Six weeks on the road and now it is time to head home. While its not a long time, its better than staying in Tassie all winter. Our last day in Melbourne has been wet and windy, and everyone is hoping for calm seas for the sailing home.
We checked out of the Five Ways Caravan Park just after 1.30pm, it is still very early, but we don’t want to be caught in heavy traffic. The route to the spirit is very smooth and the traffic is just nice, leaving it another hour or so could be very different, a risk we weren’t prepared to take.
We planned to meet on Williamstown Rd and wait for boarding time there. However Phil and Sandra decided to stop on the foreshore as there was plenty of parking, although it did come with a nice price tag of over $12.00. We were almost on Williamstown Rd at this stage and being tight arses we decided to go with the free parking. We made a coffee in the van, but Dianne was feeling squeamish every time a truck drove past and rocked the van. Not wanting to to have Dianne sick before she boarded, we moved to the foreshore along The Boulevarde, a very nice spot, although the most direct road to the Sprit terminal has lots of roundabouts and speed humps.
Our route from the caravan park to the 2 free parking spots then the “Spirit”
A close up map, a little blurry. There are 5 roundabouts and numerous speed humps driving between D and E. There are several limbs overhanging the road as well. Care needs to be taking with long and high combinations.
A good decision and still free parking. We were just a short stroll to Princes Pier, from there we could see the “Spirit”.
An added bonus was that we discovered a bus stop that will take you to the Queen Victoria Market. Maybe next time a day trip into the city from here may be an option. You will need a buy a Myki Card to access public transport. I think they can be bought on the bus. We have had a Myki Card for several years now and have used it on the bus, tram and train network. It is a little daunting at first, although most people will help you. Diannes card had plenty of credit, while mine needed to be topped up by $10. We both had $15 credit and this is usually plenty. We used it this year to come from Dingley into the city using a bus and a train. The trams around the city centre are all free.
This may be an option for next years trip, we could catch a bus all the way to the Queen Victoria Market, there is a stop near the Casino as well. This map while it doesn’t have a lot of detail, does show the individual stops.
Another map showing stops near South Melbourne Markets, Crown Entertainment Complex and the Queen Victoria Market
A service every 40 minutes on weekdays
A service every hour on Saturdays, but no service on Sundays and Public Holidays
We finally arrived to check in just before 5.30pm. Check in involves all the necessary checks for quarantine and safety. We then had to wait while all the cars and small vehicles drove past us to board. Dianne and I were first in line with Phil and Sandra parked behind us. More big rigs lined up behind us. The good thing about waiting is we were the first vehicle to disembark, as we parked on a ramp,that is used to load other levels. Once it has been lowered, we drove from the front of the ship, where we load from in Port Melbourne, right to the rear, right in front of the rear doors to be the first off.
Dainne and I had a new buffet evening meal, coffee and soft drink included, all you can eat for approximately $27.00. The resturant opens at 6.30pm and closes at 9.30pm. We thought it was a little expensive, however we did top up our drinks here for the rest of the night and I went back back for another dessert just before closing. It was quite delicious though.
The crossing was reasonably smooth, with only a short period of swell as we went through the heads leaving Port Phillip Bay. We all slept most of the night, unlike the trip over from Tasmania, as that sailing was very rough. We were off the Spirit right on 6.30am and parked up in the driveway at home before 7.00am ready to unpack and start planning for next year