Figuring out transportation in Melbourne
February 22, 2011 6:03 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out transport in Melbourne for a conference.

I'm going to be in Melbourne for a conference this coming Saturday-Tuesday. The first two days of the conference (Sun-Mon), it's at Etihad Stadium, and my hotel is right across the street, so that's cool. The third day, Tuesday, is in Avalon, at the Air Show. On Tuesday I have to show up in Avalon by 8 AM and then run back to catch a 5:15 flight out of Tullamarine. Can a local give me advice on the best way to manage the various legs of the trip? Are there public transport or bus options that are worth it or should I spring for a rental car on Tuesday to get to and from Avalon? For cost reference, there are two of us.

Saturday: Tullamarine Airport - Melbourne CBD (Docklands, technically), leaving the airport around 3:30
Tuesday: Docklands - Avalon (arrive by 8 AM), Avalon - Tullamarine airport (arrive by 4:15 PM)

(Incidentally, evening things-to-do recs for Melbourne welcome. I'll be with an Aussie who lives in Wollongong, and I'm from the US. I've been to Australia before but this is my first time in Melbourne. Already going to an AFL game Saturday night, yay!)
posted by olinerd to Travel & Transportation around Melbourne, Australia (5 answers total)
The easiest way from Tullamarine airport to the CBD is via the skybus . It goes around every 10mins at that time, takes about 20mins and costs $16. It goes directly into the southern cross station (this is a transport hub in Melbourne all the regional trains and buses stop there and some of the metro services), which is easy walking distance the stadium, (in fact you can see the stadium from the station). A taxi from the airport is expensive and there might be a bit of a wait at that time.

As for the Avalon leg, I would hire a car, (especially if you have two people), transport isn’t great to and from Avalon and you should be able to drop the car at the Tullamarine airport (though you will pay a little more for this option).

I can recommend some good city bars and places to eat if you let me know what you like, so send me a memail.
posted by Lesium at 7:07 PM on February 22, 2011

There are busses between Southern Cross station (the closest train station to Docklands) and both Avalon and Tulla, so in theory I guess you should be able to do it all that way. But, for the cost of a round trip to Avalon plus one-way to Tulla you're probably better off just renting a car for the day. Arriving in Melbourne, the SkyBus shuttle from Tulla to the city on Saturday will drop you at Southern Cross.
posted by russm at 7:11 PM on February 22, 2011

To get to Avalon by 8am, you're going to struggle without a car. I got a taxi there from Southern Cross (missed the bus) last year and it cost about $90 one way so if I was you, I'd just rent a car and leave it at Tulla on my way home. The Skybus is over $20 one way and doesn't leave that often - if there are two of you it's really not worth it.
posted by Wantok at 7:37 PM on February 22, 2011

Alright, Skybus and one-day car rental it is. Thanks guys!
posted by olinerd at 8:12 PM on February 22, 2011

There are special v/line (our regional rail company) trains and shuttle busses to the air show. Just have to check if they're running that early, I suspect not. Information not available yet.
posted by wilful at 3:21 AM on February 23, 2011

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