You Can Take Your Car to Tasmania Via Ferry for Free Between March and June
The $6 million plan will save travellers an average of $240 for a return trip.
With international travel unlikely to return for some time yet, your 2021 holiday plans probably include vacationing somewhere within Australia. If heading to the country's southern-most state is on your list, and you're keen to do so via car, then you'll welcome the Federal Government's temporary expansion of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme — because it's letting travellers take their wheels to Tassie via ferry for a four month period without paying extra.
Announced on Thursday, January 7 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, the move sees an existing rebate — which dates back to 1996, and is designed to "reduce the cost of seagoing travel between the mainland and Tasmania" — extended via $6 million in funding from the Australian Government. As part of the scheme, it'll be free for passengers on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry to take their vehicles on the journey with them. That also applies to motorcycles and bicycles, if they're your preferred methods of transport.
The scheme's expansion covers travel between March 1–June 30, 2021, and can be booked from January 14 — with tickets available until sold out. When you book the journey between Melbourne and Davenport (or vice versa), the rebate will be applied automatically, so you won't need to do anything else.
Travellers taking their cars to Tassie with them will save an average of $240 for a return trip. If you're taking a caravan or motorhome with you, you'll still save the same amount — but, unlike with a car, you'll still need to pay an amount on top as the rebate won't cover the full price of the caravan or motorhome fee.
There is still a passenger fee, which varies depending on whether you're travelling by day or night, and if it's high or low season.
Like plenty of schemes announced by various governments this year — such as Victoria's and South Australia's tourism vouchers — the aim is to get more folks going on local holidays, and spending money to support Australia's tourism industry.
Tasmania does currently have border restrictions in place as at the time of writing, affecting those who've been in parts of Victoria and New South Wales. Accordingly, in advice we're all used to by now, it's worth checking the requirements and taking them into consideration when making your booking.
For more information about the temporary expansion of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme — or to make a booking with Spirit of Tasmania — visit the latter company's website.
Top image: Steve Penton via Wikimedia Commons.
Published on January 07, 2021 by Sarah Ward