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Parking at Melbourne
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As it’s so close to the city, driving yourself to Melbourne Airport is one of the easiest ways to get there and its comprehensive selection of parking options means there’s space for your vehicle no matter where you’re going or for how long you’re going away.
MEL’s parking facilities are as modern as the airport itself. As well as being well-lit, regularly patrolled and monitored 24 hours a day, all of MEL’s parking facilities, aside from long-term parking, are fully covered, giving your vehicle extra protection from the elements, although this does mean there is a height restriction of 7.2 feet (2.2 metres).
MEL offers short-term parking facilities less than two minutes’ walk from all four of its terminals, making them particularly useful if you’re travelling on business or only away for a few days.
If you’re away for longer or travelling on a budget, Melbourne Airport’s more affordable long-term car park might suit you better. Located right in the middle of MEL’s site, the long-term car park is only a four-minute ride to check-in via the free, 24/7 shuttle bus, which is especially useful if you’ve got bags to carry or family members on which to keep an eye.
If you want to start and finish your holiday in style, the airport also offers a valet service to park your car for you and prepare it for when you return.
It’s not just cars that MEL can accommodate; bicycle racks are provided outside each terminal building and all the airport’s parking facilities accept motorcycles, with the short-term car park for Terminals 1-3 containing a specially designated motorbike facility.
For more information and to book your parking at Melbourne Airport, browse our deals at Looking4Parking.com and we’ll help find the right space for your vehicle.
Melbourne Airport (MEL), known locally as Tullamarine Airport after the nearby suburb, is Australia’s second-busiest airport. As the only international airport within the Melbourne metropolitan area, it acts as a vital link between the city, the rest of the country and the world. With four passenger terminals and two runways handling over 200,000 flights and upwards of 30 million passengers a year, MEL is the base for premier domestic airlines, Jetstar Airways and Tiger Airways Australia, and also serves as a major international hub for Qantas and Virgin Australia.
Melbourne Airport is the city’s primary facility for both domestic and international flights and, at only 14 miles (23 kilometres) outside of the city centre, is easily accessible whether you’re taking public transport or driving yourself there. The Tullamarine Freeway features two off-ramps that lead directly to the airport grounds, one for the exclusive use of passenger vehicles and the other specifically for public transport, which helps to keep the airport’s traffic flow smooth throughout its 24-hour operation.
Numerous bus services keep the city and surrounding area connected to MEL, with the journey from Melbourne’s central Southern Cross Station taking only 20 minutes. Although there is currently no direct rail link between the airport and the city, Southern Cross Station serves as a hub for the Melbourne Metro and regional V/Line rail services, making Melbourne Airport accessible from even further afield.
Built in 1970 on the site of a farm that hid allied aircraft from axis bombing raids during World War II, Melbourne Airport was designed to reduce the strain on the region’s existing airports that were struggling to cope with the boom in international travel at the time. In its first year alone, MEL handled 155,275 international passengers, over 15 times the total capacity of Melbourne Airport’s next biggest airport, Essendon.
Originally built with three commercial terminals, a fourth was added in the year 2000 and all four have seen consistent investment and expansion. The airport now features 56 gates in total – 40 for domestic services and 16 for international flights – and continues to invest in upgrading its runways and improving the passenger facilities in its terminal buildings, accommodating for both the very latest models of aircraft and the new generations of visitors they will bring.
MEL is one of the busiest airports in Australia, catering to the needs of thousands of domestic and international travellers every single day. Whether you’re flying across the country or around the world, all four of Melbourne Airport’s terminals have plenty of reputable cafés, bars, restaurants, convenience stores and designer outlets to keep you entertained, as well as all the facilities to make your visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
If you have any special requirements for your time at MEL, you can find more information on the airport’s accessibility page or contact the Traveller’s Information Desk directly on + 61 3 9297 1734.
Facilities at Melbourne Airport include:
Melbourne Airport is surrounded by a wide variety of hotels, from the affordable to the luxurious, meaning you won’t have trouble finding a room that’s right for your budget. Many of these hotels also offer complimentary parking with your reservation so you can relax for the night without worrying about where to put your car.
The Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport is located just 328 feet (100 metres) from check-in and offers up to 10 nights of parking with its 'Park, Stay and Go' package. Holiday Inn asks that you pre-arrange any parking before the date of your arrival and states that the parking package is non-refundable.
The majority of the hotels serving the airport are only a short walk away from the terminal buildings, which is perfect if you’re travelling light. However, these hotels and many further afield also provide regular complimentary shuttle bus services to get you and your bags to the airport in minutes.
If you just want to catch up on sleep or save some money for the trip ahead, the airport is surrounded by comfortable yet affordable hotels like the ParkRoyal, which offers valet parking from just outside the front door, as well as self-parking with discounted rates in the MEL short-term car park.
As one of Australia’s major international gateways, Melbourne Airport offers a taste of food and drink from all over the world. Whether you’re grabbing something to go or sitting down to a meal fit for a king, there’s something at MEL for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re in the mood for something small but satisfying, MEL’s four terminals are packed with fresh sushi, salads and sandwiches, as well as sweeter options, such as smoothies, muffins and doughnuts.
The airport also houses a wide variety of bars, pubs, fast food chains and restaurants if you fancy something more substantial, be it Asian, Mexican, Spanish, Italian or just classic, hearty pub grub.
If all you’re looking for is that first caffeine fix of the day, make it a good one from the stands offering freshly ground artisanal coffee.
MEL is home to over 60 retailers from around the world, offering everything from the latest and greatest in fashion and cosmetics to the latest and coolest in technology.
If you need to stock up on sunscreen before you set off or buy yourself a new book for the beach, a spread of dependable high-street shops will have all your essentials covered. If you’re looking to treat someone to something special, the airport is also home to a range of high-end outlets offering exclusive clothing collections from renowned design houses; premium eyewear, watches and technological innovation from internationally known brands and a selection of local produce, from boutique wine to aboriginal art from shops showcasing the best of Australian culture and heritage.
If you’re looking for something in particular, use the store locator to see if you can find it elsewhere in the airport, but remember to leave yourself plenty of time to get back to your gate before you fly.
Wherever you’re flying and whichever airline you’re flying with, you can, for a fee, gain access to one of the executive lounges at Melbourne Airport. Catch up on your work away from the busy terminal or just relax before you fly while enjoying the complimentary range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and meals served throughout the day.
Many of the lounges at MEL also provide high-speed WiFi, charging stations for your electronic devices, up-to-date newspapers and magazines from around the world, live news feeds on widescreen televisions and a suite of business facilities to keep you entertained and informed.
Melbourne Airport’s award-winning flagship hotel is only 328 feet (100 metres) from the building that houses Terminals 1-3 and offers rooms with spectacular views of the sun setting over the airport and the city beyond.
However, if you want to take in the view without paying for a room, the hotel is actually attached to the terminal by an innovative skybridge that offers a clear display of all the action on MEL’s two busy runways. This skybridge is an easy way to get away from the noise of the busy terminal buildings, offering the chance to stretch your legs and clear your head while watching planes come and go.
If you find yourself with a few hours to spare before you fly, why not treat yourself to a round of golf at the Melbourne Airport Golf Club? Adjacent to MEL’s north/south runway, the course features 18 holes, some of which are positioned less than 197 feet (60 metres) below MEL’s primary flightpath with a wide variety of planes taking off and landing overhead throughout the day.
As well as a course full of water hazards, bunkers and raised greens, the club also has a fully equipped shop, a licensed club house, a driving range, putting green and practice nets.
Can’t bear to leave your furry friends at home when you go away? Well, at Melbourne Airport you don’t have to as the Pet Hotel is only a short walk from the terminal buildings and provides everything your pet could need, from gourmet meals to pet aromatherapy, making their holiday as relaxing as yours. The hotel can even arrange Skype calls so you can stay in touch with your pet wherever you are in the world.
The National Gallery of Victoria, or NGV as it is locally known, is Australia’s oldest, largest and most popular museum. The gallery is the home of the country’s extensive collection of art, comprising more than 70,000 items and spanning thousands of years.
As well as works by some of the world’s most iconic and influential artists, NGV also holds a unique collection of Australian art ranging from Indigenous artefacts to works by some of the country’s finest contemporary artists. Only 15.5 miles (25 kilometres) away from MEL in the heart of Melbourne city centre and free to enter all-year-round, the National Gallery is a great first stop if you’ve got a few hours before you fly.
If you’ve got a head for heights, climbing the Eureka Tower in downtown Melbourne is a breathtaking way to spend an afternoon. The 88th floor is known as the Skydeck and, at 935 feet (285 metres), it is the highest building-based public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere.
As well as panoramic views of the city and beyond, the Skydeck features an external glass cube called The Edge that extends outside the tower for a unique and vertigo-inducing view. The Eureka Tower is only half an hour from MEL and can often get busy, but pre-booked tickets are valid for a year after purchase and will guarantee entry whenever you’re in town.
Built in 1862, The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens is Australia’s oldest zoo and was modelled on the prestigious London Zoo in England. Having been dedicated to the study and conservation of over 320 animal species from around the world for 155 years, many of the enclosures within the zoo are themselves famous.
The original Elephant House has recently been renovated and adapted for the zoo’s popular 'Roar and Snore' evenings where, if you’re not flying for a few days, you can camp in the zoo overnight and see some of the normally elusive nocturnal animals like never before. A part of Melbourne’s culture for generations, the zoo is only a 20-minute drive from MEL and is easily accessible from the city centre on multiple tram and train routes.
If you’re craving a breath of fresh air before you take off, Melbourne Airport is a mere 20 miles (32 kilometres) from the iconic St. Kilda Beachfront. As well as swimming and sunbathing, the beach is a hotspot for dozens of recreational activities such as windsurfing, sailing, rollerblading and beach volleyball, so there is always plenty to do or watch.
Walk along the bustling St. Kilda Pier and Pavilion to explore the shoreline’s colourful history, with an eclectic mix of Edwardian and Art Deco architecture housing vintage amusements and arcades dating back as far as 1906, or simply enjoy the local produce of the community of beachfront cafés, delis and bakeries.
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI for short), one of the country’s most popular attractions, is dedicated to documenting the evolution of the moving image from the silver screens of the 19th century, through film and television, to the art and computer games at the cutting edge of digital culture and design.
ACMI has two free-entry galleries full of rotating exhibitions and interactive events, as well as two state-of-the-art cinemas equipped to screen every format of film, from reel-to-reel through to high-definition digital video. Only 15.5 miles (25 kilometres) south of Melbourne Airport, ACMI is the perfect place for film buffs and a great way to spend an afternoon if the weather has taken a turn for the worse.
Melbourne’s Aboriginal heritage has remained an integral part of the city’s culture since it was colonised by British settlers over two centuries ago. To find out what the region was like before, visit the Koorie Heritage Trust Cultural Centre in downtown Melbourne, only half an hour’s drive from the airport.
Learn from local Wurundjeri people how their ancestors lived, what they wore and how their traditional practices are preserved and upheld today through art and song.
If you’re after somewhere cool and quiet to finish your favourite book or find a new one before you fly, the State Library of Victoria is the place to go. Since being built in 1854, the library has collected over two million books that can be read under the ornate architecture of the library’s incredible octagonal La Trobe Reading Room.
It’s not all stuffy silence and serious studying, though; the library is also a venue for regular free-entry exhibitions, talks, workshops and classes on a diverse range of subjects, all only half an hour from Melbourne Airport.
Melbourne Airport is one of Australia’s busiest, with four commercial terminals supporting its role as an international and domestic hub. Terminal 1 hosts the domestic and regional flights of Qantas Airlines, while Terminal 2 is used by major airlines, such as Cathay Pacific, United Airlines and Emirates, and handles all of MEL’s international arrivals and departures. Terminal 3 is home to Virgin Australia and the recently renovated Terminal 4 houses domestic routes for a number of affordable budget airlines, such as Tigerair, Jetstar and Airnorth.
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Melbourne Airport is accessible via the Tullamarine Freeway and from Airport Drive, a new link road that connects MEL directly to the M80 Western Ring Road. Navigate there using the postcode VIC 3045.
As it’s only 14 miles (23 kilometres) away from central Melbourne, driving yourself to MEL is one of the easiest ways of getting there. Both the Tullamarine Freeway offramp and the Airport Drive link road lead straight into the airport grounds and onto a convenient and well-signed traffic loop that runs around the entirety of the site connecting every terminal and car park.
A number of express bus and coach services make the 20-minute trip between MEL’s Transport Hub and central Melbourne 24 hours a day. Many of these services start at or pass through Southern Cross Station, where most of the regional bus and coach services from further afield terminate, making it easy and convenient to transfer onto a shuttle bus straight to Melbourne Airport if you’re travelling from outside the city. Find more information on the Melbourne Airport bus routes here.
Unfortunately, there is no direct rail link between the MEL and the city. However, as well as a bus and coach hub, Southern Cross Station also serves as a terminus for the Melbourne Metro and regional V/Line rail services.
If you’re getting the train to Melbourne from elsewhere in Australia, it’s simply a case of getting off at Southern Cross and catching one of the many bus services that’ll take you to the airport in 20 minutes or less.
Whether you’re just hopping across the country or heading on a long-haul flight around the world, it’s a good idea to arrive at MEL with a few hours to spare before departure. Over 30 million travellers pass through Melbourne Airport every year and the Melbourne-Sydney air route is one of the busiest in the world, so even if you’re a frequent flyer, be sure to check on MEL’s live flight information before you set off.
If you’re worried about securing yourself a parking space at Melbourne Airport, it’s useful to know that you can reserve a space in any of the five on-site parking facilities at MEL up to two hours before you arrive. Plans can quickly change so being able to guarantee a space for your car while you’re on your way cuts the stress and lets you get on with enjoying the trip.
Hot and tired after a stressful trip to the airport? Or groggy and grumpy after your long-haul flight? You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that free showers can be found both before and after security in Terminal 2 at MEL.
If you’re just dropping off or picking up, MEL has an innovative pick-up/drop-off loop that runs past every car park and terminal entrance. However, to avoid blocks on the loop, vehicles can be stationary for no longer than one minute and must not be left unattended.
If you’d like to spend more time saying goodbye or if you’ve got to the airport a little earlier than expected, the airport also provides a Wait Zone in which the first 20 minutes of parking are completely free.
All four of the terminals at Melbourne Airport are well-signposted and within easy walking distance of each other. Terminals 1-3 are housed in the same structure and the recently renovated Terminal 4 is connected to it via a covered walkway, keeping the entirety of MEL under one roof.
Your airline should have sent you all the information you need, but if you can’t find it, you can use MEL’s flight timetable to look at all the flights arriving and departing up to a month in advance.
As one of the busiest airports in Australia, MEL’s parking facilities can become increasingly busy, especially during peak times. Booking your parking in advance will always guarantee you a space and can be done as little as two hours before you arrive, which is perfect for when plans change.
Many of the cafés and restaurants in Melbourne Airport have free power outlets, however it’s worth noting that they are often intended for customers only and may not be accessible outside of business hours.
Melbourne Airport is dedicated to the well-being of all its visitors and will work with your airline to make sure your stay is a comfortable as possible. If you have any special requirements for your time at MEL, it is recommended that you let your airline know when booking your tickets so they can contact the airport and make all the necessary arrangements.
If you’re not flying, contact the Traveller’s Information Desk on + 61 3 9297 1734 to hire free mobility aids for your visit. You can find maps of the airport and more information on MEL’s accessibility facilities here.
If you have lost something inside the terminal buildings at MEL, it will be logged and stored securely at Lost Property Retrieval in Terminal 2. They can be contacted directly on +61 3 9297 1805 between 7am and 12am or emailed out of hours. Upon presenting proof of identification, your lost items can be reclaimed for a small handling fee or shipped to you at your expense.
It is important to note that Melbourne Airport is not responsible for anything lost onboard your flight. If you do lose something on the plane, contact your airline as quickly as possible. More information on MEL’s lost property policy and the lost property contact numbers for the major airlines operating at MEL can be found here.
There are many executive lounges at Melbourne Airport that provide complimentary food and drink along with often much-needed peace and quiet. Be sure to pre-book your space online to guarantee entry as they can fill up during peak hours, although some lounges at MEL will also welcome you on the day for a fee, but only if there’s space available.
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