Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital and its second largest city. This capital of the southeastern state of Victoria is replete with museums, galleries, theatres, Victorian-era architecture, artsy cafes, eclectic shops and large parks. With both natural and man-made attractions, Melbourne offers a wide variety of experiences for each traveller.
Melbourne Airport, or Tullamarine Airport, is Australia’s second busiest airport and the only international airport serving the Melbourne metropolitan area. The name “Tullamarine” is derived from the name of an indigenous figure, Tullamareena. The airport reached 30 million passengers for the first time in a year by July 2013.
How to get around
Tullamarine Airport is just a 30-minute taxi ride to the city centre. At ticket booths outside Terminals 1 and 3, you can buy tickets for the Skybus that goes to Southern Cross Station. Pre-booked shuttle services to the city are also available, as well as regular bus services via Public Transport Victoria. The latter offers a slow but most affordable way of travelling. Melbourne has an extensive public transport system in general, and most places of interest can be easily reached with a Myki pass. Melbourne tram network is world-renowned and a free City Circle tram runs around the central and Docklands areas. Since 2015, visitors travelling within the Free Tram Zone do not require a Myki to get around. Suburban trains are another option; many lines connect to underground stations surrounding the Central Business District. Organised in a tidy grid system, the city can also be explored on foot or bike. Be sure to get a map from the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square or Bourke Street Mall.
Head to the Eureka Skydeck for a prime viewing spot. As the highest viewing platform in the Southern Hemisphere, the Eureka Skydeck is your vantage point for great scenery and spectacular sunset views. Another great viewing spot is the Shrine of Remembrance – a tribute to war veterans throughout history. It’s an impressive piece of architecture located alongside other highlights like the Government House and the Botanical Gardens.
If you want to see more of Melbourne, a hot air balloon ride will take your viewing to the next level. Melbourne is among the few cities in the world that permit such an experience directly over its skyline, amidst its serene, calm skies. Be sure to head out early to glimpse the morning sunrise illuminating major city landmarks and highlights.
Melbourne is also home to impressive architecture, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral and Flinder’s Street Station. St. Paul’s Cathedral is constructed in typical Gothic style, with carved wooden pews and stained glass windows. Across the road, Flinder’s Street Station is surrounded by shops and cafes. Shopaholics can flock to Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets – a bustling outdoor market where you can buy souvenirs and food. You can experience the cultures and ethnicities of the city here.
Fancy a dose of nature? You can look inland towards the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. Famous for its towering Mountain Ash trees, fantastic local food, charming villages and handicraft stores, the range can be explored via Australia’s well-known narrow gauge railway through the Blue Dandenong Ranges. For a scenic drive, take a trip down The Great Ocean Road, which stretches over 243km of vistas and views along the Victorian Coast. The marine rock formations provide great photo opportunities, so get your camera ready.
Another popular natural destination is Phillip Island. Home to the world’s largest penguin colony, this is where you will be able to watch thousands of adorable penguins waddling to shore every night in what is known as the “Penguin Parade”. You can also get up close and personal with exotic animals and marine life at wildlife attractions like the Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium and Healesville Sanctuary – the latter is where you’ll get to see native species like emus, koalas, kangaroos and dingoes.
As the cultural centre of Australia, Melbourne is where events like the Melbourne International Festival and the Melbourne Comedy Festival happens, in addition to numerous annual concerts and exhibitions. Melbourne is also known as Australia’s sporting capital; sports enthusiasts will be drawn to celebrated activities like Australian Football, horse racing, tennis and cricket.
Did you know…?
The Great Ocean Road has been voted one of Australia’s Top 10 Destinations to Experience in 2013, and the viewing place for one of Australia’s Top 10 Sunsets.
How to get there
Tullamarine Airport serves 33 direct flights to all states and territories in Australia, as well as many destinations in Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe and North America. It is also the home base for domestic airlines like Jetstar Airways and Tiger Airways Australia. For affordable flight options, visit Skyscanner and compare the different airline offerings available to suit every budget.
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Airports near Melbourne Tullamarine
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