OVERVIEW

Melbourne is well connected with plenty of options for flights. Taking the train, coach or driving are all viable options too.

Choices for accommodation in Melbourne are plenty with most tourists finding a hotel in the CBD, on the other side of the Yarra in Southbank, or in Docklands.

Take a look below for all the details on how to get to Melbourne and where to stay.

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How To Get To Melbourne

 

Flights To Melbourne

 

Every major airport in Australia has a flight to Melbourne with the route to Sydney being one of the busiest in the world.

 

There are two airports, the main one being Tullamarine airport, which is located 23km north of the CBD and has 4 terminals which are all joined together in a row. Avalon airport, 50km south west of the city, is small and caters to a fraction of the number of flights of the main airport.

Domestic Airlines flying into Melbourne Tullamarine include Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar and Rex. Avalon serves Jetstar only for domestic routes.

Note: The following is an indication of flights at the time of writing. Due to snap border restrictions, this information may be incorrect. Similarly, if restrictions are eased, expect the number of flights to increase.

All flights to Tullamarine unless stated otherwise.

From Sydney

Usually Jetstar, Vrigin, Rex and Qantas fly up to 40 times per day between them. Jetstar also have some flights to Avalon airport.

1hr30min flight time.

From Brisbane

Over 30 flights per day arrive from Brisbane through Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar. 2hr30min flight time.

From Gold Coast

Up to 20 flights per day from the all 4 airlines. 2hr flight time.

From Adelaide

There are currently over 20 flights per day through Virgin, Qantas, Jetstar and Rex. 1hr30min flight time.

From Perth

A dozen or so flights per day are scheduled with Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar. 4hr flight time.

From Hobart

Up to 15 flights per day through Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar. 1hr15min flight time.

From Darwin

A hand full of flights per day through all 3 main airlines. 4hr30min flight time.

From Canberra

A dozen flights a day are offered through Rex, Qantas and Virgin. 1hr10min flight time.

From Regional Towns

Flights are often scheduled from the following regional centres: -

Albury, Uluru/Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Balina, Broome, Burnie-Wynyard, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Devonport, Hamilton Island, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, King Island, Kingscote/Kangaroo Island, Launceston, Merimbula, Mildura, Mount Gambier, Newcastle, Prosperpine, Sunshine Coast, Toowomba, Townsville, Wagga Wagga.

Getting from the Airports to the city

The simplest way to get to and from both airports is with the Skybus, that goes directly to/from Southern Cross train station at regular intervals, and makes for easy connections to V-line (regional) trains, metro trains or trams and taxis in the CBD. Tickets are currently $15 each way but are normally $19, and it takes around 30min along a freeway to make the journey from Tullamarine.

If there are 3 or more of you, a taxi/uber will probably be a little cheaper and will take the same amount of time - allow for an extra 20minutes if travelling at peak hour as the freeways can get busy.

V-line buses and buses to Bendigo and Ballarat are available directly at the airport.

More information at: -

www.melbourneairport.com.au/Passengers/Parking/Ground-transport-options/

If budget is a concern, you can save some money from Tullamarine by getting a myki card and taking a public bus to connect to a metro line. This will take around one hour and thirty minutes to the CBD.

Sustainability Tip

Avoid flying at all costs and take the train instead. If you have no choice but to fly, offset your carbon emissions.

Read our 'How to travel sustainably' guide for all the tips and information.

Sydney train travel

Train at Central Station, Sydney © Luke White

Trains To Melbourne

 

You can avoid flying and take the train to Melbourne from several cities and regional centres of Victoria.

From Sydney

There is a day time and an overnight XPT train operated by Transport NSW, each taking around 11 hours from Central station. The overnight train offers the most convenience as you arrive before 8am, so you can maximise your time in Melbourne. Sleeper cars are available but pricey at around $250 per person.

More info here.

From Adelaide

The company that runs the Ghan and Indian Pacific trains also run The Overland, which is a wonderful 11 hour day time journey between Adelaide and Melbourne. From $115 one way.

More info here.

From Other Cities

Melbourne can be reached by traveling via Sydney from Brisbane and other NSW and Queensland locations. Canberra could reach Melbourne by changing at Goulburn. Melbourne could be reached from Perth or Darwin via Adelaide.

For information on train travel throughout Australia, try Seat61.

Coach To Melbourne

 

Regular coach services are run by several companies to Melbourne from Sydney (via Canberra) and Adelaide.

Firefly

Operate a day time run from Sydney and a day time and overnight run from Adelaide, starting at $35 and each taking around 12 hours.

Greyhound

From Sydney via Canberra. Fares start at $100 and it takes around 12 hours.

Murrays

Service currently suspended.

 

V-Line

Victoria public transport provider run coaches from regional Victoria.

Drive To Melbourne

 

You can avoid flying and take the train to Melbourne from several cities and regional centres of Victoria.

From Sydney

It takes about 9 hours of pure driving time. You will pass through Ned Kelly country and near the Goldfields region (Bendigo), plus close to Canberra, which are all worth a stop. Going the coastal route will take around 12.5hours of driving time.

From Adelaide

It takes just over 8 hours of driving time. The only notable attraction on the way is the fabulous Grampians national park.

Toll Roads

Whilst you can get to the CBD without using toll roads, if you are driving about to other nearby areas you may end up using them unwittingly. Non of them are necessary to navigate the city however, so change your maps settings to avoid tolls and you should be fine.

Parking

In the CBD is very expensive, so consider parking at a train station on the outskirts of the city and travelling by train. On weekends there are some free parking spots within a reasonable walking distance to the CBD, or at least the free tram zone - try areas just on the edge of the CBD grid.

Be sure to check be aware of the safety tips regarding driving along tram routes on the essential info page.

Ferry To Melbourne

 

The Spirit Of Tasmania ferry sails from Devonport in the north of the Tasmania directly to Melbourne, docking at Port Melbourne. If you don't have a vehicle that's no problem - there is a tram stop right outside the terminal. Sailings are overnight with an additional day sailing during the summer with reclining seats or cabins available.

Cruise Ship

 

Cruise ships usually dock in Port Melbourne, at the same place as the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. A tram stop is directly over the road from the terminal and takes around 20min to get to the CBD or it's just a 15min drive in a taxi/uber.

Destinations/arrivals include New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, the Australian east coast, or even longer cruises that go to/from Asia or around the world.

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Where To Stay In Melbourne

Hotels In Melbourne

 

Most of the attractions and cultural life are in or around the CBD, so this is by far the best area to stay in. The excellent public transport, particularly the free tram zone that allows you to zoom across the CBD with ease, means that the specific area of the CBD is not so important. But if you want to be close to all the action, i.e. restaurants and bars, then being close to or east of Swanston Street will help. Proximity to one of the 5 train stations on the city loop may also be useful if you have some things to do outside of the CBD.

For the best views, try staying in a hotel near the river, particularly on the southern side in Southbank, where you can look out towards the city.

Notable high end hotels are The Langham and Crown casino hotels, both in Southbank. The Intercontinental has an interesting setting as it is built across two historic buildings.

Air BnB

 

A greater variety of accommodation can be found on Air BnB and they are located in all areas.

Backpackers

 

There are a few hostels in the CBD close to Southern Cross station, plus plenty of others at the southern end of Elizabeth street and dotted around the city.

St Kilda is a popular backpacker area and has plenty of options.

Camping In Melbourne

 

There are a few good camping options in Melbourne. Try the following: -

Big 4 - This park is located in Coburg and takes about 1 hour to get to the CBD on public transport by taking the no11 tram, or you can drive it in 30min. More info here.

Discovery - Located in Baybrook, about 10km from the CBD, it takes about 45min on a bus from the stop right outside the park to get to the city, or a 25min drive. More info here.

Crystal Brook - This lovely woodland caravan park is located on the eastern fringe of the city which gives good access to the Yarra valley and Dandenongs. A bus ride from right outside the park will get you to the CBD in 1 hour or you can drive it in around 35min. More info here.

Lilydale Pine - Even further east is this caravan park that requires a bus and a train to get to the CBD in around 1hr20min. Driving will take about 1hr too. More info here.

Need the detailed information? Go to the third page of our guide for all the 'Essential info' like getting around, food, shopping, and much more.

Or go back to page 1 to discover all the 'Things to do'.

AUTHORED BY

Christopher Jubb, Founder of Travel Unpacked

More information available on our About page

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