of beaches..
On your next trip to Launceston, take the Spirit of Tasmania. Image from Jess Bonde.

Taking between 9.5 to 11.5 hours from Geelong to Launceston, travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania is easy. There are fare options that cover a range of needs, from free-to-wander day tickets to comfortable onboard cabin bookings and bookings that offer private lounge recliners. Just remember that:

  • Check-in opens 2.5 hours prior to departure – make sure to bring photo ID
  • Check-in closes 45 minutes before departure 
  • Boarding begins 1.5 hours before departure. 

You’re now free to explore! 

Top 5 tips for travelling on the Spirt of Tasmania

image of the Spirit of Tasmania at a dock
Take a trip on the Spirit of Tasmania. Image from Tourism Australia & Graham Freeman.
  1. If you have a vehicle there are no carry-on weight restrictions and you are allowed to take one carry-on bag to the passenger deck. Make sure you take all your essentials. 
  2. It’s always a good time to go to the movies. Enjoy the latest film releases at one of two cinemas. You’ll also find fun for the kids with a games arcade and play area.
  3. There are a number of lounges, restaurants and bars to choose from. Explore your options, from the sleek Bar 7 to the summer-themed Terrace Lounge and Deck Lounge.
  4. Between September and April The Spirit of Tasmania hosts Daily Sailings activities, including live music and performers. Yet another reason to book your place!
  5. Make the most of your getaway by enjoying some of the great food and attractions in Geelong before you board. We’ve done some groundwork to get you started.

Things to do in Geelong for the day

Side angle shot of the Geelong Art Galley. On the exterior of the building, their are huge images of artwork displayed on them.
Make sure to stop by the Geelong Art Gallery! Image from Geelong & the Bellarine.

With a beautiful waterfront precinct and thriving food and wine scene only minutes from the Spirit of Tasmania Quay, you’ll find delicious dining options. Sailors Rest, Fisherman’s Pier Restaurant and the Wharf Shed Cafe are all popular eateries using locally sourced seafood and produce. 

There are also plenty of things to do in Geelong for free. Established in 1896, the Geelong Gallery is home to over 6,000 artworks and iconic Australian paintings. Don’t forget to also check out the Baywalk Bollards waterfront public art trail. Only 15 minutes from the city centre Buckley Falls is a gorgeous place to relax with stunning views.

Make the most of your time here – and avoid rushing! – by staying at Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong overlooking Corio Bay.

Welcome to Launceston!

View of Launceston City at night time. a small boat in the forefront of the image.
Launceston City. Image from Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett.

Get ready to indulge the senses in Tasmania’s second-largest city and one of Australia’s only two destinations to be awarded the UNESCO City of Gastronomy status. Find out why at the weekly Harvest Market Launceston or on a tour of the vineyards and food trails in the gorgeous Tamar Valley.

Encompassed by natural wonders, you can get a birds-eye view of the treasures on Launceston’s doorstep on the Scenic Chairlift overlooking Cataract Gorge. Only 30 minutes away, George Town is also home to a thriving community of little blue penguins. See these delightful creatures emerge at sunset. 

For some awesome activities in Launceston, step back in time on one of Launceston’s heritage walks – Launceston is known for its elegant heritage and architecture. You can discover a trove of fascinating stories and artefacts at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, home to local and natural history as well as extensive artwork collections. 

Where to stay

Relax in style at the Quality Hotel Colonial Launceston. ​​Built in 1847, this unique and charming heritage-listed hotel is only a short walk from attractions such as the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

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