The cheap way to Melbourne airport


It is possible to get to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport using standard public transport, using Myki zone 1/2 fares (eg $4.40 adult one way, as at 2019, plus the once-off $6 cost of buying a reusable Myki card). The trip takes about an hour.

The main route from the City Centre is via Broadmeadows:

Train to Broadmeadows (Craigieburn line) then 901 bus to the Airport

Things to remember:

  • These services are not as fast or frequent as the premium Skybus service (see below).
  • Train frequencies:
    • Weekday peak hours about every 10 minutes
    • Daytime except Sunday mornings about every 20 minutes
    • Evenings (until about midnight) and Sunday mornings about every 30 minutes
    • You can catch a Craigieburn train from any City Loop railway station. The trip from the City to Broadmeadows takes about 35 minutes
  • Bus 901 runs reasonably frequently, but is not co-ordinated with train times:
    • Weekdays every 30 minutes from 5am to 6:30am, every 15 minutes from 6:30am to 9:30pm, every 30 minutes 9:30pm to midnight
    • Saturdays every 30 minutes from 6am to midnight
    • Sundays every 30 minutes from 8am to 9pm

Official timetables: use the links above, or go to or phone 131 638.

Official Journey Planner (use the “More search options” feature to exclude Skybus):

Current fares information: PTV

Airport information including flight arrivals/departures information is available on the official airport web site.

Skybus and other premium bus services

Skybus runs frequently from the bus terminal at Southern Cross Station to the airport, taking about 20 minutes (30 during peak times), but charges premium fares.

  • Fare: Adults $18. Child $9 one way. Family fares available.
  • 4:30am to 6am every 15 minutes
  • 6am to midnight every 10 minutes
  • Midnight to 1am every 20 minutes
  • 1am to 4:30am every half-hour
  • All times apply seven days-a-week
  • Official web site:

Other premium bus services: Refer to Melbourne airport web site — most of these are as or more expensive than Skybus, but slower and much less frequent — however they provide a one seat ride to many locations in Melbourne and Victoria, which may be handy if you have a lot of luggage.

Disclaimer: This information is not official, and details may be subject to change. No responsibility is taken for changed or incorrect information on this page. Any corrections can be e-mailed to: danielbowen at gmail dot com

Last updated March 2015

30 replies on “The cheap way to Melbourne airport”

But how do u get to the city on public transport which bus do I get I have a Miki card Aldo I have to get to Dandenong I dont want to pay 25.00 for the shuttle

Excellent summary. With the public transport option it is even better for seniors, the price is halved M-F, and totally FREE at weekends.
From the airport the 901 bus continues to Frankston via Greensborough and Ringwood but changing to a train at Broadmeadows may be a faster option as the bus does meander through numerous shopping centres.

I recommend taking a train to Broadmedows and then taking an Uber to the airport, and vice versa. Saves you using a woeful bus service and only costs about $10 extra for all passengers (assuming there’s more than one).

Catch the Myki PTV 479 Bus from Sunbury Railway Station. Each hour weekdays but check timetable. Met & V/line trains both stop at Sunbury Station and it’s a lovely town to visit. I always use this bus.

Ok i dont want any hassel koz my me my 2gals wanner get to the airport Thursday morning our flights at 9am and will be coming by train from WERRIBEE at 4.46am we wanner get off at nearest station close by the airport then catch a taxi to the airport so how much you think the taxi will cost for 1adult n 2childs? Please

Melbourne Public Transport was absolutely a joke compare with other countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan…Etc. Suprisingly the Australian Government doesn’t feel embarrass at all and keep giving lame excuses over the decades. Shame

It is also possible to take tram 59 (every 10 min) from Elizabeth street (Opp. Flinders st station) to Airport West SC terminal. (55 min.) From there take bus 478 or 479 (The bus stop is opp. Office works) to terminal 4 Tullamarine. (about 20 min.) Bus departs every hour. Adjust your arrivals on tram 59 so you don’t have to wait too long for the bus.

Thanks so much for the info – far more logically and precisely presented than on any of the ‘official’ websites!!

Really helpful. PTV buried this really useful bit of useful information: “use the “More search options” feature to exclude Skybus”, special thanks for that. Google and Bing maps are even more frustrating as there is no option to exclude Skybus, makes it very hard to find the public transport option, it’s almost like they don’t want you to find it.

Just need some clarification on the myki fare from Melbourne Airport to Broadmeadows station.

I know Broadmeadows is in Zone 2 and Southern Cross (Spencer St.) is in Zone 1. So the myki fare is $4.40 (full) between these 2 points.

So is Melbourne Airport considered in Zone 2 for myki fare? Or is it a totally different route and outside the PTV Zoning system? If so, what’s the fare from the airport to Broadmeadows?

Searched many many times and can’t find any answer on that fare. As with everybody, want to bypass Skybus due its monopolistic pricing.


@Andrew, as the post says, bus 901 is a Myki fare. It’s zone 2, but this is now included in the $4.40 zone 1+2 fare. So the total fare for train+901 bus is $4.40.

@Daniel, thanks for the info.

$17.50 (skybus prepurchase online) vs. $4.40, that’s a total of $26.20 of savings for 2 people!!

To answer Machellna’s question 7 month’s later: No. The 901 bus doesn’t stop at all terminals. It just goes to a bus stop which is outside of Terminal 4 so you have to walk to any other terminals. The path is relatively flat if you have wheels on all of your luggage.

How crowded is the 901 bus during early morning (from broadmeadows station) between 530-7am on a Monday? Can we safely carry 1 large piece of luggage without intruding other passengers?

Thanks so much for sharing this information on connecting PTV travel to & from Tullamarine Airport. I spent a long time gathering some of this information and you have made it all available to others. I now live near Albany WA and use public transport when in Melbourne and in regional Victoria.

Beat option catch the train too and from broadmeadows get on the bus there. Then commute wherever you need to go from the major train station at Southern Cross in Melbourbe.
For some super weird reason alot of people don’t do this.
Perhaps they are in a rush for the airport, personally doing this over the sky is adds 40 minutes to my commute, but saves me $20. I do it maybe half the time, usually when I have less luggage and more time and patience.

If you live on the craigiburn line or in the vicinity of broadmeadows it is perfect.

Otherwise you’ll visit the entire east suburbs if you use the bus the whole way. Did that once by accident as I missed the Broadmeadow stop and where I loved best option was to get off at Dandenong and get home from there , so I got a lovely 4 hour tour of the whole East suburbs.

Surpringly the bus gets really busy in other areas, just not the airport.

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