Transport from the airport
Melbournes Tullamarine Airport lies on the Tullamarine Freeway, 22km north of the city. The Skybus service from the airport runs every 30 minutes between 6.40am and 11.40pm and then every hour until 6.40am. ($9; information tel. 03/96629275). This will take you to the Melbourne Transit Centre, Spencer Street Railway Station and Bus Terminal, Town Hall and Exhibition Street (the night service 12.40am-6.40am run to Town Hall only). If you ask the driver he may be able to drop you off at hotels on request. A taxi to the city centre from the airport costs around $25, around $30 to get to St Kilda. Greyhound Pioneer buses arrive at the Melbourne Transit Centre on the north side of the city at 58 Franklin Street. McCaffertys, Firefly and V/Line use the Spencer Street bus terminal on the west side. The country and interstate trains are handled by the nearby Spencer Street Railway Station. The ferry terminal, about 4km soouthwest of the city centre, is served by the #109 tram to Collins Street. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Skybus also runs a service from the city to the ferry to Tasmania which docks at Station Pier in Port Melbourne.
Melbourne has an efficient public transport system of trains, trams and buses called The Met and a range of interchangable tickets are available. A zone ticket will get you anywhere you want to in the city, unless you want to go on a day trip to the outer suburbs. An ordinary zone 1 ticket costs $2.20 and a short hop $1.60; these tickets are valid for two hours, or all night if bought after 7pm. If youre making a few trips in zone 1, a day ticket ($4.30) is better value and if youre staying for a while a weekly ticket ($18.60) is the best option. Regular and day-tickets can be bought on board trams and buses while the full range of tickets are available at selected shops (most newsagents, some milk bars and pharmacies), train stations and the City Met Shop, 103 Elizabeth Street. Certain discounted tickets, such as a five-pack of two-hour tickets (about ten percent discount) and the Short Trip Card which gives ten short rides for $12.50, are available only at these outlets. For further information, contact the Met Transport Information Centre (tel.13 1638 between 7am and 9pm). Services operate Monday to Saturday from 5am until midnight, and Sunday from 8am until 11pm, supplemented by Nightrider buses (12.30am-4.30am) in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings. These leave from the City Square on Swanston Walk to the outer suburbs. On each bus is a mobile phone, which the driver can use to book a taxi to meet you at the bus stop (free call), or alternatively you can call a friend to meet you ($1).
Most taxis in Melbourne are yellow and have a large light on the roof. There are taxi ranks in various spots throughout the city and taxis can also be hailed or booked by telephone. Prices are quite reasonable and tipping isnt expected, but the driver wont refuse if you tell him to keep the change.