Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria © Josie Withers Photography
Getting around Melbourne
Whether you self-drive or take advantage of Melbourne’s efficient public transport system, you’ll find it easy and efficient to get around the city.
By Mark Sariban
Australia’s cities all offer clean, efficient and affordable public transport options, allowing visitors to explore with ease and comfort. Known for its historic suburban tram system, Melbourne is no exception to this rule. Jump on board any of these great transport options and discover how easy it is to get around Melbourne.
Transport in Melbourne
- Airport Transfers
Melbourne offers free tram rides within the city centre. To use public transport outside of the free tram zone, you need to purchase a myki card. You can purchase a myki card from retail outlets displaying the myki sign, visitor centres and at train stations.
- Use your myki card on trains, trams and buses. You’ll need to load your card with some money to cover your fares. You can top it up at convenience stores and train stations as your balance runs low.
- You can also purchase a myki Explorer kit, which includes a myki card loaded with a full day of unlimited travel on trains, trams and buses in metropolitan Melbourne, handy maps and discounts on tickets to major attractions.
- To start your ride, tap your myki card on the reader when you board your selected mode of transport and be sure to tap off when you disembark.
Melbourne is serviced by two airports, Melbourne Airport (MEL) and Avalon Airport (AVV). There are several public transport options available for reaching the city from either airport.
- SkyBus express services run between 4am and 1am daily from Melbourne Airport and from early morning to evening from Avalon Airport. Both SkyBus services stop at Southern Cross Station on Spencer Street in the city. Tickets can be purchased either online or at the airport.
- You’ll find taxi ranks and rideshare pick-up areas at the front of each terminal – simply follow the signage. The journey to the city from Melbourne Airport takes around 30 minutes, or 50 minutes from Avalon Airport.
Tip: If you’re in a group, it will be less expensive to travel from Melbourne Airport to the city by taxi or rideshare.
In Australia, airlines, trains, buses and ferries have accessible options for people using a wheelchair or mobility device.
- Melbourne Airport provides special assistance for people with disabilities and can help with baggage, getting around the airport, and getting on and off the plane.
- The majority of buses and trains have accessible options – check the Public Transport Victoria Accessibility page for information on using public transport before your trip.
Getting around Melbourne on public transport
Trains are a great way to visit attractions across the city and reach the surrounding suburb. Major stations in the city include Central, Flinders and Southern Cross Station. Use the Journey planner tool to find your route.
- Trains to regional destinations including Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Albury operate on the V/Line services. You can use your myki card on all train networks.
Catching a tram is a great way to get around Melbourne while getting a feel for the city. Use the Journey planner tool to find your route.
- A Free Tram Zone operates in Melbourne city centre. If your travel is within this zone you don’t need to tap on or off with your myki card.
- The free hop-on, hop-off City Circle Tram (number 35) is a great introduction to Melbourne, with city loop services running every 15 minutes.
- Melbourne’s suburban tram routes run in two zones, with the cost using your myki card calculated according to the zones you travel in.
Getting around Melbourne by car
Driving in Melbourne is easy and safe, but you may want to check whether your hotel charges a daily parking fee.
Melbourne is the only city in Australia with a ‘hook turn’ (a right-hand turn you make from the left-hand lane), so be sure to familiarise yourself with this manoeuvre if you’re planning to drive in the city.
Having a car for part of your trip may be beneficial if you plan to visit some of the stunning destinations outside of Melbourne, but you can also book tours to many of these places and leave the driving to someone else.
Tip: You will be asked to pre-pay an estimated fare when riding in a taxi after 10pm.
Tip: Female travellers can also book a ride with Shebah, a rideshare service with all-women drivers catering to women. (Adult men can use the service if they need to transport a child who requires an approved child safety seat.)
Other forms of transport in Melbourne
- Water taxis
- Cycling & scooting