Melbourne Transporation Overview
Melbournes Tullamarine Airport is 22 kilometres (14 miles) north-west of the city centre.
There is a shuttle bus service running at half hour intervals throughout the day and a taxi stand outside the main terminal building. It is cheaper for two people to travel by taxi as the shuttle service is quite expensive.
The standard taxi fare is between 15 and 20 AUD, depending on traffic. Spencer Street Train Station and the main metropolitan Flinders Street Station are both in city centre whilst the national bus terminal is slightly north of the centre and easily accessible.
Once in the city centre, a network of trams, trains and buses run along the broad streets to all places of public interest. Tickets are interchangeable between services as they all come under the MET transport system.
As the city is very flat, cycling is a popular way to get around and there are many hire shops hiring cycles on an hourly or daily basis. The inner city shopping areas are designed purely with pedestrians in mind and are contained enough to explore on foot.
Melbourne has an excellent public transport system, which is called The Met. When you arrive in Melbourne, the International Centre will provide you with detailed information about the system. Unfortunately, international students (with the exception of exchange students) are not allowed to apply for student concession fares at present.
Metcard tickets can be purchased from railway stations, retail outlets such as newsagents & chemists, trams (trams accept coins only) & buses. With your Metcard you can change from tram to train to bus, all on the one ticket. Which ticket you buy is determined by two things, the zone you are travelling in and the amount of time you need. Private buses operate on many routes but you can treat them the same as Met buses.
Zones Melbourne is divided into three transport zones. Zone 1 comprises the inner city and suburbs surrounding the inner city. Zones 2 & 3 refer to the outer suburbs of Melbourne.
The other variable to consider when purchasing a ticket is the amount of time that you will be travelling for. The majority of international students would require a short trip ticket ($1.70 and available on trams and buses only), or a 2 hour Zone 1 ticket ($2.60) or a daily Zone 1 ticket ($5.00). Except for the short trip ticket, all other tickets can be used on trains as well as on buses and trams. The Met uses an automated ticketing system called MetCard. The cost of public transport ranges from $1.70 for a short trip to $9.50 for a daily ticket for Zones 1, 2 and 3.
You must always have a valid ticket when travelling. Ticket inspectors regularly patrol trams and trains and will issue fines to people who do not have a valid ticket.
Driving in Melbourne
If you plan to drive in Melbourne while you are here on a student visa, your own national drivers licence is valid to drive on in Australia for the period of your visa. You must carry your licence with you at all times when you are driving. If your drivers licence is in a language other than English, you must also carry an official translation.
The only bodies allowed to issue this translation are the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) and translators who are accredited at the Translator level (formerly level 3) by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI - Ph: +613 9642 3301).
You are also able to apply for a Victorian driving licence at any time. An International Drivers Licence is valid in Australia until its expiry d