Traveling to Melbourne
Melbourne Airport is 22 km (14 mi) northwest of the central business district. The international terminal is in the center of the airport complex; domestic terminals are found on either side. International airlines flying into Melbourne include Air New Zealand, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, and United. The local carriers currently serving Melbourne are Virgin Blue (tel. 13-6789) and Qantas (tel. 13-1313). Flying time from Los Angeles to Melbourne is around 14 hours. Flying time from Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo or Seoul to Melbourne is around 8 hours. From Europe, flights connecting through Singapore would be the most convenient.
Between the Airport and Town
The cost of a taxi from the airport into the city centre is approximately $70, travel time is about 35 minutes.
A cheaper (and faster) way of reaching the city centre is to take the airport SkyBus. One way is $18 and a return fare is $35. See http://www.skybus.com.au/ for more information. You can buy tickets at airport or book tickets online. The SkyBus arrives at Southern Cross train station in the city centre.
Paying with cash on the tram is not possible. You will have to purchase a Myki card at the train station and add some travel money to it. For more information, see the Ticketing section on this page.
Warning: If you rent a car, ask for it to be equipped with an e-tag (electronic tag) which is necessary on many sections of the central freeway, including the section between the airport and the city.
Greyhound/Pioneer (tel. 13-1238) links the city with all Australian capital cities and with major towns and cities throughout Victoria. The terminal is on the corner of Swanston and Franklin streets.
The major route into Melbourne is Hume Highway, which runs northeast to Canberra, 646 km (400 mi) distant, and Sydney, which is 868 km (540 mi). Princes Highway follows the coast to Sydney in one direction and to Adelaide, 728 km (455 mi) northwest of Melbourne, in the other. The Western Highway runs northwest 111 km (70 mi) to Ballarat, and the Calder Highway travels north to Bendigo, a journey of 149 km (93 mi).
Note the warning above regarding the e-tag. You can either plan to avoid e-tag sections of the freeway or purchase a daily pass at Shell stations.
Spencer Street Railway Station is at Spencer and Little Collins streets. Public transportation is accessible from here, but travellers with cumbersome luggage may want to hire one of the many taxis waiting outside the station. If you have little luggage, catch tram 75 outside the station which will take you. Trams are equipped with machines which take coins and notes and give change. The one way fare is about AU$5.8.
Myki is Melbourne's ticket to travel on the city's trains, trams and buses.
International and interstate visitors coming to Victoria can buy a full fare or concession myki Visitor Pack from the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square or from the PTV Hub at Southern Cross Station near the corner of Spencer and Collins streets or ask your hotel. The Myki card is available in train stations, bus stations and tram stations.
The myki Visitor Pack includes a durable myki smartcard pre-loaded with enough value for one day's travel in Zone 1, which includes the entire tram network.
If travelling for more than one day, your myki can be instantly topped up at:
- myki machines at all metropolitan train stations and some accessible tram stops and bus interchanges
- customer service centres at staffed train stations
- close to 800 retail outlets, including all 7-Eleven stores, where you see the myki sign
- the PTV Hub at Southern Cross Station.
Always remember to touch on and off your myki as you enter the paid area of a train station or board a tram or bus.
Fares for travelling on Melbourne's trains, trams and buses are separated into two zones: Zone 1 for the CBD and inner suburbs, and Zone 2 for the middle and outer suburbs.
Use the public transport maps to check what zones you are planning to visit and make sure you have enough value on your myki to cover your entire journey.
As you touch on and touch off your myki, the system automatically calculates the lowest fare for your trip.
Please note: your myki need to be valid for each zone travelled in; however, when travelling in a zone boundary overlap, your myki can be valid for either zone.
Hours of operation for Melbourne's trains, trams and buses
Train and tram services run between 5am and midnight, Monday to Thursday, with extended hours to around 1am on Friday and Saturday nights. On Sunday, trains and trams run from 7am to 11pm. Many of Melbourne's bus routes run from 6am - 9pm Mon - Fri, 8am - 9pm Saturday and 9am - 9pm Sunday.