Melbourne Skybus a Great Way to get to the City

mlbrnskbsTullamarine Airport Melbourne, which is that city’s major international and domestic airport is quite a long way from the city, and it has no rail services into central Melbourne.

That could be a problem for passengers wishing to use public transport.  However, there is a good solution, and it is called Skybus.

Skybus provides direct, non-stop services from Tullamarine to Southern Cross, which is a large transport hub connecting trains, trams, taxis and buses.  The two terminals are connected for most of the way by freeway, so, outside of peak traffic hours, the trip takes about 20 minutes for both inward and outward journeys.

The Skybus leaves at regular ten minute intervals and operates for twenty four hours per day seven days per week.

Cost is reasonable, and if you plan to do the return trip, it is cheaper if you purchase return tickets upon arrival. There are booths at both ends of the route, so buying a ticket is very convenient.  You can also purchase tickets online before arrival, or by using your smartphone.

The Skybuses are articulated vehicles, which have good seating and plenty of luggage space.

Although arrivals and departures at Tullamarine slow down between midnight and 4am, outside of those hours you don’t wait long for a Skybus, and they depart as soon as all passengers have boarded.

The trip into Southern Cross is reasonably comfortable, although if you sit up the back of the bus the ride can be a bit bumpy because the road in some places is not very even.

One added advantage of using the Skybus is that they also operate a hotel drop off and pick up service, with stops arranged at most city hotels. To order a pick-up, just see the concierge at your hotel, but do give them a bit of notice as it is not a taxi service, and routes through the city need to be planned to avoid backtracking and traffic delays.

I have used the Skybus service on several occasions and have found it to be excellent.  Upon arrival at Tullamarine, you simply collect your luggage, exit the terminal and the Skybus stop is a few metres from the door.

Skybus makes two stops at Tullamarine.  One stop is near the International and Virgin Australia terminals, and the other is right outside the Qantas terminal.

One small problem with the service is that it seems to cater only for English-speaking passengers.  On my last trip to the airport, they were a couple who obviously did not know English, and they were confused as to which terminal they should alight.

Perhaps Skybus could erect signs in other languages or introduce multi-language announcements to assist these non-English speaking passengers.

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