Iron Chef Shellie

Spirit of Tasmania

Sailing down to Tassie on Spirit of Tasmania. It's a gourmet onboard experience, with lots of delicious dishes at The Leatherwood restaurant.

Travel & Dining

Spirit of Tasmania
April 30, 2014
Dining , Travel

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Spirit of Tasmania

Fear of spiders?

Fear of death?

Fear of ships?
Yes. Definitely.

If I had a choice of going on a ship, or lying in the middle of Punt Road; 9 times out of 10, I’d rather be on Punt Road than on a ship.

It’s the seasickness thing that scares me. My Dad kept telling me seasickness was all in my head, and I’d be fine as he had been on Spirit of Tasmania many times before.

Spirit of Tasmania invited us on board to sail and experience the facilities… on a trip to Tasmania and back. That’s two of the longest ship journeys I’ve ever had to take. I was in cold sweats just thinking about it. Talking to other people about it didn’t help either. *Note to self, don’t talk to other people who get seasick when you are trying to convince yourself you will be okay.

As the day loomed closer, I stocked up on seasickness tablets, crystalised ginger and the wrist bands.

Bags were packed, playlists were made for cruising around Tasmania in, the car was loaded, and we were on our way.

We arrived at the dock and joined the other cars checking in, and making their way onto the ship. At about 6pm boarding commenced, and we drove the car in and parked it safely for the night. It was mind blowing to see B-Double trucks being loaded on board too. It really gives you the sense of how big the ship really is.

We headed up to our room, which was a nice cosy Twin Cabin with a porthole to see the outside world. We also had our own private bathroom, with shower, toilet, sink and plenty of sick bags… just in case! The beds were comfortable, and it was a good size for two people.

Once we had settled in, we headed off to explore the ship. There is no shortage of facilities onboard, including:

  • Tourism Information
  • Gift Shop
  • On Board Cinema
  • Gaming Lounge
  • Children’s Playroom
  • Internet Kiosk
  • Massage Chairs
  • Games Arcade
  • A range of cafes and restaurants

The tourism information kiosk is great for helping plan your itinerary, and you can even book accommodation, tours. National park passes and fishing licenses are also available for purchase on board.

The cinema has two movie sessions both day and night. We didn’t end up watching a movie as we thought we would get an early night so we could tackle the next day with gusto.

The gift shop has some cute little things, and ice-creams. Dad didn’t fail to tell me they had good ice-creams available. Dad is the ice-cream guru. It’s a gift he has, a sixth sense if you will.

There is no shortage of food and drink on board Spirit of Tasmania.

The Captains Table has a variety of hot and cold savoury dishes, plus continental breakfast items. There are a range of bars for you to enjoy a tipple, located around the ship.

 We dined at The Leatherwood Restaurant. There is a choice of either two course, or three course meals available. Serving fresh Tasmanian produce, as well as locally matched wines; it provides a great way to experience Tasmania on a plate.

On the way to Tasmania and back, between the two of us we tried the entire menu, minus a cheese board and the side dishes.

The menu is seasonal, but the dishes are flexible. Our waitress explained that if I was a vegetarian and didn’t really like the sound of the vegetarian option, the chef would be able to work something out. It’s nice to know that there is that level of care provided for diners.

41 South Hot Smoked Salmon (GF)
With watercress and fennel salad with lemon vinaigrette

We honestly couldn’t fault ANY of the food we had. Everything was just exceptionally good. I personally wasn’t too thrilled about being left with the vegetarian options on the journey back, but I persevered on for the sake of covering the whole menu. Let me just tell you, I would happily choose the vegetarian dishes over their meaty contenders anyday. They. Were. Just. AMAZING! I don’t really care that much for eggplant, but grilled eggplant involtini had me wanting more.

Tasmanian Tenderloin of Beef
Served with saute potatoes, beetroot marmalade and a red wine jus

Petuna Ocean Trout Fillet
Served on an Asian noodle salad with nam jim dressing

Potato Gnocchi (V)
With sauteed mushrooms, truffle oil and grated parmesan.

Dad ask for his steak to be cooked rare. It was cooked to perfection, and it was melt in your mouth happiness.
The gnocchi, something I’d never order was truly moutherwateringly (not a word, don’t sue me) fantastic. Just remembering it, and I want MORE! Perfect balance of flavours, and the mushrooms added a meatiness; just amazing.

Warm Chocolate Tart
With double cream

Yes, you make lick the screen now.
Sorry technology isn’t up with being able to taste that chocolate tart by licking your screen, but maybe one day ey? 😉

Prices are very reasonable for the level of delicious satisfaction you’ll receive:
2 courses = $56 p/person
3 courses = $64 p/person
Tea and coffee is included.

I recommend you go the whole hog and get the three courses, as the food is just phenomenally good.

The wake up call is at 5.40am. It might sound early, but it allows you to disembark and get started with your day. Or if you are coming home; get to work on time!

On the way back, I was lucky enough to be upgraded to a Deluxe Cabin. I was in heaven.

 A full sized room, with large bathroom; complete with television, toiletries, more towels than I knew what to do with, mini fridge with chilled water, wardrobe, and two great big windows at the front of the ship. This was comfort. This was pure luxury. This was all mine for the night. Bliss!

The sail down to Tasmania from Melbourne was smooth. The sea sickness drugs had helped, and I found lying down to be the key to survival for me. The sail back to Melbourne was a bit rougher, but I still survived #chunderfree #hooray! Luckily the drugs I was taking made me drowsy, I had the wristbands on, and a big bed to console myself. I would totally travel in the Deluxe Cabin again, as it made feeling a little off bearable.

Sleeping and being horizontal is the best thing I can recommend for those that suffer seasickness. I set an alarm to see us pass the other Spirit of Tasmania at 1am in the morning, and clammered back into bed pretty quickly. The bed in the Deluxe Cabin was super comfy as well, which meant I didn’t want to leave it until the wake up call.

So whilst I do still have a fear of ships, I would jump back on Spirit of Tasmania again in a heartbeat.

No, I’m not just saying that because they sent me over there free of charge; I’m saying that because I survived it twice.

I’m saying it because it’s much less stressful than driving to the airport, checking in, dealing with endless queues of people and trying to get out and trying to find the hire car at the other end.

It was just so pleasant to be able to drive from home, onto the ship, then out into our holiday destination. No need to find where we should be to collect luggage or anything, just drive out and holiday begins right there and then. BAM. I loved it.

I’m already trying to think of when I can fit in another trip as I really want to check out Freycinet, and a few other spots. Tasmania has really captured my heart this time, it has a magnetic strength about it, that makes you want to go back again, and again, and again.

Stay tuned to see what Dad and I got up to in Tasmania.

For more information about sailing with Spirit of Tasmania, check out their website:

 Disclaimer: Iron Chef Shellie travelled as a guest of Spirit of Tasmania, in conjunction with Nuffnang.


10 comments on “Spirit of Tasmania
  1. Melanie Hall

    Hi Shellie – great post as always, and I totally understand your apprehension regarding the boat…so pleased you managed both ways unscathed, looking forward to your posts on the rest of your trip…if you can manage to make a ferry look gorgeous, I can’t wait to see what you do with beautiful Tasmania!

    April 30, 2014 at 9:46 am
  2. Esz

    Aaah the Spirit..I’ve been on it twice I think. The first time I was by myself and it was a bit boring – but I got to chat to a few people I met on board. Had dinner at the restaurant and remember it being excellent then too.
    The second time I went with my bf and we slept in the big seat things which are the cheaper option.
    I do have some criticisms with the ship and the way its run – mostly that it’s not very competitive on price – which would be understandable if there was more to the sailing than going to bed after a nice dinner. It would be better if the day sailings were the default, not the night time – from what I recall, they only run the day sails during peak season. I guess they have to contend with port traffic out of Melbourne so there’s probably a reason for it all.
    My parents live in Tassie and from what I have heard there’s been talk about partly subsidising (by the gov) the ferry to make it more affordable. Your trip sounds like they are aiming to raise the profile and get more people on board which is a good thing. More visitors to Tassie is always welcome!
    Anywho – next time you go down there, I hope you can get to the far south! My parents winery is down there and the general Huon area is super pretty.

    April 30, 2014 at 1:51 pm
  3. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    Beautiful post, Michele. A cut above. But what’s new? 😉 Bravo for ship conquering!! So much Tasmania love here too x

    April 30, 2014 at 2:48 pm
  4. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I get seasick too and I hate it. I LOVE being on boats but I hate nausea. I go anyway and hope for the best. 🙂 Sounds like a wonderful journey. I’ve wanted to do this trip for years.

    April 30, 2014 at 10:40 pm
  5. Helen (Grab Your Fork)

    Aww such a purdy vid! Love the scene with the clouds moving over so fast!

    May 1, 2014 at 1:02 am
  6. leaf (the indolent cook)

    I’ve been to Tasmania too, it’s a lovely place. Going by boat is interesting… the food looks really good!

    May 1, 2014 at 6:38 pm

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Spirit of Tasmania

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Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site is by Shellie Froidevaux - aka Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include recipe development, food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients and photography workshops for people who really want to change their game :)

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