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How To Reach Melbourne
Australia’s second largest city, and the capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne has the best of Australian culture on display. Museums, theatres, parks, pubs, sports arenas, Melbourne has it all and more. With such an extravagance that makes the city come alive and the Yarra river blowing life into its very soul, Melbourne becomes a major tourist attraction for those traveling to Australia. A must visit destination when visiting this island nation, Melbourne can be reached by air, sea, rail or road. Here's a sneak peak into each of these modes and which ones are better suited than the other.
Melbourne has a total of four operational airports out of which one serves cargo. Only one of the other three and the largest, the Melbourne International Airport, caters to international flights. Terminal 2 of the Melbourne Airport is dedicated to international flights. Terminals 1,3 and 4 care for domestic flights. Avalon Airport also has domestic flights flying in and out of it. Be sure to double check your booking if taking a domestic flight to Melbourne.
The Melbourne Airport lies 22 km from the city and can be reached by Taxis, Skybus, Shuttles, the Greenbus or the public transport with fares ranging from as high as $60 to as low as $5 depending upon your mode of transport.
If you’re travelling from Tasmania, the Spirit of Tasmania will get you to Melbourne in about 10 hours. The ship docks at Melbourne Port which lies several kilometres outside the CBD. This is usually an overnight trip. Although enjoyable, the journey is expensive and relatively less comfortable. Over and above that, you will also have to pay a peak season surcharge.
With roadways being extensive and well maintained, it is always better to travel by road or simply take a flight to Melbourne.
The railway terminus for Melbourne is Southern Cross Station on the western end of Melbourne CBD. The VLine, NSW Trainlink and the Great Southern Rail ply regularly on this route. Sydney has two daily trains to Melbourne while Adelaide has two weekly ones.
Although Australia has an extensive rail network, the trains are not up to the current modern standards that the rest of the country enjoys. Australia still doesn’t have super fast trains which make rail travel a hassle for many. Also, it is a very expensive mode of travel. Cars are any day more convenient, faster and cost-efficient.
Major highways connect Melbourne to other major cities in Australia. Adelaide is the closest by road at 9 hours. Sydney can be reached in 10-11 hours via Hume Highway and Brisbane; the farthest, can be reached in 21 hours and is generally covered over 3 days. Some of the major highways connecting Melbourne to other parts of Australia include the Hume Highway, Princes Highway and the East-West Link among others.
Interstate buses are operated by Firefly Express and Greyhound while intra-state ones are operated by V-Line and connect to the smaller towns within Victoria. If you possess an International Driving Licence, you could rent a car against a credit card security and drive down the amazing stretch of coastal roads yourself.
Getting Around in Melbourne
Melbourne has an extensive network of Public Transport and it is very easy to use. Most of the popular attractions in Melbourne can be reached by trams or trains. Trams within the CBD area are free of cost and luckily, most tourist attractions also fall within this area.
The Myki Card is the universal card to use for all public transportation, be it trains, trams or buses. These cards are available at station outlets, retail stores and even in Seven-Elevens. A non-refundable fee of $6 has to be paid to purchase the card which then has to be recharged for use.
For tourists, there is a Myki Visitor Value Pack for $15 which includes $9 of credit and various discount coupons for Melbourne attractions. These can be purchased at Melbourne Visitor Centre, SkyBus Terminals and even at some hotels.
Alternatively, you could also rent a bike to travel around the city at nominal rates.