Driving Melbourne Public transport Transport Travel

How to get to Melbourne’s city centre from Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport
Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, is located 19 kilometres north-west of Melbourne‘s central business district.  Once your flight lands at the airport, there are a number of transport options for getting to the city centre.

By bus:


SkyBus operates a fleet of clean and comfortable airport buses which travel express from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Station in the city centre.

The SkyBus service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Departures are every 10 minutes from 6am to midnight. Between midnight and 6am, departures are either every 15 or 20 minutes.

On average, the journey on SkyBus takes 20 minutes. During morning and afternoon peak times, the average journey time is 30 minutes due to the extra traffic.

Reservations are not required on SkyBus. Simply buy your tickets online or at the SkyBus ticket booth located at Melbourne Airport or Southern Cross Station. Tickets are valid for 3 months from the date of purchase. The Myki smart card cannot be used on SkyBus.

SkyBus also operates a fleet of mini buses which can transport ticket holders from Southern Cross Station to a number of hotels in the city, free of charge.

Star Bus
Star Bus

Alternatively, Star Bus operates a door to door service from Melbourne Airport to the city centre and its immediately surrounding inner suburbs from 6am to 6pm, 7 days a week. Unlike SkyBus, you won’t need to change buses if you need to be dropped off somewhere specific.

By train:

There is currently no direct train or tram line between Melbourne Airport at the city centre. As such, SkyBus is the quickest and easiest way to travel between the airport and city by public transport.

If you really do want to use the train, catch the Craigieburn line train from Melbourne and get off at Broadmeadows station. Transfer to bus number 901 which is a SmartBus service that operates frequently between Broadmeadows Station and Melbourne Airport. Allow least one hour for this entire journey, keeping in mind that there are no train or bus services between Melbourne and Broadmeadows from just after midnight to about 5am during weekdays.

By taxi:

Designated taxi ranks are located at Melbourne Airport, on the ground floor in front of each terminal. The taxi fare from the airport to Melbourne’s city centre is approximately $60.

You can pre-book a taxi to pick you up from the airport. The driver will park in the short term car park and will meet you at the baggage carousel, where you will be then escorted to the waiting taxi.

By chauffeur:

Travel in style between Melbourne AiAirport chauffeurrport and the city, with the option of being dropped off directly at your city hotel.

Let Royale Limousines take the hassle out of getting to and from Melbourne Airport in one of their chauffeur driven standard or luxury vehicles.

Once you experience a chauffeur service, you’ll never want to drive yourself to the airport again!

Airport chauffeur - standard car Airport chauffeur - luxury car

By hire car:

Six major car rental companies operate at Melbourne Airport. Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Redspot have information desks at the domestic terminals with car pick-ups available from their offices located in the short term car park at the front of the airport.

Melbourne Airport is located 20 kilometres by road from the heart of Melbourne.

The most direct route, which avoids toll roads, will take 25 minutes if there are minimal traffic delays. Travel via the Tullamarine Freeway (M2), exit at Bulla Road (metro route 37) which then becomes Mt Alexander Road and Flemington Road as it heads into the city centre.

Alternatively, take the Tullamarine Freeway (M2) and travel along the western section of the CityLink toll road. This will take less than 20 minutes assuming there is no significant congestion. Hire car companies have procedures in place whereby you can be automatically billed for using the vehicle on any toll roads.

Map of driving routes from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne CBD
Map of driving routes from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne CBD

By air:


Heli-Express offers a helicopter service from Melbourne Airport to the city.

Passengers are greeted at Melbourne Airport and are chauffeur-driven for 2 minutes to the nearby heliport where they board a luxury twin-engine Agusta helicopter. The flight time is just 4 minutes, with passengers being dropped off at a Yarra River heliport. Complimentary refreshments are served in the passenger lounge, where connecting transport can be arranged.

The helicopter service operates during daylight hours with between 2 and 6 passengers per flight.

Public transport Travel

Station patronage on Melbourne’s rail network

Each financial year, passenger numbers at each of Melbourne’s railway stations is collated and published by Public Transport Victoria.

Public Transport Victoria


The table below shows the top 20 most used Melbourne railway stations in the 2011/2012 financial year (1st July 2011 to 30th June 2012), with a comparison on how each of those stations fared from last year.

Rank Change
this year
Station Millions of
1   Flinders Street 26.187
2   Southern Cross 16.828
3   Melbourne Central 14.333
4   Parliament 10.734
5   Flagstaff 4.982
6 +1 Footscray 4.199
7 -1 Caulfield 4.065
8   Box Hill 2.743
9 +3 Dandenong 2.658
10 -1 Frankston 2.472
11   South Yarra 2.399
12 -2 Glenferrie 2.356
13 +1 Richmond 2.070
14 -1 Camberwell 2.052
15   Sunshine 1.981
16   Glen Waverley 1.801
17   Oakleigh 1,760
18 +3 Clayton 1.721
19 +4 Laverton 1.716
20 +2 Essendon 1.671

The top 5 busiest stations are all the ones that immediately service the Melbourne CBD. They are the above-ground stations of Flinders Street and Southern Cross, plus the City Loop underground stations of Parliament, Melbourne Central and Flagstaff.

Of all the stations that were open for the entire 12 months of last financial year, Wattle Glen (on the Hurstbridge line) and Officer (on the Pakenham line) were the least used.

For the full patronage data for every single railway station over the last four financial years, see Melbourne metropolitan station by station patronage data.