Despite the local penchant for handling public transport in the city, Melbourne remains one of the best connected cities in Australia. Like most major cities, we have buses and trains, but what makes Melbourne famous is its extensive tram network. Whether you opt for a tram, take a bus or take a train, you can get to almost anywhere in Melbourne without a car. All you need is an adventurous spirit and a myki card – the reusable Melbourne public transport ticket that you can buy or top up at metro stations as well as at some tram stops and at bus interchanges.
The Melbourne trains are the older brother of the oxen of the tram. They transport people from the outer edges of Melbourne to the inner suburbs and to the CBD. Depending on where you are and where you are going, trains are sometimes a faster option than trams or buses. But they can be packed during peak hours, so avoid traveling in the morning or evening, if possible. Tap on at the station before boarding and press when you leave the station – and don’t forget to press the button on the train door to get on and off.
The most emblematic means of public transport in Melbourne is a new pleasure for visitors. But since they’re not as common as trains or buses, there are a few tips for using them properly. You have to type (i.e. hold your Myki card against the card reader) on the trams, but you don’t need to type. In the free tram zone (Melbourne CBD; listen to the announcements), you don’t need to type at all. This makes trams ideal for sightseeing in the city, and they also go to some of the coolest hangouts in the suburbs. Trams sometimes stop suddenly, so hold on!
Buses are the unsung heroes of Melbourne’s rail-dominated public transportation system. They may not have the same cachet as trams, but they cover more ground. You won’t find a tram that will take you directly to Australia’s largest shopping center, Chadstone, but a bus will. There are more routes for buses than trams, they travel further into the suburbs and they cross the city more directly than other public transport options. Make sure to turn your Myki on and off when using the buses and remove your backpack before boarding.
4. V/Line trains and coaches
Where the trams, trains and buses of Melbourne fear to tread the V / Line, no problem. Victoria’s V / Line trains and coaches are your ticket to beautiful regional cities in the state. In the Melbourne CBD V / Line, all services connect to Southern Cross station, which in itself is easily accessible by tram or bus. From there you can take a train or coach to the Bendigo or Ballarat gold fields; Daylesford Springs; to the banks of Geelong or Warrnambool; or even interstate in Adelaide. Above all, not all V / Line services use Myki, so check the ticketing information before traveling.