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Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city, and the capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria, located at the head of Port Phillip Bay.
Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital, with Victorian-era architecture, extensive shopping, museums, galleries, theatres, and large parks and gardens. Its 4-million residents are both multicultural and sports-mad.
Reasons to visit Melbourne include to attend major sporting events, to use it as a base for exploring surrounding regions such as Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road, and to visit Phillip Island to view the penguin parade. Many UK visitors come to Melbourne for tours of filming locations of soap opera Neighbours.
Melbourne is served by four airports. The first is Melbourne Airport, situated to the north west of the city in the Melbourne suburb of Tullamarine, which has international and domestic flights. The second smaller airport is Avalon Airport , situated south west of the city, and only services the domestic market. The other two airports are Moorabbin Airport, to the south of the city, and Essendon Airport, the the north west of the city, which only service light aircraft.Melbourne Airport (MEL)
Melbourne Airport (IATA: MEL) is 22 km north-west of the city centre, adjacent to the industrial suburb of Tullamarine. There are regular flights from all major Australian and New Zealand cities, and there are direct international flights to many Asian hubs, and onwards connections to Europe. There are direct flights to the west coast of the U.S. and Canada, Santiago, Fiji and Hawaii. It is practical to fly direct to Melbourne from most international points. There is long term car parking available at Melbourne Airport if you’re keen on leaving your car here during your holiday, however, as parking charges can be relatively high at the airport it would be wise to thoroughly explore alternative options.
The airport has four terminals. T1, T2 T3 are in the same building, and it is easy to walk to T4, however each terminal has separate security screening, and access between terminals is not available once in the sterile area.
- T1 (the “North Terminal”) is used by Qantas and Jetstar domestic services.
- T2 (the “International Terminal”) is used by all international airlines. It is the middle terminal of the airport.
- T3 (the “South Terminal”) is used by Virgin Australia and REX Regional Express domestic services.
- T4 is used by Tiger Airways Australia domestic services.
All arrivals are on the lower level of the terminals, with departures from the upper level.
There is no train connection from the airport to the city. Taxis between the airport and the city CBD cost around $55-65 and take about 30 minutes in clear traffic.
Skybus, ☎ +61 3 9670 7992, runs a 24/7 shuttle to and from the Southern Cross Station Coach Terminal on Spencer Street at the west end of the Central Business District, just north of Lonsdale Street. There are two airport pickup locations. One is outside the Virgin Australia/REX terminal (T3), 50 m (55 yd) from the international terminal (T2). The other is outside the Qantas/Jetstar domestic terminal (T1). There are ticket desks at both T1 and T3, and if unattended, tickets can be purchased electronically or from the driver.
The trip takes around 20 minutes (in good traffic) and runs directly using the freeway with no stops. It costs $18/30 adult one-way/return, $7 child one-way (between 4 and 14 years of age). There are also several family ticket options available. Frequency ranges from half-hourly between 1:00AM and 4:00AM, to every 10 minutes from 5:30AM to 11:00PM. They also run a connection service between the terminal and central hotels/hostels during the day (Mon-Fri 6:00AM-10:30PM, Sat-Sun 7:30AM-5:30PM), and this is included in your fare. Otherwise, you can board any train at Southern Cross Station, or take a tram down Collins St through the city centre. Bookings are not needed for travel from the airport to hotels, but on the way back, book hotel pick-up at least 3 hours ahead.
Alternatively, if heading to southern Melbourne (St Kilda and points beyond), the Frankston and Peninsula Airport Shuttle (FAPAS) runs roughly-hourly minibus services, advance bookings required either online or at +61 3-97831199. Full adult fares from $18, but there are group discounts and some hostels even offer free rides if you stay for three or more nights.
Purchase a Myki visitor pack from the Skybus terminus outside T2 (international terminal), or buy an adult Myki card (or top up an existing card) at the north end of T2 near the restrooms and T1 (the Qantas/Jetstar domestic terminal). Once you exit the terminal, walk across the first road and turn left, walking to the end of the platform at T1, and wait for a 901 bus to Broadmeadows station (sign will read “FRANKSTON”), then switch to a train at Broadmeadows.
Buses also connect to Moonee Ponds and Essendon (478 & 479), and Sunbury (479 & 500).To get to the airport from the city:
Purchase a Myki visitor pack or Myki card from a convenience store or train station. Then, catch a train from Flinders Street station heading towards Craigieburn and get off at Broadmeadows station. Transfer to a 901 bus to Melbourne Airport, which stops at the north end of T1.
In both directions, the train takes approximately 30 minutes between Broadmeadows and Flinders Street, while the 901 bus operates every 15 minutes from 5am to 12am, and takes approximately 15 minutes between Broadmeadows and the airport. More Info: Melbourne