From the crisp, refreshing air to the gorgeous beaches, visiting Melbourne is more than a vacation; it is an experience of a lifetime. While Melbourne can be quite inviting all through the year, most would agree that autumn is the ideal season to visit. Autumn in Melbourne is from March to May. During this time, the parks and gardens are in full bloom, sporting and annual festivals are on, and there are plenty of entertainment options available while you enjoy excellent weather. If you do not mind cooler temperatures, visiting in September will give you the opportunity to attend the football finals, while mid-January offers you the opportunity to watch the Australian Open Tennis Tournament.
Domestic flights to Melbourne are offered throughout Australia by multiple carriers, including Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Jetstar. For cheap flights to Melbourne, you can try Tiger Airways, but note that the services are heavily reduced to help you save on ticket costs.
From Tullamarine Airport, the fastest way to the city centre is by taxi. The next best option is the Skybus or the airport shuttle. Public transportation takes twice as long. The cheapest form of Melbourne transportation out of Tullamarine Airport is public transportation. A one-way ticket costs $6 AUD with a Myki card. Greenbus costs $12 – $14 AUD, Skybus costs $18 – $20 AUD, and shuttles average a similar price range. A taxi could cost you $55 – $60 AUD for one-way travel.
Avalon Airport is situated on outer Geelong. It is 55 kilometres from Melbourne and the only flight carrier that goes to Avalon is Jetstar. Taxis are available to the Melbourne CBD for approximately $120 AUD for a one-way trip. SITA coaches take you to Melbourne’s Southern Cross station for $20 AUD per adult and $10 AUD per child (one-way only). Buses arrive with Jetstar flights, and charge $7 AUD per person for transfers to city hotels. Credit cards are not accepted on buses; so make sure you carry enough cash. Regional trains are also an option running from Lara station, approximately 8 kilometres from the airport terminals. They go to Southern Cross station each hour for $5.60 AUD per trip. Children under 17 pay half-price, but during off-peak travel times, up to 2 children may travel free with their parent. Taxis costs about $15 AUD to the station.
Hiring a private car is also an option, and may be more cost-effective than a taxi cab service. However, you must have a place at your hotel to park the car. Road connections between Avalon and Melbourne take approximately 50 minutes by car, but longer during peak hours and on Sundays. If you plan to drive around on your own, you can look for good bargains on car rentals with momondo.
Melbourne uses a grid system with their city centre. It is easy to navigate around most central areas by following the grid numbers and coordinating direction. During peak hours, you may find that walking is better (and faster) than public transportation. Melbourne transportation is quite convenient and affordable for those who do not want to walk. Flinders Street station is where you board all suburban trains, which is opposite the Federation Square. Multiple lines go through the City Loop, which connects to three underground stations through the Southern Cross station. Blue signs will indicate which station the train is going to, including Parliament, Melbourne Central, and Flagstaff. The tram network is one of the largest in the world and covers most of Melbourne. The City Circle Tram runs free around the CBD (Central Business District) and Docklands. Buses link to areas that have no train or tram connection. They also service major shopping centres and suburbs.
The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle takes you to most attractions in the CBD, Docklands, and Carlton areas every 15 minutes with a rate of $5 AUD per day. Bike paths are throughout the city and because of the city’s flat terrain, you could rent a bicycle and get around quite easily.
Melbourne is home to multiple districts, each with their own key features.
City Centre (Docklands)
Known as the Central Business District, here you will find restaurants, pubs, clubs, and tons of public transportation. City Centre is the reason Melbourne was voted the world’s most liveable city. Here you will also find the Melbourne Zoo and Melbourne Star Wheel.
Here you will find a theatre complex, fine dining restaurants, cafes, the Crown Casino, and an entertainment complex. There are river trips that depart from Southbank daily too.
If you want to enjoy the beach life on your trip, St. Kilda has sunny beaches, restaurants, bars, and plenty of nightlife activities. While you are here, stop in to see the Shrine of Remembrance.
Here you find the old ports of Melbourne, including the historic Clarendon Street and centre.
Known as the University district, Inner North is home to Lygon street, Italian culture, and fine Italian cuisine. Step into one of the many Italian eateries and cafes for some truly delicious treats.
Known as the Bohemian quarter, you will find trendy little shops and boutiques, exquisite dining, luxury stores, and some of the most exotic cuisine options, including Vietnamese, Thai, Middle-Eastern, and more. The pubs here are full of character and you are sure to have a good time.
This is an upper-class neighbourhood with fine dining eateries and plenty of options for shopping. It is also a good place to stop in and grab a few bargains on leading fashion labels. This is also the place where you can book a day wine tour and go around tasting Australia’s finest wines.
Purchase a Myki
Myki is the ticket for travelling on the city public transportation system in Melbourne. You can purchase one online through the PTV website or at a premium train station. You should spot the Myki sign at retailers offering the passes or you can call 1800 800 007 from a landline in Melbourne.
See a Food Truck? Try Some Local Food!
Food trucks in Melbourne have become popular restaurant establishments with some of the finest foods served with a flourish.
Drive along the East Coast
Take a road trip with your rental car along Australia’s East Coast to see the mountains, sea, and other scenic views.