Destination Information: Melbourne, Australia (MEL)

by Kerwin McKenzie on March 14, 2016

From the U.S., it takes about 14+ hours to get to Melbourne from the U.S. West coast.

 

Rowing in Melbourne, Vic Australia Rowing in Melbourne, Vic Australia

 

Despite its distance though, its not in the top 10 longest trips around the globe.

 

Virgin Australia's Boeing 777-300ER in MEL Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777-300ER in MEL

 

To get down there, you cross the International Date Line. This is pretty weird, in the sense that you arrive two days after you left and on your way back you arrive before you left on the same day. It’s a great way to celebrate your birthday on the way back :-).

Be mindful of the time changes as its necessary to know this when booking accommodations.

Use the flight schedule on Passrider.com in order to see the carriers that are flying on your requested dates. Below I’ve added the airlines serving the city. An alternate airport is not really close by in terms of international access. Sydney is perhaps the closest that has international service from major cities around the world.

Here are some initial facts about Melbourne, Australia that you may find useful:

  • Airlines Serving Melbourne Airport (MEL): Sichuan Airlines (3U), Air Asia (XT), Air Asia X (D7), Air Caledonie International (SB), Air China (CA), Air India (AI), Air New Zealand (NZ), Airnorth (TL), Cathay Pacific (CX), China Airlines (CI), China Eastern Airlines (MU), China Southern Airlines (CZ), Emirates (EK), Etihad (EY), Fiji Airways (FJ), Garuda Indonesia (GA), Hainan Airlines (HU), JetStar (JQ), Malaysia Airlines (MH), Philippines Airlines (PA), Qantas (QF), Qatar Airways (QR), Regional Express Airlines (ZL), Royal Brunei Airlines (BI), Scoot (TZ), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Thai Airways (TG), Tiger Air Australia (TT), United Airlines (UA), Vietnam Airlines, (VN), Virgin Australia (VA), Xiamen Air (MF).
  • Airport Web site: Melbourne International Airport Airport (SYD) http://www.melbourneairport.com.au/.
  • Airfare Tip: Check out this post where I talk about how to find low fares or join my Travel Deals newsletter so you know when the deals are available.
  • Airport To The City:
    • Bus – There are Smart Bus 901 serves the airport and will take you to the Broadmeadows train station. From there you can get to the City Center. You can find additional info at http://ptv.vic.gov.au/getting-around/airport-buses/. The local bus stop is currently at Terminal 1, however they are building a bus depot at Terminal 4. If you don’t want to do the local bus thing, the most popular and fast option is the SkyBus. It’s an express bus that takes you directly to the City Center (Southern Cross station). It runs 24/7 every ten minutes.
    • Taxi – Of course you can always take a taxi from the taxi rank. Don’t take a taxi from anyone who walks up to you and offer you one.
    • Uber – Download the Uber App (IOS | Android). Here’s my code to use to get $15 off your first ride – kerwinm20ue.
  • Airport Hotels:
    • There are plenty of hotels at the airport and they prices do vary. I suggest using the hotel search box below to help you locate a suitable property.
  • Currency: Australian dollar (AUD). Remember that they don’t have pennies and will round up or down when you make purchases.
  • Language: English with an Australian accent. It sounds a little British, but just listen carefully.
  • Visa Information: A visa is required for most non-Australian visitors. You can get it online for a select number of citizenships which costs about 20 AUD and is required for stays less than 90 days. The visa is valid for a year. Everyone else has to apply in person at the local consulate. Alternatively, you can use the IATA Web site for visa/health requirements to see what are the requirements for your citizenship. Remember that Australia is quite strict agriculturally so ensure you don’t bring in any agricultural good. Listen to the announcements that are made onboard the flight as they will give you great directions; follow them.
  • Social Media Information: Facebook, Instagramtwitter
  • Tourism Victoriahttp://www.tourism.vic.gov.au/.

Ground Transportation

Melbourne has a pretty good transit system. The Southern Cross station is the hub of it all. It’s a combination of flight rail and trains. You can get pretty much everywhere around Melbourne from here. You can find more information about the Melbourne Metro here.

 

Southern Cross Station - Melbourne Vic Australia Southern Cross Station – Melbourne Vic Australia

 

Of course, you can always walk; which is what I usually do since the city is so beautiful and has a lot to see and do.

Things to See/Do

I love this city primarily because I’ve been a few times to see the Australian Tennis Open at the Rod Laver Arena. One thing/place you must see is the Flinders Station. Its this bright yellow building in the city. See it at day and at night as its fantastic to see.

 

 

A view of Flinders station from the Eureka Tower A view of Flinders station from the Eureka Tower

 

 

Another place I like to visit is the Eureka Tower. From the skydeck you can see all over the city. Including a spectacular view of the Rod Laver Arena.

 

Rod Laver Arena view from the Eureka Tower Melbourne, Vic Australia Rod Laver Arena view from the Eureka Tower Melbourne, Vic Australia

 

 

There is also a free tourist shuttle from which you can hop on and hop off to see the city. You can find additional information and a map of the course here.

 

Melbourne Free Tourist Bus Melbourne Free Tourist Bus

 

 

While on a walk, I came across this church; the St Augustine’s Church which is a gothic design.

 

St. Augustine's Church Melbourne, Vic Australia St. Augustine’s Church Melbourne, Vic Australia

 

 

The team at Visit Melbourne has really good information here on what you can do around Melbourne.

Hotels in the Regions

Accommodations in Melbourne is not exactly cheap, so be prepared. There are also a number of hostels that you can check. If you don’t want a shared room ask for single rooms. Usually, they come with their own showers and toilets. Use the HotelsCombined search box below to help you. I also earn a small commission if you use the box to make your bookings. Thanks for your support.


Food

Whenever I’m in Australia, I usually have Indian food; maybe it’s cause there are a lot of Indian restaurants around the city. I always ensure that I have a Victoria Bitters (beer).

 

Indian curry in Melbourne, Vic Australia Indian curry in Melbourne, Vic Australia

 

Have you been to this region? If so please leave a comment below about your recommendations and experiences. If you’ve not, then leave a comment if you need additional information about taking the trip.

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