Reaching Australia’s only island state is part of the adventure.
Tasmania lies about 250km across Bass Strait from the mainland. Most visitors fly here. Those who want to travel with their own vehicle or prefer the journey across Bass Strait take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry between Melbourne and Devonport.
The state’s biggest airports are at Hobart and Launceston. Smaller airports, with flights to Melbourne, are located at Burnie (Wynyard) and Devonport in the state’s north, and King and Flinders islands in Bass Strait.
Melbourne is the closest mainland city to Tasmania, and has the most frequent and shortest flights (about 1hr) to Tasmanian destinations. Airlines operating direct flights between Melbourne and Tasmania are Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar, and smaller airlines including Rex Airlines, Sharp Airlines and King Island Airlines.
Fly direct to Tasmanian destinations from Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane (with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar), Gold Coast (Virgin Australia), Canberra (QantasLink) and Perth (Qantas, Virgin Australia).
Taxis and ride-share services such as Uber are available in Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie.
- 20min drive (17km) from Hobart city centre.
- Taxi: phone 131 008.
- Airport shuttle: Skybus’s Hobart City Express operates between the airport and downtown Hobart where there are six stops, including a new waterfront stop alongside the Mona ferry; from $19.50 one way. Hobart Maxi Connect operates airport transfers from Hobart and other destinations including Kingston, Port Arthur, Turrakana / Tasman Peninsula and the east coast (Coles Bay).
- 15min drive (13km) from Launceston.
- Taxi: phone 132 227; for wheelchair-friendly maxi taxis phone (03) 6331 0001.
- Airport shuttle: Launceston Airport Shuttle Bus operates to Launceston hotels, motels and hostels; for an extra fee it can also drop off or pick up from residential addresses including Airbnbs. Hobart Maxi Connect offers a door-to-door minibus service from Launceston Airport to Launceston city centre.
- 10min drive (7km) from Devonport.
- Taxi: phone (03) 6424 1431.
Burnie (Wynyard) Airport
- Locals call this Wynyard airport – after all, it’s located in the town of Wynyard - but it’s officially Burnie Airport. The airport is 500m from Wynyard town centre, just a 5min walk from Wynyard’s main street. It’s a 20min drive (14km) to Burnie.
- Taxi: phone (03) 6431 2199.
- There is no airport shuttle. An inter-town public bus service is available.
- The airport is 6km from the main town of Currie.
- With no public transport on the island, airport transfers or rental cars should be arranged before arrival.
- The airport is 5km from the main town of Whitemark.
- An airport shuttle meets all Sharp Airlines flights.
- With no public transport on the island, rental cars or campervans should be arranged before arrival.
The Spirit of Tasmania ferry between Melbourne and Devonport takes 9-11hr. The twin ships depart both ports nightly and arrive at their destination the following morning.
Day sailings are also available between September and April. These depart in the morning and arrive at their destination in the evening.
On day sailings, passengers can travel without an allocated seat or cabin. On night sailings, passengers need to book accommodation. There are deluxe, twin and four-bed cabins, and recliners are available, too.
There's a variety of food and drink options on board; dine at the Tasmanian Market Kitchen (TMK) restaurant, grab a snack from The Pantry or toast your journey with a Tasmanian wine or craft beer at one of three bars.
The ferries accommodate all types of vehicles, ranging from bicycles and motorbikes to 4WDs, motorhomes and caravans.
In spring 2022, Spirit of Tasmania's Victorian terminal will move from Port Melbourne to Geelong, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne's CBD. The new Spirit of Tasmania quay has ample parking for passenger vehicles and a state-of-the-art terminal, including a cafe and children's play area. The new facility will accommodate Spirit of Tasmania's two new ferries arriving in late 2023 and late 2024.
Book well in advance – Spirit of Tasmania sailings are very popular, especially between September and April.
Biosecurity and you
Leave that apple behind. Tasmania has some of the world’s most stringent quarantine regulations. The introduction of a pest or disease could devastate the environment, wildlife and local industry. For details about what you can and can’t bring into Tasmania, see Biosecurity Tasmania.