If visiting Melbourne from another Australian city, my recommendation is to fly with Virgin Blue. Their flight crews are absolutely fantastic. The very best of Aussie friendliness & helpfulness.
Also I've been able to get the best prices with them. Just a few dollars cheaper than QANTAS when I've done a website comparison. On my most recent trip to Melbourne my basic coast was $69 down & $79 back, but with Fuel Surcharge it come to $169. That's a "Blue Saver" fare. When you visit the website you can choose what type of fare you want & put in the dates & times of day you want to travel. When you process everything the will send you a confirmation email that you should print off & take with you to check in along with your photo i.d. No photo I.D. no check in. Simple as that.
We've flown domestically with QANTAS with the girls to Adelaide & they were very good too, but I've flown with Virgin Blue my last few flights within Australia & I'll keep travelling with them.
From backpackers to business travellers & others such as myself, this is the easiest & best value way to get to the city & your hotel.
They are located straight to your left as you walk out after picking up your luggage.
There are two legs to getting into the city. Firstly we all get dropped off at Spencer Street Station & from there you can catch a train or continue on into the city in a different bus from which you will be dropped off at you hotel or near to your place of lodging. You mightn't get this bus straight away as they run a few different buses to different parts of the city. I only had to wait about 5 minutes.
They service both the International & Domestic Terminals so catering for all travellers.
It cost $13 one way. You don't need to buy a return ticket straight away & it isn't any cheaper to do so.
This is very simple, no hassles way to get into Melbourne.
This is an excellent way to orientate yourself to the layout of the CBD in an inexpensive way. Well it's FREE so it can't be any less expensive can it? lol!
Keep your eyes peeled for the Burgundy coloured tram as it's the only FREE one. All the others you have to pay for.
It follows a set route around which is not a circle at all, but a long rectangle. You can pick it up anywhere along Flinders Street, Spring Street (where the accompanying pic is, just opposite Parliament House), Latrobe Street & Harbour Esplanade.
Check the website below for more specific details such as where the stops are so you know which is closest to where you are staying.
Make sure you avail yourself of this free service & not only because it's free, but just as importantly because Trams have been a part of Melbourne's public transport system for absolute yonks & you'll be travelling with locals out shopping or working as well as other travellers.
This pic is n ot one of my own, but scanned from a leaflet so it's not as good quality as my normal photos.
The "YARRA RIVER SHUTTLE SERVICE" is a superb way to get another prespective on one of the most liveable cities in the world.
I was really lucky when I met Anne12 for lunch we had a perfect day weather wise & used this method of transporation to get to Newquay in the Docklands area to have lunch at Mecca Bah.
This is not only a really, relaxing & enjoyable way to travel on the Yarra River, but it also gives you acess to a number of Melbourne's attractions., each of which has a pick-up/drop-off point. These are: - Federation Square, Southgate, Melbourne Aquarium, Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Yarra’s Edge, Victoria Harbour and NewQuay. We hopped on at Southgate to get off at Newquay, but on the way back we got off at the Federation Square stop.
They run every 30 minutes from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m on Weekdays & the same frequency on weekends & public holidays, but from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
It's a great way to see a number of attractions by accessing them from the river rather than the road. When it's a beautiful day & it only costs $9 for adults, $5 for a concession pass for seniors, students & childre under 15 or $19 for a family of four & this is a day pass, then it's pretty good value.
Apparently it's only running till March 31 at this stage so I'm going to have to plan my next Melbourne trip within that time frame.
If you are in Melbourne, one of the easiest ways to make it around the city is the City Circle Tram. It is free for you, which is just the right price in my opinion!
Not all of the trams are free, however the City Circle runs in a circle on the major thoroughfares.
The tram will take you past shopping malls and arcades, and major attractions such as the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and the Princess Theatre.
The tram runs in a circle every ten minutes in both directions.
If you are headed around Melbourne, one of the most important places to go is Flinders Street Station. This is the hub for trains, trams, and is your gateway to Melbourne's Central Business District. This is also a very convienent spot to get to Melbourne's SouthBank.
The station was started in 1853, and this is how long the station has been the transportation hub for Melbourne. The original building was started in 1899, and still is an iconic building.
The City Circle Tram service provides a free and convenient way to get around central Melbourne. Tourists, shoppers, office workers and families can use the City Circle Tram to travel to major attractions, shops and city events.
The City Circle Tram travels around the city and links with other tram, train and light rail services in and around Melbourne. The tram will take you past shopping malls and arcades, and major attractions such as the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and the Princess Theatre.
Tourists can spend all day on a City Circle Tram! Information leaflets, including an 'easy to understand' map of the city are available on board each City Circle Tram. The City Circle Tram can be used as a 'hop on - hop off' service, this way tourists can enjoy each of Melbourne's sites and have the added bonus of traditional Melbourne transportation.
Sadly there are few options to and from Tullamarine International Airport, the main Melbourne airport. It's basically taxi or Skybus. A taxi will set you back between AUD$40 - 60 dependent on where you're going ($40 for the city, $60 for bayside places such as St Kilda).
Skybus is a great option - prices as of May 2008 remain the same in August 2010:-
Adult - one way: AUD$16
Adult return: AUD $26 (valid for 12 months)
Family 1 (1 adult & up to 4 kids) AUD$22/ $36 return
Family 2 (2 adults & up to 4 kids) AUD$36/$56 return
You can also purchase a 2 hour or Daily metcard with the one way adult ticket. Only a few cents are saved, but it does save you the hassle of purchasing such a ticket at the terminus of the Airport Shuttle.
Schedule: 7 days a week: every 15 minutes between 06:00 and 21:30 (outside these times, every 30 minutes or 1 hour dependent on flight arrival schedules)
It takes approximately 20-30 minutes from the airport to the city
Runs between all 3 Tullarmarine terminals and Spencer Street Bus Station (catch the Skybus on the main concourse at designated stop outside arrivals).
Tickets should be purchased at the kiosk when open - from the driver at other times.
Spencer St Bus Station is next to Southern Cross on Spencer St railway station. It's at the far end (ie away from the city) of the platforms - go up the escalators, turn right (away from Telstra Dome stadium - easily seen from this point - and head towards the stairs leading down to street level. The bus station access is on your left through the glass doors).
It also offers a free shuttle to hotels in the CBD - Melbourne, VIC 3000 postal addresses
(06:00 - 22:00 weekdays/ 07:30 - 18:30 Saturday & Sundays)
Melbourne is a very accessible city! For the first 6 weeks of our time here in Melbourne, we did not have the luxury of a car, and it was well worth the wait. Between the tram system and the wonderful pathways, you can really make your way around the city without a vehicle. We took a stroll from Federation Square over to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 15 minutes, getting some fresh air and enjoying the sites of the Yarra River!
Here is a picture of my friend Tim Dickinson and his partner Sarah!
Melbourne has an integrated system of trains, trams and buses, known as The Met. A range of tickets covering three metropolitan zones can be purchased from vending machines at train stations, on trams or buses, or pre-purchased at selected shops such as newsagents. One ticket also allows you to travel on all three services.
Tourists can also use the burgundy and gold City Circle Tram, which does a free 30-minute circuit around the city centre, linking major attractions and other transport routes.
We had some bad experiences with Taxis whilst in Melbourne,...just ask Tina :o) Anyway I finally found George from Platinum Taxi Services. This guy is the best!! Believe me, for your own safety, please jot down this number and call George if you need a reliable taxi to get you from A to B. Phone number is 0418 343 110. ....Oh and mention you are from vt and you'll get extra helpful service!!
It is so easy to get around Melbourne - it has a great tram system meaning you can explore the city on a budget at ease.
The main tram you need to know about as a visitor is the City Circle - this is a FREE tram which (as the name suggests) circles the city. You can hop on and off at will, and I found that this was a great way to get my bearings - as you travel along there is a helpful recorded commentary explaining the sights along the way. I did the City Circle tram early in my visit, made a mental note of what I wanted to see in more detail, then used the map to find my way around the city via some of the other tram networks.
The tram network operates a little like the London tube network - but is a lot less confusing! You can buy a Metcard at most newsagents and vending machines (including those on the trams themselves). A daily ticket covering most of Melbourne will cost you less than five Aussie dollars - an absolute bargain, as you can make as many journeys during the day as you like for that one cost. Make sure you have a map and familiarise yourself with the tram number you need - the number is displayed on the front of the tram as well as on the relevant tram stops.
Trams in Melbourne are a bit of an icon. They are also very convenient and a great way to get around the centre of Melbourne. If you haven't bought your daily travel ticket, you can also buy tickets from the machine on board the tram. There is a circle tram that does a complete circle of the CBD. Its good to get your bearings when you're starting out in Melbourne. Then you can work out where you might want to go back to and take a closer look. You'll see tram stops all throughout the CBD. There is also good tram links to St Kilda, Chapel Street & Brunswick Street.
I thought that transportation would be an appropriate place to put this tip on the Immigration Museum, which has plenty of information on how everyone except the Aboriginals got here to Australia. Plane, Boat, raft.... in the end everything ended up the same.... Australian citizens!
Plan on about 30-45 minutes minimum.
There is another way of visiting the city. It's with the City Circle Tram. It's completely free and while you are comfortably sitting you get a running commentary on the places of interest along its route. You can get off the tram at any of its stops, so you can visit particular attractions at close hand, and catch the next one. This is a "hop on, hop off" feature. The Tram arrives at designated stops every 10 minutes from 10am to 6pm daily and until 9pm Thursday to Saturday during daylight saving time.
The Melbourne City Circle Tram does not operate on Christmas Day and Good Friday. It travels a rectangular route along Flinders, Spring, LaTrobe and Spencer Sts right around the Melbourne city centre.
I took it twice..the first time was great because it started raining and I didn't have the umbrela and I was very far from thr centre..Thanks God it arrived and saved my hair....LOL
This is not a pic of mine but I scannered it from the book "Melbourne Victoria" that has lots and lots of pics.