3 day explorer's guide to melbourne
3 min read. Created 2019
When flying into Melbourne you’ve got two airports that domestic flights can fly into. If you’re flying into Melbourne from an international city you will fly into the main airport of Melbourne (Tullamarine). From there you can get the Sky Bus to the city, rent a car and get a taxi. The trip is between 30 - 50 minutes to the city depending on the time of day and which airport.
You can arrive by sea via a cruise that will drop you off at the port of Melbourne located just outside of the city centre. Most cruise lines or travel agents can organise a transfer for you or a taxi stand should be close by.
If you’re going to hire a car I would recommend staying out of the city, it’s a little tricky to drive in and out of the city with the trams and saves you the hassle every day. Car hire can be organised from the airport or in the city centre should you wish to hire a car. I would recommend if you are staying more then 4 days to hire a car for 1-2 days so you can get outside of the city centre but it's not a big deal if you chose not too as trams, trains and some buses run in Melbourne to get you around.
Where to stay
If I’m not staying in the city I am staying in St Kilda. It’s a perfect beach escape only 10-15 minutes from the city by car and about 20 minutes by Tram.When it comes to accommodation, if you are hiring a car like I did, it’s important you make sure you find free parking on site to your room. St Kilda in particular is full of permit zones and hourly restrictions. So I had to make sure there was free on site parking underground for me. Some hotels will have car parking but will require an additional cost and if you are planning to stay for more than a few nights with a car this can easier add up.
If it is your first time to Melbourne I'd highly recommend staying in the city centre. Either near Bourke street mall, flinders street station or slightly further out in Southern Cross station you will avoid the paid tram line within the city as well as taxis and other transport should you need to get home after hours. Trams usually run for most of the night but some lines may finish late at night.
If your accommodation is outside of the free tram circle so you will need a myki card. You can pick them up at convince stores and some supermarkets. I would recommend loading about $25-40 depending on how many times you want to travel and where you want to go. You tap them in the tram once you hop on!
Petrol in Melbourne can be expensive so don't forget to factor this in when your hiring a car. A car is a great way to see outside the city, explore the cafes and restaurants around Melbourne as well as take to the Great Ocean Road and beach towns along the coastline.
My top destinations to visit while in Melbourne for any explorer are: (car friendly)
My top destinations to visit while in Melbourne for any explorer are: (tram friendly)
If hiring a car is a little out of your budget you can take a day tour to the great ocean road. They cost about $70-180 depending on what you want included and the company you go with. It’s also a great way to avoid doing the driving yourself if you’re going alone or don’t like how far away it is.
Within the city you can catch a tram to almost every corner of the city. My top recommendations for exploring the city are:
I would personally recommend staying for no less than 3 days in Melbourne to properly be able to explore everything it has to offer. The city is full of culture and life waiting to be explored. I recommended hiring a car.
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If you still want a little bit more help with your trip or simply want me to book it for you as a travel agent head to my contact page for details.