Monday, August 22, 2011

First Steps in Melbourne Australia ! - Arriving at the Airport ..

I guess the best way to kick-off this guide would be .. at the Airport !

You have now landed at our smallish and quaint airport – at least compared to the mega airports like Singapore, KL or Heathrow – and heading towards customs. Its still the 1nd largest in Australia mind you ! :D

By the way, if you haven’t found out by now, Melbourne Airport is also known as Tullamarine Airport to the locals. There’s another budget airport called Avalon Airport but all the major international flights are to/from the main Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport.

There’s practically nothing worthy of interest at the Airport so after you clear customs, you can be on your merry way to your accommodation.

Here are some quick tips and useful titbits of information:
  • Shopping at the airport
o   There are not many shops at the airport (either before or after customs) and you can find better deals in the city.
o   If you are a smoker, there is a duty-free shop before the customs area where you can get a couple of cartons (not more!). You only save on the 10% GST but if you have an expensive habit like smoking, every cent counts. :D
  • Customs
o   If you have ANY food to declare, please do so! Australia Customs are very particular about this and often do thorough random checks.
International baggage carousel
o   Normally they will let factory packaged food items through; but you can say bye-bye to your homemade sambal chilli or any spices loosely packed in plastic bags.
  • Collecting your luggage
o   For international flights, the luggage collection area is in a secured area with lots of security and custom officials around.
o   But if you are travelling to Melbourne on a domestic flight, SPRINT to the luggage collection area if you can! It is open to the public and anyone can go there, pick up your luggage and walk off! I have heard of quite a few cases of stolen luggage so you have been WARNED!
  • Changing money
o   Foreign exchange rates in Melbourne are terrible; especially at the airport. Wait till you get to the city if you can.
o   If you are coming from Asia, do yourself a favour and change the cash before you come.
  • Transport to CBD
o   Due to commercial agreements with the Airport operators, other than taxis, there are no other forms of public transport from the Airport! Ridiculous isn’t it?!
o   There is the privately operated Skybus to the CBD bus terminus, but it is grossly overpriced at $16 per person. Also since you are moving to Melbourne, you would probably have lots of luggage and I would rule out this option.
o   There are no taxi touts in Melbourne so you can make your way leisurely to the official taxi queue un-harassed. No such thing as private taxis either.
o   Taxis are notoriously expensive in Australia and it costs around $50 or so to take a taxi from the Airport to Melbourne CBD. Unlike many other countries, there is no taxi airport surcharge.
o   Tipping the driver is optional; I only do so if the driver provides service with a smile and volunteers to help out with the luggage.
o   You can request for a minivan Taxi if you have a large family or tons of luggage! The fare per kilometre is a bit more expensive but definitely worth considering for comfort.

If you have any comments about this post or questions about arriving in Melbourne in general, please feel free to post a comment for a prompt reply. Always glad to help !

Now that you have arrived in Melbourne Australia, let’s find you somewhere to stay …


Post a Comment

No spam or needless advertising please. Please add value, ask a sincere question or provide constructive feedback and your comment will be posted.

Thanks in advance for your little contribution to this site. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...