The Albert Park circuit is in the heart of Melbourne, just south of the city centre and north of St Kilda. Getting in and out of Melbourne, going to and from the track are all easy to do on the regions well developed public transport. The hardest part for most of the event’s non-antipodean visitors is that bum-numbing long haul flight to get to Australia in the first place.
Flights to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix
Most international and domestic visitors to the Australian Grand Prix will arrive at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL), though some domestic flights with low cost carriers land at Avalon Airport (AVV) 20km and 55km from the city centre respectively.
Kiwi.com lets you search for the lowest cost flights and shows you route combinations that often don’t show up on other search engines. If you miss a connecting flight due to delay the Kiwi guarantee means you can take the next available flight at no extra cost.
Getting Around in Melbourne, transport to the Grand Prix and from the Airport
Getting from A to B in Melbourne is usually easy and comfortable. Some routes get a bit congested over the Grand Prix weekend and at peak times of the day.
To travel anywhere in Melbourne on regular buses, tram or trains you’ll first need to get a Myki card and top it up. You then just touch on and touch off when entering and exiting a vehicle and the money will be automatically deducted from your balance.
Exceptions to this are trams to and from Albert Park for the Grand Prix which is free for F1 ticket holders, and the trams in the tram free zone which, you guessed it, are free.
Trips lasting no longer than 2 hours cost AU$4.40 in zone 1 and AU$3 for zone 2. For journey’s that start in one zone and finish in another the fare will be the same as just zone 1. Normally you won’t need to touch when you change between buses, trams, etc. but if you think your journey will be longer than 2 hours your should.
Myki cards cost AU$6 (AU$3 for children and Australian seniors) and are available all over Melbourne from the Skybus terminal, convenience stores and newspaper stands all over the city, as well as station vending machines and ticket booths. If you’re already in Australia you can buy a Myki card online in advance and have it mailed to you.
|Public Transport Victoria (PTV) is the transport authority responsible fro public transport including trains, trams and buses in Melbourne and the state of Victoria. Their website has detailed info on transport in the city including timetables, fares, routes and information on how to use and top up your Myki card.|
|ptv.vic.gov.au||1800 800 007|
|iPhone app||Android app|
For F1 fans staying outside of the city centre during the Grand Prix weekend you might find yourself making use of Melbourne’s Metro train network. These services are frequent for the most part, but allow some extra travel time over peak periods and on the day of the Grand Prix on lines going to and from the centre.
Thanks to the extensive tram network most visitors to the Grand Prix will rarely need to use buses. Travelling to and from the airport though it can save you a bit of money to book tickets on a shuttle bus or use a local bus with your myki card.
..for the Airport
The cheapest option from Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport to the city centre (and the slowest) are regular city buses. Grab a Myki card and top up first then hop on route 478, 478, 482 or 901 departing from the transport hub at terminal 4. Expect the trip to the CBD to take just over an hour in clear traffic.
Shuttle bus services by Skybus offer a nice balance of convenience and affordability. From Melbourne Tullamarine the Melbourne City Express runs every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day and terminates at Southern Cross Station in the CBD (about a 30 minute journey). From here you can take a taxi/Uber, tram, local bus or walk to your hotel. Tickets cost AU$19.75 for adults and are available from the Skybus booth at all terminals.
There are other routes to Southbank Docklands, St Kilda, Geelong, Mornington Peninsula the Western suburbs, as well as services to and from Avalon Airport. A full list of services and schedules can be found here.
Taxi and Uber
Taxis in Melbourne are quite expensive with fares starting at AU$4.20 and an additional AU$1.62 per kilometre thereafter. Fares are more expensive between 5pm and 9am and more expensive again between 10pm and 4am. Don’t be perturbed if you’re asked to pay your fare in advance. This is normal after 10pm and the difference will be refunded to you on arrival at your destination.
Uber is also active in Melbourne and can work out a bit cheaper than taxis.
If you’re a first time Uber user, F1S readers can get €10 off their first ride when signing up.
..for the airport
From Melbourne Airport you’ll pay about AU$65 (including the airport surcharge) for a taxi to the city centre and will take about 30 minutes depending on traffic. An Uber will cost about AU$50 – 60. From Avalon Airport, expect a minimum of AU$120 for a taxi or AU$80 for Uber.
..for the Grand Prix
If you want an alternative to the sardine can on wheels that is the post race tram, the best way to beat a hasty retreat when leaving the Grand Prix circuit is to take a taxi or Uber.
Uber have partnered with event organisers and there is an official UberZONE at gates 1 on Canterbury Road and another at gate 10, where staff will help you get a ride.
Alternatively you can find taxi ranks at gates 1 and 2 (Canterbury Road), gate 8 (St Kilda Road) and gate 10 (Fitzroy Street).
The tram system is the most quintessentially Melbourne way to get around town and by far the most popular way for F1 fans to get to the Grand Prix.
Tram services in Melbourne’s city centre are always free to use making it more easily traversable for tourists. You can feel free to hop on and off any tram in this area and keep your Myki card in your pocket as long as your journey starts and finishes in that zone.
..for the Grand Prix
Free trams for all Grand Prix ticket holders service the gates of the circuit via three routes available from Spencer Street and Swanston Street. Trams run on a normal schedule for Thursday though are more frequent from Friday to Sunday, departing every 3 – 5 minutes during peak times.
- For gates 1 and 2, hop on the Light Rail GP Express at the corner of Spencer Street and Collins Street.
- Gate 3 is serviced by the Clarendon Street GP Express at the corner of Spencer street and Collins Street.
- Gates 5, 8, 9, & 10 are covered by the St Kilda Road GP Shuttle available at Swanston Street (Federal Sq).
Driving to the circuit is not advised and no parking will be provided at the circuit. Your best option is to park elsewhere in the city and avail of a free tram.
Walking around the central areas of Melbourne is easy to do following the grid style street layout. Walking maps are available for the city’s tourist information centres.