Melbourne Airport Guide
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Getting to Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport is Australia’s second busiest airport, falling just behind Sydney Airport in terms of passenger traffic, and just ahead of Brisbane Airport. Over 27 million passengers pass through Melbourne Airport each year, and the airport is a major hub for airline companies such as JetStar, Virgin Australia, Tiger Airways Australia and Qantas. Open for business in 1970, Melbourne Airport became the official international air gateway to the region, replacing the majority of the services previously handled by the Essendon Airport located nearby. A couple of main roads provide access to Melbourne Airport, and motorists should easily find direction to the airport from the road signs. The airport is also fully equipped for the needs of both arriving and departing passengers.

The airport of Melbourne is located approximately 23 km, or 14 miles north-west of the Central Business District of Melbourne, and falls under the region known as Victoria (VIC). The airport is also well known as the Tullamarine Airport, which helps to distinguish it from the other three smaller airports in the area, and has the official airport code of MEL. Its second name comes from its location, adjacent to the suburb of Tullamarine. Nearby areas to Melbourne Airport are Broadmeadows and Fawkner to the east, St Albans, Essendon and Avondale Heights to the south, Craigieburn and Bulla to the north, and to the west, lie the Taylors Lakes and Sydenham.

The city of Melbourne is also nearby other popular cities in Australia, such as Adelaide found to the north-west and Canberra to the north-east. Melbourne is a southern coastal region of Australia, with the Tasman Sea on its eastern side, and the island of Tasmania to the south as well.

The two major highways providing access to Melbourne Airport are the Tullamarine Freeway and the Western Ring Road, while other roads of importance include the Calder Freeway, Sunbury Road, Sharps Road, Keilor Road and the Hume Freeway and Highway, which leads to the Western Ring Road from northern areas, such as Craigieburn and beyond. The Hume Highway is also linked to Somerton Road, which leads past Meadow Heights and Greenvale. From Sharps Road and Keilor Road motorists can access the Western Ring Road, and then Sunbury Road, which leads directly past Melbourne Airport. The Calder Freeway is to the south of Melbourne Airport, and is also linked to the Western Ring Road. The coordinates used for Melbourne Airport are 37°40′24″S 144°50′36″E.

The quickest route to Melbourne Airport from the city centre of Melbourne is via the Tullamarine Freeway, also known as the CityLink Tollway, and the drive will take approximately 25 minutes to half an hour, depending on traffic conditions. However, motorists may be required to obtain a CityLink pass in order to access Melbourne Airport from this freeway. The Western Ring Road is a toll-free route, but more accessible from northern suburbs of Melbourne, such as Fawkner, Greensborough, Bundoora and Thomastown. To the east, the Western Ring Road becomes the Northern Ring Road and the Metropolitan Ring Road. Roads leading towards the city centre of Melbourne from eastern areas include Dandenong Road, the Nepean Highway, the Monash Freeway, Victoria Street and the Eastern Freeway.

Traffic conditions on the way to Melbourne Airport may vary, therefore always leave in plenty of time to travel to the airport, and to find a suitable parking space. A large variety of parking options are available for passengers arriving in their own vehicles. The airport consists of four terminal buildings, with a main area at the entrance of the airport. The terminals are all within walking distance of one another, and handle various types of flights from different airline companies. Terminal 2 is the international terminal, and also features an extra satellite terminal which is connected to the main terminal by way of an above-ground corridor. Terminal 1 and 3 are located on either side of the international terminal, with Terminal 1 to the right-hand side when facing the front of the airport building, and Terminal 3 to the left. These are the two domestic terminals of Melbourne Airport, handling flights from Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Regional Express. On the far southern end of the building, just past Terminal 3, is Terminal 4, which is home to all budget airline companies at Melbourne Airport.

All the terminals at Melbourne Airport are well equipped with a variety of facilities, which include currency exchange and banking services, ATM cash points, travel agencies, left luggage facilities, a prayer room, showers, public telephones, internet connections and baby changing areas. Business and conference facilities are found at Melbourne Airport, and there are further services for business passengers at the nearby, and on-site Parkroyal Hotel. There are also numerous VIP lounges available, which include the Virgin Blue Lounge and the Qantas Club in the domestic terminals and the Cathay Pacific Lounge and the Golden Lounge in the international terminal. A wide variety of shops and restaurants are available throughout the terminals as well.

For those who do not wish to park at Melbourne Airport, bus services known as the Skybuses travel from the centre of Melbourne, and many other bus companies offer services from other areas in the region. The Smartbus is also a new addition to the bus services at the airport. Taxis can be used from all areas of the city, but unfortunately, the airport is not directly connected to any railway transport. Trains can be taken from central Melbourne. More detailed directions to Melbourne Airport can be found online, at http://maps.google.com.