Car Rental, Metro, and Transit Melbourne Travel Guide

by Crissandra Ayroso
getting around melbourne travel guide

Melbourne’s transit system is an easy, convenient, and super cost-efficient way of exploring the city. From Melbourne’s street art-filled laneways to the St Kilda Pier to the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, and Phillip Island, Victoria’s extensive network of trains, trams, and buses are the best ways to see Melbourne and the greater area like a local. Here’s a general guide on getting around in Melbourne.

How to Use the Transit System in Melbourne

melbourne star

Melbourne Star

Your Myki card will be your ticket to opening (transit) doors. These reloadable tap passes are CAD $6 to purchase and stores transit fare in the form of credit.

Melbourne’s metropolitan public transit system covers two zones. Depending on whether your start or end point is in Zone 1 or Zone 2, your Myki card will charge you based on how many zones you cross. The further you travel the higher the fare, but crossing two zones will only set you back about $4, one-way. If you need to top up your pass as you’re travelling along, you can stop in at certain transit stations, newsagents, or 7-11s to reload. Melbourne’s metro fares are affordable and the Myki system is easy to use.

Travellers may want to opt for a Myki explorer card. It includes the cost of the card, a day’s worth of travel and special offers on attractions, all for only $15.

puffing billy train in melbourne

Puffing Billy Railway

The Myki Explorer includes special offers from the following attractions:


Arts Centre Melbourne
Eureka Skydeck 88
Immigration Museum
MCG & National Sports Museum
Melbourne Museum
Melbourne Star Observation Wheel
O’Brien Group Arena
Old Melbourne Gaol
Puffing Billy
Queen Victoria Market
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

Regional Victoria

Central Deborah Gold Mine
MADE (Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka)
National Wool Museum
Sovereign Hill

Buses and trains in the metropolitan area start early and run late, and even later on Friday and Saturday nights – which means the night doesn’t end until you want it to. Stay local or venture out statewide, Melbourne is yours to explore!


Getting around Melbourne by train

train in melbourne

Flinders Street Station platform

Melbourne’s train system runs from the city all the way out to the greater area of Victoria. This gets you around Melbourne, just outside of Melbourne, or way far out and away from Melbourne. Visit Victoria’s world-class Yarra Valley wine region, Mornington Peninsula’s markets, and Geelong’s piers and waterfront to get a true glimpse of south-eastern Australia’s natural beauty and charm.

statues of swimmers in geelong melbourne

Bollards along the baywalk in Geelong

The V/Line is Melbourne’s main metropolitan and regional train system which can take you just about anywhere across the state of Victoria. Hop on board a train in Melbourne’s CBD from one of the centrally located train stations: Southern Cross Station, Flagstaff, Melbourne Central, Parliament, Flinders Street, and get rolling.

Depending on whether you’re travelling on a weekend, peak or off-peak hours, fares can cost between $6 and $25 per person, per direction. Ask your Expert Traveller for tips on calculating fares from Melbourne.

yarra valley vineyard

Yarra Valley vineyard

Popular routes

Yarra Valley wineries

From Flinders Street Station, take the metropolitan V/Line train to Lilydale Station which is about an hour commute. Lilydale Station is just a 10-minute walk from the wineries.

Geelong waterfront

From Southern Cross Station, take the regional V/Line train to Geelong Station which is also about an hour train ride. Piers, waterfront, and shopping are all within walking distance from the station.

Mornington Peninsula

From Flinders Street Station, take the V/Line to Frankston Station which is about an hour and 15-minute train ride with a stop at Carrum Station. Hop on the train from Frankston to Stony Point Station, approx. 1 hr. To get to the markets and attractions from Stony Point Station, hop on bus route number 788 and get out at Sorrento Station, approx. 90 minutes.


Getting around Melbourne by tram

city circle tram in melbourne

The historic City Circle Tram

Melbourne’s City Circle Tram is a free service that operates entirely within the city centre, Zone 1. Passengers can hop-off and hop-on at stops near Melbourne’s landmarks and attractions like the City Museum, Parliament House, Federation Square, and the Princess Theatre. Spend the day within the free zone, or transfer on to a train or bus and explore further.

The tram system – Yarra Trams – is operated by Public Transport Victoria. Its extensive tram network covers 26 routes and connects the city centre to the city’s middle and outer suburbs, including St Kilda Beach, Luna Park, and Etihad Stadium which are all under an hour commute. Top up your Myki card, board your tram, and meet Melbourne.


Get around Melbourne by bus

Melbourne’s bus network is like a combination of the tram and V/Line train networks. Bus routes start in the metropolitan and regional areas of the city centre and extend across the state of Victoria to places that trams and trains can’t reach.

port sea pier in victoria australia

Portsea Pier

Take the bus to one of Melbourne’s nearby shopping centres and sports venues, or hit the open road for a bus adventure to Victoria’s seasides, suburbs, and villages.

Buses travel Zone 1, Zone 2, and beyond, so fares can range in price depending on how many zones you’re crossing, the complexity of your journey (how many connections are required), whether you’re travelling on a weekday or weekend, and if you’re travelling during peak hours. Ask your Expert Traveller for fare details and to help you plan your journey.


Getting around Melbourne by car

While trains, trams, and buses provide an easy solution for getting around Melbourne, the best way to explore the surroundings is with a good, old-fashioned road trip.

Renting a car in Melbourne may be more of a hassle than it is a convenience, with the general downtown commotion of transit and people and traffic. Once you leave the city proper toward the outer suburbs, a car rental is the way to go. Car rentals are readily available in the city centre, as well as car sharing programs like Go Get and Flexicar are another great option for rentals by the hour or the day.

The Great Ocean Road is arguably one of the best road trip routes in the world, always topping the list, with so much to see along the way, like the 12 Apostles. Stop by cute little seaside eateries, have an early morning swim in Apollo Bay, explore Shipwreck Coast. If you have time for one road trip on your trip to Australia, definitely make it the Great Ocean Road.

penguins on phillip island australia

Phillip Island

Phillip Island is a remote area in Victoria that’s more conveniently accessible by car. The island is known for its beloved marching penguins, as well as the incredible whales, wildlife, and waterfronts. If Phillip Island didn’t have you at ‘penguins’ (penguin parade? Yes, please!), then maybe Phillip Island’s Grand Prix circuit, food and wine options, or boutique spas oughta get your attention. Phillip Island is where it’s at.



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