4 min read. Created in 2020 - Product Review. Whats that?
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.
Text does here
My top destinations to visit while in Melbourne for any explorer are: (car friendly)
The Great Ocean Road - I recommend doing this early morning before the crowds arrive and giving you prime photo opportunities. You have to stop at the 12 apostles, & the Loch Arch Gorge. This drive takes about 3 hours each way so I would recommend a day there.
Mornington Peninsula - I visited here on my recent trip to Melbourne and oh my god what an amazing hidden gem. This is about a 1.5 hour drive from St Kilda it’s then about a 25 minute walk down to the tip of the Peninsula. Totally worth it.
Melbourne city centre - if you’re a big foodie, like to enjoy the street art or like to get lost in little walk ways, the city is a perfect half day option. The shopping in Melbourne is great too. There are outlets in the city and just outside, as well as large shopping centres full of your favourite stores. There is also the Sky Deck located beside the river giving you views of Melbourne city levels above everyone else.
Surrounding suburbs - Melbourne is known for it’s cafes and restaurants in the surrounding suburbs. Fitzroy, St Kilda, Richmond, Collingwood and Brunswick are all great suburbs to find hidden cafes for everyones taste. My favourite cafe is Fi:ka in Hawthorn, It's Instagram ready and great value for money. My second recommendation is the Pink restaurant in the city, again Instagram heaven!
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:
The graffiti streets located near federation square. It’s about a 2 minute walk up away from Flinders Street station toward Federation Square on the left hand, keep your eye out because it’s fairly easy to miss it if you’re not paying attention. The streets are called Hozier Lane, Rutledge Lane and surrounding streets.
Bourke street Mall and surrounding shopping centres. Located in the heart of the city you’ll find Bourke street mall. It’s home to H and M, all popular department stores in Australia and some boutique shopping as well.
Federation Square is located across from Flinders Street station and is great to hop off the tram and have lunch, watch street performers and enjoy the sunshine. During the Australian Open (Tennis) they have the matches on the big screen so you can grab a seat with a drink and enjoy the games.
Degraves Street is a street full of yummy restaurants to enjoy a lunch or dinner whatever time of the day. It does get a little bit packed so just keep in mind you won’t be eating alone.
Southern Cross station is one of 2 main train stations in Melbourne, this will be where the Sky Bus from the airport will drop you and where you’ll find great outlet shopping located on the top levels outside the station, you can park for up to 1.5 hours there for free when you shop in Coles. (minimum spend applies)
If you’re up for a walk I would suggest walking along the river on the right hand side (casino side) up or down taking in all the restaurants, shops and street performers that line the walk way. At the south side of the walk way away from the city you’ll find DFO south wharf. Another great shopping experience, it does house parking if you are driving but I’m not too familiar with the rates. They can be found online.
State library is located on the north side of the city just a little bit further west of Bourke street. it’s great for a quick visit and if you need to get any work done they do offer WIFI.
The Melbourne art gallery/museum is located slightly outside of the city, across the bridge from Flinders Street station is a great morning or afternoon activity to explore the exhibitions on as they change every month or so.
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.
Having a GoGet account makes my life so much easier because I am able to book a car in almost every capital city in Australia and just use my key tag to unlock the car. It’s super easy to book and you can do it straight from your mobile device. Join today and start getting on the road to more destinations sooner than you thought!
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.