Getting Around Melbourne

Myki Travel Smart Card

Melbourne has an efficient public transport system which utilises a smart card ticketing system called Myki. In order to travel on trains, trams and buses in Zones 1 and 2 including V/Line services to Melton and Sunbury, you must have a pre-paid Myki card. Tickets can not be purchased on board trains, trams or buses. Myki cards can be purchased at major railway stations with manned ticketing offices or from Seven-Eleven (7/11) stores. Myki is also available on Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula, Seymour and Warragul town buses and Latrobe Valley intertown buses.

Before travelling, you must purchase a Myki card and enough credit to cover your anticipated usage. If or when you run out of credit, you must then purchase more credit, which the locals refer to as topping up your Myki card.

Upon arrival at a railway station or upon boarding a tram or bus, users must touch-on by scanning the card on a reader before travel. Make sure you hear the buzzing sound as it reads your card, otherwise you will be travelling illegally and can be fined. Before you get off the tram or bus, or leave the railway station at your destination, you must touch off by scanning the card on a reader. Make sure you hear the buzzing sound as it reads your card, otherwise you will not be recorded as having completed your journey. If you fail to touch off, you will be charged a premium rate for the journey, which is automatically deducted from your credit. If you travel into another zone, Myki will also help itself to your credit. By not touching-off or by travelling in multiple zones, you can quickly end up with no credit and no way of knowing you have none until you attempt to travel and your touch-on is rejected.

When you leave Melbourne, it is recommended that you keep your Myki card if there is a possibility you might return at some time in the future. Any credit you have left can be used on your next visit. If you do dispose of your card and then return to Melbourne, you will not only have wasted whatever credit you had on your first card, you will have to buy a new card as well as more credit.

Journey Planner

Myki Visitor Pack: International and interstate visitors coming to Victoria can buy a Myki Visitor Pack to travel on Melbourne's public transport network. The Myki Visitor Pack contains a Myki card with enough value for one day's travel in Zone 1 (which includes the entire tram network but does not include travel to the Puffing Billy railway at Belgrave), discounts to various Melbourne attractions, a map and instructions for use. The Myki Visitor Pack is available at Southern Cross Station (near entrance at Collins and Spencer streets), the Melbourne Visitor Centre at Federation Square and SkyBus terminals at Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross Station.

By Rail
Melbourne's city and suburban areas are serviced by an efficient railway network. Metro services operate across the metropolitan area, which run from around 5am (7am Sunday) until midnight seven days a week. Later services also operate out of the city on Friday and Saturday nights.

Flinders Street Station, located alongside the city's main shopping precinct, serves as the hub for the rail network and is over the road from Melbourne s visitors centre in the Federation Square complex. Southern Cross Station, the next station down the line, serves as the hub for interstate and intra-state rail and coach transport; airport buses and interstate coaches terminate here. Many major hotels and much of Melbourne's backpacker accommodation is located in the vicinity of Southern Cross Station.

Explore Melbourne By Train

V/Line is the public transport provider for regional Victoria. Visit their website or call 131 196 for ticket and timetable information. Viclink also provides helpful information on public transport services for regional Victoria.

V/Line Website

By Tram
Melbourne has the largest network of trams in the world, which ply the congested streets of Melbourne's older suburbs. The tram network has 28 routes radiating out from the major streets of the city centre to mainly the older suburbs. The trams are somewhat of a tourist attraction, but can be quite slow, particularly through the gridlocked streets of many inner suburbs.

Metropolitan tram services normally operate between 5am and midnight, Monday to Saturday, and 7am to 11pm Sunday. Later services also depart the city on Friday and Saturday nights. Check timetables at Metlink.

Trams travel along most of Melbourne's major thoroughfares and tram stops are signposted with a map, tram route numbers and timetables. The route number is also displayed at the front of the tram. Travellers who haven't pre-purchased their tickets should remember to carry coins, as on-board ticket machines do not accept notes.

Free City Circle trams travel the perimeter of the central business district every day between 10am and 6pm, except for Christmas Day and Good Friday. Hours of operation are extended to 9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during daylight saving time.

Explore Melbourne By Tram

By Bus
Buses serve the middle to outer suburbs, usually from terminals at major suburban railway stations.

Airport Shuttle Bus: This service leaves from the International and Domestic Airports Terminals every 10 to 15 minutes during the day and half hourly at other times. The singular drop-off point in the city is Southern Cross Station Bus Interchange. A return service from Southern Cross Station Bus Interchange to the International and Domestic Airports Terminals also operates every 10 to 15 minutes.

Skybus Metcards are available at Skybus outlets at Melbourne Airport Tullamarine, Spencer Street Station, Metshop. They can also be purchased on-line. Booking travel on the Airport Shuttle Bus is not required.

Melbourne has an extensive network of off-road bicycle paths and some on-road bicycle lanes. Otherwise, cyclists must share the road with other users. Outside Melbourne many disused railway lines have been converted into rail trails in scenic areas like the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Phillip Island, Gippsland and the Goldfields.

Throughout Australia, wearing helmets on a motor cycle or a bicycle is compulsory, and all cyclists must follow the road rules. Helmets are available for just $5 at many retail outlets or vending machines at Southern Cross Station and Melbourne University.

Taking a bike on a Melbourne train is permitted during off-peak periods at no extra cost, during peak periods a concession fare for the bike must be paid.

Melbourne Bike Share stations: Melbourne Bike Share is a relatively new form of public transport, designed for short trips across the city. Simply purchase a subscription that suits you, take a bike when you need it and then return it to one of the 50 bike stations throughout the city. Before hiring, remember that wearing helmets on a motor cycle or a bicycle is compulsory, and all cyclists must follow the road rules. Helmets are available for just $5 at many retail outlets or vending machines at Southern Cross Station and Melbourne University.

By Taxi
Melbourne taxis are numerous and easy to spot - they are all uniformly yellow. Drivers must always wear a neat uniform and have an identity card on show at all times. Melbourne's major taxi companies include:
13 CABS (13 22 27 - within Australia only);
Arrow (13 22 11 - within Australia only);
Embassy Taxis (13 17 55 - within Australia only);
Silver Top Taxis (13 10 08 - within Australia only)

Hailing a taxi: Cabs often wait in designated ranks that are clearly signposted at central locations like major hotels in the CBD, or busy spots such as Flinders Street Station. You can also hail a taxi in the street - if the rooftop light is illuminated, it means the taxi is available for hire - or book a taxi by telephone. Outside Melbourne, taxis widely operate in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, with additional cabs at country towns throughout the rest of Victoria.

Taxi totems: Melbourne has a number oftaxi totems or ranks around the city and in some regional centres, which are lit to make it easier to hail taxi cabs and for cabs to notice you.

The totems feature your location name and the nearest cross street, a list of local taxi services and booking numbers including numbers for wheelchair accessible taxis and connections to train, tram and bus services where relevant.

Fares and surcharges: Taxi meters are usually clearly visible, so you can keep check of your fare. Late night taxi trips must be paid for in advance. Between 10pm and 5am in Victoria, the driver will ask you for an up-front deposit, based on a table of point to point estimates. You can use the fare estimator to work out what your up-front costs are likely to be.

Melbourne cabs attract additional charges like a late night surcharge from midnight to 5am, a fee for phone bookings, a fee for using the Citylink freeway and even a fee for taxis waiting at the airport rank. Expect a taxi fare of around A$80 to A$85 for a return trip between the CBD and Melbourne Airport. Airport taxi fare calculator (enter postcode of destination).

Self Drive
Driving around Melbourne is relatively easy, though inner suburbs can be rather crowded in peak hours, and often slow, particularly on roads serviced by trams. When a tram stops for passengers, vehicles must stop also until the tram begins to move. Major roads between cities and country towns are well signposted and of a high standard.

In Melbourne, one of the few unique driver idiosyncrasies is the hook turn where, on roads serviced by tram, cars turning right are required to do so from the left lane when a traffic light turns red. For comprehensive information about driving safely in Melbourne and Victoria, visit the VicRoads website. Alternatively, you can pick up a copy of the Victorian Road Traffic Handbook from bookshops and VicRoads offices.

Fortunately, hook turns occur onto in the central business district, which is best avoided anyway unless you know your way around.

A driver's licence from your home state or country will usually suffice for up to three months in Australia, as long as it has photo identification and it is for the same class of vehicle you intend to drive. If you're staying more than three months, you'll need to get a Victorian drivers licence.

Melbourne has many parking metres and car parks, but parking in city centre is deliberately expensive to deter inner city driving and encourage the use of public transport, which is cheaper and often more convenient. Coin-operated meters are used for street parking. In the city, expect to pay at least $5 an hour, or from $15 upwards daily in a car parking station, although some offer discounts to moviegoers and shoppers.


Melbourne has a number of roads that afford fast travel by vehicle through our around Melbourne but a toll must be paid. These tollways are cashless, meaning that drivers must purchase a City Link pass before using these roads. Every time you enter a tollway, you are charged. You can purchase a CityLink pass with cash at the CityLink Customer Centre, at participating Australia Post outlets, and selected newsagents. Special passes for visitors allow for unlimited travel on tollways over a set period of time, usually 24 hours or a weekend.

For further information on passes and costs, visit the City Link website. As buying and using passes is quite a hassle for many visitors to the city, you may find it easier to put up with the inconvenience of slower driving and avoid toll roads, than the hassle of using tollways.