Get There

Plane

Melbourne is served by two airports, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, an international and domestic airport located 22 km north of the city centre, and Avalon Airport, a domestic only airport about 60 km south-west on the CBD towards Geelong.

Melbourne Tullamarine Airport has four terminals with T1 (the northern domestic terminal used by Qantas and Jetstar), T2 (international terminal used by all airlines, located in the middle) and T3 (the southern domestic terminal used by Virgin Blue and REX Regional Express) being in the same building, and an easy walk or free shuttle bus ride to T4 (domestic terminal used by Tiger Airways Australia) near the longterm carpark. All arrivals are on the lower level of the terminals, with departures from the upper level. It is practical to fly direct to Melbourne from most international points. Taxis between the airport and the city centre cost around $50-$70 and take about 25 minutes in clear traffic.

An airport shuttle called Skybus (+61 3 9670 7992) runs 24/7 between Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Train Station on Spencer Street on the west edge of the CBD-  from here you can catch a train or take a tram down Collins St through the city centre to get where you're going. You do not need to book the Skybus, but you can pre-book and pay online and save some time. There are two airport pickup locations - one is outside T3 and other is outside T1. There are ticket desks at both T1 and T3, and if unattended, tickets can be purchased electronically or from the driver. In good traffic the trip takes around 25 minutes, and costs $16/$26 adult one-way/return. They run every 15 minutes, or every hour at night and early morning.

Avalon Airport is considerably further from the CBD and is only serviced by the low-cost airlines Jetstar and Tiger, hence the fares from Avalon are usually cheaper. Both airlines also fly into Tullamarine, so be sure to double-check which one your flight departs from/arrives at! The terminal itself is about as simple as it gets, with just an ATM, car hire desks and baggage carousels in what looks like an old hanger at arrivals.

A taxi from Avalon to Melbourne CBD will cost up to $100, so it is advisable to catch the coach shuttle service, SITA Coaches (+61 3 9689 7999). Like the Tullamarine Skybus, the shuttle service runs to and from Southern Cross Station. Tickets can be purchased inside the terminal: $20 per adult and $10 per child one way, with an additional $7 per person charge for a transfer to city hotels. The buses meet every Jetstar arrival, but be aware only cash is accepted, not credit cards. The roads to Melbourne from Avalon are pretty easy to follow, so hiring a car for a couple of days to get to the city will usually be cheaper than a taxi, as long as you have somewhere to park. It is about 50 minutes drive to the CBD, but it can take longer in the morning peak, or on Sunday afternoons.

Train

All Melbourne rail services from inter-state and intra-state destinations operate to and from Southern Cross Train Station. The station has recently been renovated and has excellent links to the rest of the city's public transport network. The gateway to the city, however, is Flinders Street Station, one stop from Southern Cross. All train lines converge at Flinders Street Station, and it will be the most convenient place to begin your travel in Melbourne. The station is well staffed with information booths set up to help you on your way. The city rail system is known as Metlink and here you'll find all you need to know to manage your metropolitan transport within Melbourne. They also have a journey planner phone app you can download.

Services from cities within Victoria are operated by V/Line, and operate from regional centres such as Geelong, Ballarat, Albury, Bendigo and Bairnsdale. V/Line also operates bus services connecting with these trains. State-wide travel on trains and buses across Victoria can be found by visiting Viclink or for interstate train travel, www.countrylink.info.

Car

From Sydney, the quickest route is the inland Hume Highway, taking about 10-11 hours. The longer, but more scenic, coastal route is on the Princes Highway (National Route 1), which adds quite a few hours to the journey as the speeds are lower and there are fewer passing lanes.

Adelaide is slightly closer, and you can reach Melbourne in 8.5 - 9 hours. Once again, it is possible to go inland or along the coast - the coast is a nicer drive, but will add a couple of hours to the journey.

A direct journey from Brisbane takes around 21 hours of drive time, and takes you further inland along the Newell Highway. This makes an interesting alternative to the more common Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne coastal route, but don't do it all in one go! As with any long journey, regular rest stops are strongly advised for safely and will provide more opportunities to explore country that you might otherwise miss. Check other Appy Travels apps for inspiration!

Bus

Bus services to Melbourne from out of state are provided by Firefly Express and Greyhound.

Bus services within Victoria are operated by V/Line, and operate from most major and many minor Victorian towns.

Boat

Melbourne can be reached from Devonport, Tasmania by car/passenger ferries run by Spirit of Tasmania (+61 3 6421 7209). The journey takes 10 hours and runs every night in both directions, departing at 9pm and arriving at 7am. During the peak of Summer, there are also daytime sailings departing 9am and arriving 7pm, check in advance. Ticket prices depend on time of year and your sleeping accommodation. A seat (no bed) is the cheapest, starting from $108 for adults and $82 for children in off-peak. Bear in mind, the seat is equivalent to a cinema seat and can be uncomfortable. Cabins with bunk beds start from $187 adults, $97 children. Peak season costs are about 25% higher. Cars cost $59 all year round.

Cruise ships also arrive in Melbourne throughout the year, mostly in the Summer cruise season. All passenger boats serving Melbourne (including the Spirit of Tasmania) arrive at and depart from Station Pier in Port Melbourne, which is located a short distance from the CBD. For those without private transport, the 109 tram departs from the old railway station across the road from the pier and goes right into the heart of Melbourne.

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