Melbourne Airport Guide
Airlines, Terminals & Gates
Located 22kms from the city centre, Melbourne Airport is Australia's second business airport and home base for economy airlines, Jetstar and Tiger Airways. Today it has 4 terminals, T1 Qantas domestic, T2 for International flights, T3 serving Virgin Australia and T4 current home of Tiger Airways. Terminal 4 is currently separated from the other terminal buildings however construction is under way to build a new Terminal 4 that will sit immediately alongside T3 - joining all 4 terminals.
E-check in is available at both Qantas and Virgin Blue domestic flights.
Domestic airlines with VIP lounges at Melbourne airport are Virgin Blue's The Blue Room on T3 (mezzanine floor) and Qantas' The Qantas Club on T1 (first floor). All international airlines with VIP lounges can be found on T2, first floor and after Customs. These include Cathay Pacific (CP First Class Lounge), Malaysia Airlines (The Golden Lounge), Qantas (The Qantas Club), Singapore Airlines (Silver Kris Lounge) and Air New Zealand/United Airlines. Emirates' lounge can be found on T2 after customs but you need to take the escalator to the third level.Choice. Convenience. Speed. These are the three strengths that have helped earn Melbourne Airport a Top 5 world ranking. Throw into the mix its solid reputation for quality services, excellent facilities and extensive shopping and it's little wonder many passengers say it's the best airport experience you will have.
Choice: Melbourne has more than 20 international airlines. These airlines and their networks can move passengers to almost anywhere in the world without unnecessary stopovers in other Australian cities.
Convenience: Melbourne is curfew free. This means flights can operate all hours of the day and is perfect for those planning a short business trip to Asia and who don't wish to stay overnight. It also suits leisure travellers who want to save on the cost of overnight accommodation - leave Melbourne late in the evening and arrive in Asia fresh for the day as morning breaks.
Speed: Melbourne has three terminals housed under the one roof. This means everything is conveniently located in the one complex and linked by walkways, which immediately eliminates that common daunting process of having to navigate your way through complicated airport layouts. Transferring from domestic to international flights is a breeze as there are no difficult transfers or bus rides between buildings and it's only a one-minute walk between terminals.
"Tulla", the nickname locals fondly call the airport, is 25km (15 miles) northwest of the city adjacent to the Melbourne suburb of Tullamarine. Whether it's for business or pleasure, the general consensus is that travellers come away from Melbourne well satisfied with their experience.
Showers, toilets and baby change facilities are located throughout the terminals, as are internet kiosks and telephones, including a phone for those with hearing difficulties on the ground floor of T2 arrivals. Disabled facilities are well catered for with disabled access within all terminals, disabled parking, disabled toilets and a pick-up/drop-off area available for disabled passengers.
ANZ Bank has foreign exchange outlets in T2 on both departures and arrivals levels and operates 21 hours every day with 50 currencies to choose from. General banking services can be found at the T2 departures outlet just before Customs. Travelex Worldwide Money operates two currency exchange outlets every day in T2 as well as one in T3.
A Travellers Information Desk & Lost Property service is on the ground floor of international arrivals and is an excellent point of contact for visitors to Melbourne. Find out the latest hot shows in town, the best restaurants and nightclubs, the big events such as the horse race that "stops a nation", the Melbourne Cup, or the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix (link), other attractions and tourist destinations. And, of course, it's the ultimate starting point for all airport visitor issues whether it be special needs requirements or tracking down lost property.
For medical issues, Melbourne airport has an Airport Medical Centre, a general medical practice with a pharmacy conveniently located next door and provides a range of over-the-counter and prescription medicines and specialises in health products for travellers.
There are five car rental companies with offices and car collection points located on the ground floor of the Short Term Car Park immediately opposite the terminal buildings. Picking up your vehicle couldn't be easier and there are clear directions to guide you throughout the terminals.
There are also car rental desks in the Arrival Halls of both T1 Domestic (Qantas and Jetstar) and T3 Domestic (Virgin Blue and Regional Express).
Directions and Transport
Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) is 25km from the airport and takes about 20 minutes by car to reach. Importantly, to travel to the city via the Tullamarine Freeway you will need to purchase a Citylink pass. Alternatively, drive toll free to the city by getting on the Western Ring Road.
For some guidance, it's a good idea for those renting a vehicle to discuss CityLink tolling with the car rental company.
There are also other alternatives for travel from the airport to Melbourne CBD.
- Taxis are in abundance outside both domestic and international terminals on the ground floor of Melbourne airport.
- Buses travel regularly to and from the airport. Skybus also travels to city hotels, running every 15 minutes during the day and every 30-60 minutes overnight.
Shopping / Duty Free
Airport shopping doesn't get much bigger or better than at mighty Melbourne Airport. International travellers have tax free access to a huge range of duty free goods including jewellery, apparel, souvenirs, alcohol, books and more at F1RST Duty Free.
Alternatively, domestic travellers have the choice of an array of shops for each travelling need or consumer impulse including health and beauty needs, newsagencies, clothing, food and beverage outlets including cafes, bars and restaurants.
Don't forget that one of the great things about Duty Free in Australia is that not only can you enjoy the spoils of duty free when flying out of the country, but you can also purchase products on arrival, which is quite unique, whether your on your way home Down Under or you are from abroad.
A major redevelopment of the international shopping precinct is currently under way, with some exciting big names set to open.