Getting to Melbourne
Melbourne Airport is serviced by 27 international airlines. The airport is approximately 22 kilometres from the city – approximately 25 minutes drive.
From London, you can fly direct to Melbourne – the journey takes around 20 hours. There are also indirect flights, making the journey longer but considerably less expensive. From North America, you can catch a direct flight to Melbourne, as well as a number of single-stop services. Excluding stopovers, flying time to Melbourne is around 20 hours from New York or Toronto, 18 hours from Vancouver, or 15 hours from Los Angeles. From New Zealand, there is a range of flights available to Melbourne, with those from Auckland taking approximately three-and-a-half hours.
Customs and immigration queues are generally short. The airport, which affords easy access to connecting interstate and international flights, has baggage lockers in the international terminal, around-the-clock foreign exchange counters, restaurants, bars, a children's playground, information desks, major car rental companies and, for departing travellers, a refund booth to reclaim the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on some goods. There is also ample parking for private vehicles.
A departure tax of AUD$38 is charged on leaving the country but it is usually incorporated in your airline ticket. If in doubt, ask at the information desk.
Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger are the major domestic carriers and are housed within the main terminal at Melbourne Airport. Jetstar also flies from Avalon Airport near Geelong. The airlines operate regular services throughout the day from Australia's major cities, with flights leaving every 15 minutes in busy periods.
For airline travel within Victoria you can choose from several regional airlines, such as Qantas Link and REX (Regional Express), which fly to Melbourne and larger regional centres including Mildura, Portland, Traralgon and Mount Hotham. Smaller airlines also operate out of these regional centres.
SkyBus operates from Melbourne Airport to the City non stop, with an average trip time of 20 minutes. Operating 24 hours, seven days a week, including all public holidays leaving every ten minutes during the day. SkyBus is approximately a third of the cost of a taxi to and from the airport and city (approx $18).Tickets can be purchased online or at a SkyBus ticket booth before you board the bus. Mobility-enhanced with wheelchair passenger access, on-board baggage storage and air-conditioning. Passengers board SkyBus at Terminal T3 (International Airlines, Virgin Australia, Tigerair and Regional Express), Terminal T1 (Qantas and Jetstar domestic) or Melbourne City, on the corner of Spencer and Bourke Streets in the Southern Cross Railway Station complex undercover bus interchange terminal. SkyBus have a free hotel transfer service to select city accommodation operating from the bus terminal in the city. Please visit the website for operating hours and further details - www.skybus.com.au
Victoria's compact size and diversity of landscapes makes it ideal for touring. As well, the major roads between cities and country towns are well signposted and generally of a high standard.
If you're planning to drive to Melbourne, allow at least nine hours from Adelaide, 10 hours from Sydney, 20 hours from Brisbane and up to two days from Perth. But if you've got a little extra time, the coastal roads are highly recommended for their scenic beauty and quaint towns.
Overland trains to and around Victoria offer a comfortable way to explore the state's diverse and at times dramatic landscapes.
Trains servicing country Victoria and interstate routes arrive at Southern Cross Station, part of the metropolitan train system's underground city loop service. However some lines do schedule passenger collection points at limited metropolitan train stations including Dandenong, North Melbourne and Caulfield.
Major cities and tourist centres in Victoria are serviced by V/Line, who also run a connecting bus service. The Overland train service from Adelaide is operated by Great Southern Railway Limited and takes between 9 and 12 hours depending on the scheduled stops, while the CountryLink XPT train service from Sydney to Melbourne takes around 10-11 hours.
To find out about train services operating outside Victoria, visit the websites of Great Southern Railway and CountryLink For information on train journeys, fares and timetables within Victoria, visit the V/Line website
Generally less expensive than trains, buses are one of the best ways to see more of Melbourne and Victoria. Well equipped and with modern fleets, a number of bus lines operate throughout the state and offer a broader range of destinations and itineraries than the train network.
Country and interstate buses pick-up and depart from the Melbourne Transit Centre at 58 Franklin Street, near the top of Swanston Street, and at Southern Cross Station. Daylight and overnight buses arrive each day from both Adelaide and Sydney and take between 11 and 12 hours. However, a slower more scenic journey can be experienced with smaller bus companies that ply the coastal routes.
For more information about bus lines and their services visit the websites below: