Tassie fares are high … but so are visitor numbers

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Spirit of Tasmania ferry fares under the microscope yet again
A boat too far? The Spirit of Tasmania

While the high cost of transporting a caravan or motorhome across the Bass Strait is a major deterrent to many grey nomads wishing to visit the Apple Isle, it seems Spirit of Tasmania bookings are growing strongly.

Passenger and passenger vehicle bookings for this financial year until the end of November were running at more than 8% above the same period in 2012-13. Passenger bookings were up by 8.38% and passenger vehicle bookings by 8.95%.

It is very pleasing to see this increase off the back of a number of new campaigns and initiatives to attract passengers, in the first half of 2013-14,” said Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne.

However, not everyone is convinced. A new Liberal member of the Tasmanian House of Representatives, Brett Whiteley, has said the Spirit model is wrong and fares are too expensive.

The Advocate newspaper reports that Mr Whiteley has mooted the idea of fast ferry services at much cheaper cost, arguing the current pricing structure was keeping many potential tourists out of regional Tasmania.

State-owned Spirit operator TT-Line is considering options for refurbishing or replacing the Spirits, amid talk it may start a dedicated freight service.

Mr O’Byrne told the Advocate that the latest figures were even more encouraging after a challenging 2012-13 for the domestic tourism market.

“TT-Line was impacted like many operators, so to have more passengers coming back to the Spirit of Tasmania and picking Tasmania as their destination of choice is a good sign, not just for TT-Line but for Tasmania,” he said.

He said Spirit visitors in 2012-13 injected an estimated $260 million into the state economy.

Is Tasmania back on the grey nomad planning map? Does the whole ferry fare structure need to be looked at? Are you in Tassie this summer? Comment below.

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12 Responses to Tassie fares are high … but so are visitor numbers

  1. We were thinking of going back over, as I have family living there. We went there 3 years ago and it cost us about $2,000 return for us and the 30′ motor home. So we have decided to get the $50 airfare and hire a vehicle. For us accommodation is a problem. I think the ferry fare structure does need to be looked at. A day ticket is $80 at the cheapest rate I think.

  2. Would love to take my caravan to Tassie but will not while the fares are so high

  3. Too expensive to take a large 4wd and large caravan to tassie on the ferry. For the same money we can be somewhere in Qld from Vic.

  4. The rise in statistics is probably only due to the steep rise in caravans and motor homes being bought…it is just outrageous the amount it costs to go there on the Spirit…imagine how much more the economy in Tassie would be boosted if it were more affordable – The Spirit of Tasmania is getting good money – what about the people of Tasmania in business etc?? The money spent there could be so much – but as most people state – to expensive to get over there to start…so we go elsewhere…

  5. Try living here and wanting to get over.

  6. Way too expensive for my Large 4 WD and dual axle large family caravan, why don’t they have “off peak” fares in quiet times, after all it’s better to fill up the boat rather than go over 1/2 empty.

  7. I thinks it stinks I live in tas lovey place but to bloody costly to take my 4×4 and caravan across

  8. Just love the fact that the fares are so high as to keep people out as its so fab here. We havnt paid over $10 a night and plan to be here for about 6 months which wwill save us about $4000 on mainland prices for the same period not to mention that we are welcomed bu the locals and the food is all so fresh and cheap and the views just beautiful. The expensive fare of $1435 for our 4wd 22foot van boat and bikes.. leaves us about $2600 extra to spend on reastraunts tours etc on top of our normal budjet.. Im no economist just a bloke having a great time not understanding why people say its to expensive to come here.. lifes great we are in a camp ground 4k from the centre of launceston we have a lake at our door and are paying 10 a night. The people who run this place are absolutely wonderful… I could go on and on but some people just dont get it they are too busy pretending to save money.

    • Well said Pete!! I travelled to WA from Tassy last January. The diesel from Melb. to Kununurra cost a fortune…way more than the fare on the Spirit….but I believe if you want to go some where, you budget for it and go!!People who moan about the Spirit prices don’t really want to come to Tas!

  9. We are going to Tassie for part of the summer (we live in Vic), we went in 2009 and sadly this year will be our last visit as it is way to expensive for us. Just under $2000 return for both of us, our vehicle, caravan and our 2 dogs. I love Tassie and would love to be able to go more often.

  10. I have been to Tassie just with my old corolla and slept in cheap motels etc had a great time. I would go back again. you have to pay the price I suppose. Why not free camp. I checked a few out while there.

  11. Yeah like everything else, people are just too money HUNGRY these days! drop the prices and get more passengers, simple as that.

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