Melbourne Airport Guide
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Buses to and from Melbourne Airport (MEL)

Melbourne Airport is one of the most important airports in Australia, and is found approximately 23 km, or 14 miles from the Central Business District of Melbourne. Ahead of Brisbane Airport, and just behind Sydney Airport, the airport of Melbourne is the second largest on the continent, serving just over 27 million passengers per annum. The airport is also a hub for the airline carriers of Tiger Airways Australia, Qantas, Virgin Australia and JetStar Airways. Melbourne Airport is also known as the Tullamarine Airport, due to its location adjacent to this suburb, and has the official airport code of MEL. Passengers travelling to and from the airport have various transport options, which include by bus. The bus services at Melbourne Airport are frequent, reliable and cost effective, and serve a variety of destinations.

Melbourne Airport consists of four terminal buildings, and the bus stops are located within walking distance of all the airport’s facilities. The terminals are referred to as Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3 and Terminal 4, and each area handles a number of airline carriers. Since that the majority of passengers flying from Melbourne Airport travel to local destinations, two of the terminals are dedicated for use by domestic airline companies, while one terminal, Terminal 2, is the international terminal. Terminal 4 at Melbourne Airport handles all budget airline carriers. The domestic terminals are found on either side of the international terminal, ensuring that passengers on transfer flights will easily be able to walk to their next terminal. Terminal 1 is located on the northern end of the building, which is to the right-hand side when facing the front of the terminal, and serves Qantas and Jetstar, while Terminal 3 is on the southern end, and is home to Virgin Blue and Regional Express. Terminal 4 can be found on the far southern end of the passenger building, just past Terminal 3, and is mainly served by Tiger Airways.

The main public bus service that is available from Melbourne Airport is the Skybus. The Skybus takes passengers from the airport to the city centre of Melbourne, and stops at the Southern Cross Station. It is considered to be an express bus service, operating twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and even on public holidays. During the day, and busier hours of operation at the airport, the Skybus is available every ten to fifteen minutes, and during later evening and earlier morning hours, the buses depart approximately every half an hour. The Skybus provides a most convenient way to travel to the Central Business District of Melbourne, from where further connections to all areas in the region are available.

At the Southern Cross Station, passengers can arrange for travel on the V/Line Regional and the suburban trains of the Melbourne Metropolitan, as well as for the interstate train services. Connections can also be made to the Yarra Trams, and with many other local and regional bus services. From the Southern Cross Station, the Skybus may offer a complimentary hotel transfer service as well. This service is subject to availability, and operates during the following times:  Monday to Friday, 06:00 to 22:00, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 07:30 to 17:30. The service does not operate on Christmas day.   

Tickets for the Skybus express service can be purchased upon arrival at the bus stop, or online, in advance of your trip to Melbourne Airport, at http://www.skybus.com.au. Further details in regards to the bus service are also available on this website. A one-way ticket for an adult to central Melbourne will cost $16.00, while a single return ticket is $26.00. A ticket for a child of between six and fourteen years of age will be $6.00, one-way. Bus tickets can also be purchased in larger quantities, and are usually much cheaper if purchased in such a way. Family tickets are available for $36.00, which includes the bus fares for two adults and between one and four children for one-way travel. A return ticket for this size of family is $56.00. A family ticket may also cover just one adult and up four children, at a cost of $22.00 one-way, and a return ticket $36.00. For groups of travellers, ten tickets can be purchased for $120.

Several other bus services offer routes to various areas in Melbourne, and taking one of these buses will save you the transfer to the V/Line services at the central station. Alternative buses include the Airport Shuttle to the Ballarat Area, the Airport Bus to Dandenong, the Geelong area Gull Airport Services, and the Airport Direct shuttle to Wodonga and the North East Alpine region. Buses also travel to Shepparton and the Southern Riverina area, the eastern, western, northern and north-west suburbs of Melbourne, the area of Bendigo and Frankston. The area of Frankston is serviced by the 901 SmartBus, which is a newer bus service at Melbourne Airport, and provides a more frequent service than the other buses.

Passengers who are travelling to their hotel in Melbourne may be able to use their place of accommodation’s complimentary free airport shuttle service. Many of the large hotel chains have their own shuttle buses, and offer this service for their airport customers. The hotels nearby Melbourne Airport include the Hilton Melbourne Airport, the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport MEL Hotel, Best Western Ciloms Lodge and the Quality Hotel Tullamarine. A hotel transfer service usually requires an advanced reservation.

Further information regarding the bus services at Melbourne Airport is available from the information desk found in the airport’s main terminal building.