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The quickest way to get to Tasmania is by air. Qantas (tel. 13 13 13 in Australia; www.qantas.com) flies from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to Hobart, and from Melbourne to Launceston and Devonport. Virgin Blue (tel. 13 67 89 in Australia; www.virginblue.com.au) flies from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide to Hobart and from Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney to Launceston. Jetstar (tel. 13 15 38 in Australia; www.jetstar.com.au) flies to Hobart from Sydney and Melbourne, and to Launceston from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Tiger Airways (tel. 03/9335 3033; www.tigerairways.com.au) flies to Hobart from Melbourne. Regional Express (tel. 13 17 13 in Australia or 02/6393 5550; www.regionalexpress.com.au) flies from Melbourne to Burnie in the state's north.

Two high-speed ships connect Melbourne and Tasmania. Spirit of Tasmania I and II can each carry up to 1,400 passengers and up to 500 vehicles. They make the crossing from Melbourne's Station Pier to Tasmania's Devonport (on the north coast) in between 9 and 11 hours. The twin ships leave both Melbourne and Devonport at 7:30pm and arrive at around 6am the next day. During busy times, there's also day service leaving both ports at 9am and arriving at 6pm. Accommodation ranges from reclining seats to comfortable air-conditioned cabins with Queen-size beds and ensuite bathrooms, and four-berth cabins suited to families. Reclining seats cost from A$126 adults, or you can upgrade to an inside (no porthole) twin cabin from A$178 per adults. Fares for an inside four-berth cabin start from A$158 adults and A$76 children aged 3 to 15. Prices depend on the season and whether you have a porthole or not. Transporting a standard car costs A$79 to A$89, depending on size, year-round. Facilities on the ships include a la carte and buffet restaurants, a cinema, gaming lounge, and four bars.

For reservations tel. 13 20 10 in Australia or 03/6421 7209 or book online at www.spiritoftasmania.com.au. Special offers are regularly available. Tasmanian Redline Coaches connect with each ferry and transfer passengers to Launceston and Hobart.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.