Tasmania’s stunning natural beauty and its world-renowned produce are worth protecting. The state remains relatively free from the many pests and diseases that impact other parts of Australia - and the world. With your help, we can keep it that way! We all have a General Biosecurity Duty to help protect Tasmania!
Tasmania has some of the strictest biosecurity requirements in the country. So, before starting your Tasmanian adventure on the Spirit of Tasmania (TT-Line), make sure you are aware of Tasmania’s biosecurity requirements.
Become familiar with the Biosecurity Basics:
- Check your bags
- Come in clean
- Stay on the path
- Report anything unusual
These are simple, practical and everyday actions that you can take to help protect Tasmania's environment, primary industries, economy and way of life from the negative impact of pests, weeds and diseases.
Tasmania takes biosecurity very seriously. Penalties may apply for non-compliance.
The biosecurity inspection process
Take some time before you arrive at the ferry terminal in Geelong to check your vehicles and equipment to ensure they are cleaned of visible soil and mud.
During check in, the Geelong security staff will ask you some biosecurity related questions. Please answer those questions openly and honestly.
As part of the boarding process, you may be asked to dispose of any potential biosecurity restricted materials. You may be able to take some items on board. If this is the case, a ‘Notice to Stop’ sticker will be placed on your windscreen. If you are travelling without a vehicle, you will be given a 'Notice to Stop' form.
If you have a 'Notice to Stop', please make yourself known to Biosecurity Inspectors at the Devonport TT-Line terminal so you can be inspected again.
Biosecurity Tasmania also carries out random vehicle checks at the Devonport terminal.
Dispose or declare restricted items
Tasmania has strict rules and regulations as to what you can and can’t bring with you when returning to or visiting the State. It is a legal obligation and penalties may apply for non-compliance.
Be sure to dispose of any restricted items before travelling. These may include, but not be limited to:
Please be aware that some items will need to be checked by Biosecurity Inspectors at the Devonport terminal. Depending on the condition of these items, they may be seized at the border. If in doubt, please leave these items at home before travelling to Tasmania:
Visit our Traveller’s Guide to Tasmanian Biosecurity for more information on what you can and can’t bring to Tasmania.
If you are not sure if an item is restricted, simply declare these items to the TT-Line inspection staff and they will be happy to help you meet your General Biosecurity Duty.
*There are currently temporary restrictions in place for honey due to the recent spread of varroa mites in New South Wales. The direction for these restrictions is located below:
General Biosecurity Direction (Emergency) bees, bee products and equipment (PDF 89Kb)
Clean vehicles, caravans, trailers and farm equipment
All vehicles, as well as caravans, trailers and farm equipment must be cleaned of visible soil and mud before embarking on the TT-Line.
Pests and diseases, including weed seeds, can be carried in the dirt and mud on vehicles and equipment. Pay close attention to your vehicle and associated equipment you may be towing. Ensure they are free from contaminants that could pose a biosecurity threat to Tasmania.
Clean recreational equipment
Ensure all your recreational equipment is thoroughly checked, cleaned and dried before embarking.
Pest and disease contaminants may be present in the soil and mud on a range of equipment. This includes mountain bikes, camping equipment and golf gear. Biosecurity risks may also be present in water and marine debris on boats, surfboards, and fishing gear.
Be aware of Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata) if travelling from New Zealand
If you have recently travelled from New Zealand there is a serious risk of introducing Didymo (Didymosphenia geminata), also known as rock snot. Didymo is a freshwater alga that is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere. It is highly invasive and is considered a significant biosecurity pest in Australia. If you are travelling from New Zealand to Tasmania and are bringing fishing gear, it is important that you pay close attention to identifying and treating any contaminants that may be present on your equipment.
Find out more about travelling from New Zealand.
Bringing a dog to Tasmania
Tasmania is the only Australian state to be provisionally free of hydatid disease. Hydatid disease, or hydatidosis, is a tapeworm infection that can be transmitted from dogs to humans. The disease can lead to cyst formation in human organs and cause severe health problems.
Your dog needs to be treated for potential hydatids before bringing them on the Spirit of Tasmania. To ensure your dog is effectively protected from hydatids, ensure the worming treatment given to your dog contains the active ingredient praziquantel. Your dog must be treated within 14 days prior to your arrival. Some dogs are exempt from this requirement (including puppies under 12 weeks of age and dogs which are returning to Tasmania after no more than 14 days in another State
or Territory). Please check the requirements for bringing a dog into Tasmania in the Tasmanian Animal Biosecurity Manual for more information.
Find out more about hydatids.
Brown dog tick
Tasmania is not known to have an established presence of some dog parasites, including the brown dog tick. The brown dog tick transmits ehrlichiosis, a serious disease which can be fatal to dogs. Ehrlichiosis is present in some parts of mainland Australia.
Your dog needs to be checked for brown dog tick prior to boarding the TT-Line.
Find out more about brown dog tick and ehrlichiosis.
Dog declaration form
To help reduce the risk of hydatids and brown dog tick from infecting our dogs, Biosecurity Tasmania requires that a declaration be made by people bringing dogs to Tasmania. On their entry into Tasmania, dogs will need to be declared as having been checked for ticks and treated for hydatid tapeworm.
The declaration form is available on the Biosecurity Tasmania website:
Declaration by Owner or Importer for the Entry of Dogs into Tasmania (PDF 237Kb)
Transportation of horses
If you are planning to bring your horse(s) to Tasmania on the TT-Line, it is important you are compliant with the relevant Tasmanian legislation and TT-Line company policies. Recent amendments to the Animal Welfare (Land Transport of Livestock) Regulations 2013 are now in effect and specify that:
The driver of the vehicle used to transport horses is responsible for assessing the fitness of the animals on the vehicle. They must comply with transport welfare regulations to undertake the journey.
The driver of the vehicle must declare in writing that the horses are fit to travel in accordance with the regulations before a vehicle will be allowed to embark onto the ship.
Horses must be single stalled in the vehicle unless a mare with dependent foal is being transported.
Additional to these requirements above, horse vehicles (including 2-horse floats) must have ventilation opening requirements for the 12-hour Bass Strait crossing which are:
For 2-horse floats (containing one or two adult horses), there must be secured openings for ventilation in the front and rear of the float. Each opening should measure at least 0.4 metres squared.
For more than 2 horses in any other vehicle, the ventilation requirement is 0.5 metres squared opening per horse in opposing walls, or an open roof.
The regulations also have specified maximum journey time and time off water for various classes of horses. It is essential that you familiarise yourself with these prior to planning your trip.
TT-Line may have further requirements for horse transportation that you will receive at your time of booking. It is important that you are able to meet these requirements PRIOR to commencing your journey. Failure to do so will result in your vehicle being turned away.
Find out more about transporting horses to Tasmania.
Transportation of livestock
In Tasmania, livestock includes alpacas, buffalo, camels, cattle, deer, emus, goats, horses, ostriches, pigs, poultry and sheep. Please be aware that livestock may require additional documentation or conditions prior to boarding the TT-Line. Use the links below to see what is required for your animal(s):
When transporting animals, please use minimal straw bedding. Straw can contain plant diseases and weed seeds that pose a biosecurity risk. Newspaper or cardboard is a great alternative!
Only provide your animal with enough feed for the journey. This includes from your place of residence to your next accommodation in Tasmania. If you are planning to take seeds or vegetables on board to feed your animal, remember seeds and vegetables pose a biosecurity threat to Tasmania. If you have additional feed that you do not need, please declare it at the TT-Line terminal in Devonport to meet your General Biosecurity Duty.
Bringing other pets and wildlife to Tasmania
Tasmania has strict requirements on the import of animals into the state. You must first check the import status of the animal you are intending to bring to Tasmania. Some animals can be imported, some have restrictions that may require you to obtain a permit to import, while other animals cannot be imported into Tasmania.
For example, ferrets and freshwater turtles are restricted animals and their entry into the State is prohibited due to their potential negative environmental impacts. However, caged/aviary birds are controlled and some species may be brought into Tasmania if they are accompanied by a valid import permit.
Under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 it is an offence to bring into the State, or cause or allow to be brought into the State, a restricted/controlled animal, without the prior written permission of the Secretary, NRE Tas. Animal imports are also managed under the Biosecurity Act 2019. Importation requirements for specific animal species are set out in the Tasmanian Animal Biosecurity Manual (link provided below).
Please view the resources below to check the import requirements for your animal:
Please contact Wildlife Services on email Wildlife.Services@nre.tas.gov.au to enquire if your animal(s) can be brought into the State and if you need to lodge an Application for a Wildlife Import Permit.
Remember, when transporting animals avoid straw bedding (use alternatives like newpaper and cardboard), and only provide your animal with enough feed for the journey (from your place of residence to your next accomodation in Tasmania).
For more information on the Tasmanian biosecurity requirements when travelling to Tasmania on the Spirit of Tasmania:
Phone: 03 6165 3777
Visit our Traveller’s Guide webpage for more information on what you can and can’t bring to Tasmania.
The Spirit of Tasmania website also has a range of important information for passengers.