Tasmania – Transport


Tasmania’s main air carriers are Jetstar Airways and Virgin Australia; Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express Airlines and Tiger Airways Australia also have services from Tasmania. These airlines fly direct routes to Brisbane, Canberra, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney.

Major airports include Hobart International Airport (which has not had a regular scheduled international passenger service since the 1990s) and Launceston Airport; the smaller airports, Burnie (Wynyard) and King Island, serviced by Regional Express; and Devonport, serviced by QantasLink; have services to Melbourne. Inter-Tasmanian air services are offered by Airlines of Tasmania.

Until 2001 Ansett Australia operated majorly out of Tasmania to 12 destinations nationwide.


The domestic sea route is serviced by Bass Strait passenger/vehicle ferries operated by the Tasmanian Government-owned TT-Line (Tasmania).
From 1986 the Abel Tasman made six weekly overnight crossings between Devonport and Melbourne. It was replaced by the Spirit of Tasmania in 1993, which performed the same route and schedule.

The most recent change was the 2002 replacement of the Spirit by two Superfast ferries, Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II—which brought the number of weekly overnight crossings up to fourteen, plus additional daylight crossings in peak times.

In January 2004 a third ship, the slightly smaller Spirit of Tasmania III, started the Devonport to Sydney route. This service was shut down by the Tasmanian Government in June 2006 quoting low passenger numbers. There is also a ferry service from Bridport, Tasmania to Flinders Island and Port Welshpool, Victoria. Two container ships owned by Toll Shipping make daily crossings between Burnie and Melbourne. The port of Hobart also serves as a host to visiting cruise ships.

The Spirit of Tasmania links the island with mainland Australia.
The state is also home to International Catamarans, a manufacturer of very high-speed aluminium catamarans that regularly broke records when they were first launched. The state government tried using them on the Bass Strait run but eventually decided to discontinue the run because of concerns over viability and the suitability of the vessels for the extreme weather conditions sometimes experienced in the strait.

Antarctica Base

Tasmania, Hobart in particular, serves as Australia’s chief sea link to Antarctica, with the Australian Antarctic Division located in Kingston. Hobart is also the home port of the French ship l’Astrolabe, which makes regular supply runs to the French Southern Territories near and in Antarctica. Hobart has the second deepest natural port in the world, second to only Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.


Within the state, the primary form of transport is by road. Since the 1980s, many of the state’s highways have undergone regular upgrades. These include the Hobart Southern Outlet, Launceston Southern Outlet, Bass Highway reconstruction, and the Huon Highway. Public transport is provided by Metro Tasmania bus services.


Rail transport in Tasmania consists of narrow-gauge lines to all four major population centres and to mining and forestry operations on the west coast and in the northwest. Services are operated by TasRail.

Regular passenger train services in the state ceased in 1977; the only scheduled trains are for freight, but there are tourist trains in specific areas, for example the West Coast Wilderness Railway.

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