What to do when you get to Melbourne Airport

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What to do when you get to Melbourne Airport

Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city and some say the most European of all Australia’s cities.  A heaven for food and culture lovers and equally popular for the sports-mad. It is unsurprising that Melbourne has been named one of the world’s most “liveable cities”.

Located in South Australia, Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport is the second busiest airport in Australia. Despite having four terminals, is easy to navigate with everything under one roof.  One terminal is dedicated to international travel and the remaining three, domestic.

Flights to and from Melbourne

Melbourne Airport saw more than 35 million passengers back in 2017/18, 25 million domestic and 10 million international travellers.  The Melbourne –Sydney air route is the third most-travelled passenger air route in the world; Melbourne Airport is the main hub for both Qantas and Virgin Australia.  Serving international destinations such as; Europe, Asia, North and South America, and the Pacific, along with direct flights to 33 domestic destinations. It is no surprise that this airport is the number one arrival/departure point; serving several other Australian cities as a result. 

At the airport – Transport Options 

1. Car Rental Hire 

Melbourne Airport has six onsite car rental companies; all located on the ground floor of the airport terminal 1,2, and 3 car parks – conveniently located under one roof. The rental offices are located directly opposite Terminal 2, international departures and arrivals.   Each car rental company is accessible via the walkways from the terminals and returns through the Terminal Car Park at Terminal 1, 2 & 3. If you’re planning to pick up a rental car, it’s much cheaper to book in advance through a comparison website like Stress-Free Car Rental. 

2. Taxis’ and Public Transportation

Taxis are located on the ground floor of each of the terminal buildings; and provide the fastest and most direct way to get to your hotel; or any of the surrounding suburbs and neighbourhoods in Melbourne. Expect to pay approximately AU$60-65 for a taxi ride to the city centre and the drive time takes between 35-40 minutes.

In terms of public transport, there are two bus options; the Skybus, which is a cost-effective and convenient way to travel to the city centre. Tickets for this Melbourne City Express bus can be purchased either online ahead of your travel; or on the ground floors of Terminals 1, 3, and 4 at one of the red-coloured ticket booths.  The ticket price is from just AU$15 one way, or AU$28 return and takes 30-40 minutes.

Public bus services operate on the ground floor of the airport, near Terminal 4.  The journey time Melbourne CBD (Central Business District) is approximately 70-80 minutes and you will need a Myki card to use the bus

3. Airport Parking

Melbourne Airport has plenty of options for parking, dependent on location and budget.

Long-term parking is the cheapest option and does provide a 24/7 shuttle bus every 5 minutes to transport you to/from the airport terminal.

A value short stay option has recently been launched which offers up to 4 hours of parking for a flat rate of AU$10 – ideal for meet and greet at the airport.  Again, there is a free shuttle service to/from the airport terminal for this service, 24/7.

Premium parking and valet parking options are also available for a more convenient and time-saving door-to-door experience.

At the Airport – Food, shopping, and airport lounges

1. Food and drink options

With Melbourne famously known for being a ‘food lover’s paradise’; Melbourne Airport reflects the broad range of tasty food the city has to offer. Whether you have time to spare and are looking for a relaxed sit-down experience, or alternatively seeking a speedy ‘grab and go meal, Melbourne Airport has options for everyone.  From Indian, Mexican, Italian, or French, every cuisine is catered for depending on how adventurous your palate.  There are also options to cater to everyone’s budget, whether you are looking for an over-indulgent experience for a special occasion or keeping towards a tighter budget on a shoestring.

2. Shopping

With an extensive and varied range of shops, Melbourne Airport is a haven for shoppers.  From local souvenirs to luxury goods, it has it all, again to cater to your budget.

3. Airport Lounges

Melbourne Airport has a number of Airport Lounges; whether you are already a member or would prefer to purchase a day pass to access them.  Day pass option lounges include the Marhaba lounge, Plaza Premium Lounge, and The House, all located in Terminal 2.

All lounges provide an extensive range of complimentary food and beverage options; WiFi, and facilities to keep refreshed prior to your journey.

Nearby attractions and the City

Melbourne CBD – Melbourne Airport is approximately 23 kilometres from the Central Business District. It can be reached in as little as 23 minutes by taxi or the direct Skybus.

The Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria is a must-see attraction when visiting Melbourne; and offers a truly breath-taking and unique experience of some of the world’s most rare and beautiful plants, landscape and iconic buildings.  The Gardens are located just 27 kilometres from Melbourne Airport by car.

Located just over 20 kilometres from Melbourne Airport, taking less than 20 minutes by car; the Queen Victoria open-air Market is an iconic landmark in Melbourne. Discover a vast array of fresh, quality produce and specialty shopping that has something to suit everyone!

Less than 30 minutes from the Airport by car, 28 kilometres away, is Melbourne Cricket Ground.  It is the largest cricket ground in the whole of the southern hemisphere. Another iconic landmark in Melbourne hosting both cricket and football games to the thousands.

Melbourne Zoo, just a 15-minute drive from Melbourne Airport, only 17 kilometres away; is a great day out for the whole family. With a huge variety of animals and exhibits on offer, journey through a world of wildlife in the heart of Melbourne.

Hannah Murray

Hannah is a freelance travel and fashion writer who prides herself in finding the perfect tours and operators to make your journey as authentic and memorable as possible.

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