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How to get to and from Major Australian airports

How to get to and From Major Australian Airports feature image
Sydney Airport

“A guide for those who like to be prepared and avoid hassle.”

How to get to and from Major Australian airports

Getting to and from an airport can turn into a major hassle and put you in a bad mood quickly if you haven’t researched and you’re not prepared. There’s nothing worse than missing a flight at the start of a trip or feeling completely lost as soon as you land in your destination after hours on a plane.

We have put together a list of all popular or major airports in Australia and the best ways to get to and from the Centre of each place to the Airports as well as a few tips and tricks.

Sydney

Sydney’s Kingsford smith airport is south of the city centre and there are many different options for making your way to and from Australia’s Busiest airport.

Train from Sydney Central Station

Heading to the Airport:

The train is a great way to get to and from Sydney’s airport. It takes around 15 minutes each way and leaves from Sydney Central Station if you’re heading to the airport.

From the airport to the city:

If you’re heading into the city from the airport the train stops at the station for the Domestic and international Terminal from the northern end. You can purchase an opal card from the stations or WH Smith stores located inside the airport. A lot of hostels and hotels are located a short walk from Central Station. Please note the these hostels can tend to be super busy so it’s best to book well in advance. The price of a train for an Adult is $13.80 and $12.40 for a child with Children under 4 allowed to travel free.

Here is more information on the Airport Link.

Taxi

A Taxi to and from Sydney Airport to Sydney Central will take you around 20 minutes and cost $45 to $55 one way approximately.  To catch a Taxi just follow the signs to the taxi terminal located directly outside the Airport terminal.

Click Here for a map of the Taxi rank locations

Uber

Make your way to the public pick up area and hail your Uber to the Sydney Public Airport Pick up Location. For more accurate costing on how much your fare will be click here to use the fare estimator.

Shuttle Services

At Sydney Airports Terminal 1 and 2 you will find Redy2go desks where you can book a shuttle that can drop you directly to all major hotels and hostels in the Sydney Cbd and surrounding areas.  If you are looking for more personal transfer services such as a limousine or private shuttle than a great app or website you can use is Mozio: Click here

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Sydney's Airport Link Train is a great option for getting to and from the city.

Melbourne

It’s important to note that Melbourne has two airports. The main international Airport is Tullamarine or Melbourne Airport which will be abbreviated MEL on your plane ticket. It’s only 20 minutes north west of the centre of Melbourne.

Melbourne’s other airport is Avalon which is roughly an hour west from Melbourne and currently only runs domestic flights with Jetstar. This will be abbreviated AVV on your ticket.

Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Shuttle Services

Melbourne’s super reliable Airport Shuttle service is called Skybus which has 4 different services to rely on depending on which Airport you are arriving or departing from.

Here is a quick breakdown of each service:

Melbourne City Express: This service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year every 15 minutes. It leaves from directly out front of the Airport terminal and arrives in the City at Southern cross station.

Click here for the timetable

St Kilda Express: This service operates 365 days a year and departs every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 60 minutes on weekends. This service has four departure location - Barkley Street, Carlisle Street, Novotel St Kilda Esplanade and Fitzroy Street and arrives out front of the Melbourne airport terminal.  Click here for the timetable

Frankston and Peninsula Airport Shuttle: This service operates 364 days of the year with the exception being Christmas day.  The service runs between 4:20am and 19:30pm.  Buses depart regularly from bayside and travel down to Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula and will run to and from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. For more information Click here for the timetable

Skybus Pickup locations at Melbourne Airport

Taxi 

A Taxi to and from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne Cbd will take you around 30 -45 minutes and cost you around $55 or $65 one way including all tollway and city link charges.  To catch a Taxi just follow the signs to the taxi terminal located directly outside the Airport terminal. Click here to use the Fare Estimator

Uber

Melbourne has only just made it legal for Ubers to Pick up from Tullamarine airport and has created designated Uber pick up spots which can be seen on the map below.

To get an idea of how much your Uber will be Click here to use the fare estimator.

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Melbourne Airport Uber Pickup and dropoff Locations

Melbourne Avalon Airport

Skybus Avalon City Express

This service operates daily to meet all major flights arriving and departing from Avalon airport and transfers to and from Melbourne Cbd. Click here to check out the timetable

As Avalon Airport is about an hour from Melbourne we would definitely not suggest taking a taxi as we shudder at the thought of how much it would cost.

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Brisbane

Brisbane airport is a 20 minute drive north of the city centre and has both an international and domestic terminal.

Train

Brisbane has a train service called the Airtrain which is very convenient if travelling to or from the city or fortitude valley. This service takes around 20 minutes to get to and from Brisbane City, and from there you can take a train to surrounding Brisbane suburbs and even the Gold Coast. It departs every 15 mins during peak hours between the hours below:

Weekdays: 5.04am - 10:04pm

Weekends: 6:04am - 10:04pm

If you know you are going to take the train well in advance it is definitely worth buying your tickets online as they have an awesome early bird special for those super organised travellers!

The average cost of one-way ticket is $18 from Roma street station to the Domestic Terminal. Please note if planning on transferring between the Brisbane Domestic Airport Terminal to the Brisbane International Airport Terminal this is quite a long walk but it's only 5 minutes on the Airtrain which will be only $5 and you can purchase tickets at the platform. For more information on Airtrain Click here

By Taxi or Rideshare to and From Brisbane Airport

A Taxi to and from Brisbane Airport to Brisbane Cbd will take you around 20 minutes and cost you around $35 to $45 one way.  To catch a Taxi just follow the signs to the taxi terminal located directly outside the Airport terminal.

Here are the locations of the Taxi ranks for both terminals in Brisbane:

Domestic:  centrally located right outside the terminal

International: is located at the northern end of arrivals on level 2.

For more information or to pre book your taxis check out these links:

Black and white cabs Black & White Cabs 

Phone: 13 32 22 Website: www.blackandwhitecabs.com.au

Yellow Cabs Yellow Cab

Phone: 13 19 24 Website: www.yellowcab.com.au

Shuttle Services:  Brisbane has a company called Con-x-ion Airport Transfers which offers transfer services for every flight arriving at Brisbane international and Domestic Terminal to the following locations:

Brisbane Cbd and City: Con-x-ion Airport transfers services door to door in the CBD, all major accommodation houses, The Brisbane Transit Centre in Roma Street as well as Kangaroo Point.

Gold Coast: Services run from Brisbane Airports through to Sanctuary Cove, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads all the way through to Coolangatta Airport. Please note they will only drop off east side of the Pacific Highway if you are after their Door to Door Service.

Brisbane Cruise Terminal and Portside Wharf Hamilton: Services run through to Brisbane Cruise Terminal every 60 minutes.

Sunshine Coast:  Services runs between the hours of 5am and 9pm with 16 different times available for the Door to Door option.

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Gold Coast/ Coolangatta Airport

Gold Coast is the name of the city and it is based over approximately 30 km of beautiful coastline, the major tourist hub is Surfers Paradise located 35 minutes from Coolangatta Airport. There are a few different ways to get to and from the Coolangatta Airport to most of the beachside suburbs.

Shuttle Services

Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle services Coolangatta Airport all the way north to Runaway Bay.  They will drop off at most accommodation houses along the way.  The cost depends on how far you are going from the Airport and the way they measure this is in zones as below:

Zone 1: Tweed Heads to Mermaid Beach

Zone 2: Broadbeach to South of the Southport Bridge

Zone 3: Accommodation north of the Southport Bridge up until Runaway Bay

Pricing:


Adult

Price
Zone 1 One Way $22.00
Zone 1 Return $39.00
Zone 2 One Way $25.00
Zone 2 Return $44.00
Zone 3 One Way $46.00
Zone 3 Return $70.00

For more information Click here

Taxi

The Taxi rank for Gold Coast Cabs is located directly out front of the Airport terminal and there is no need to book, it will cost $65 to get from the airport to Surfers Paradise and Vice Versa. For more information Click here

Uber

Gold Coast airport has a dedicated Uber rank out the front making it easy to arrange your pickup. For a fare estimate Click here.

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Gold Coast Airport Terminal Map

Cairns

Cairns airport is only a 10-minute drive from the centre of Cairns making it pretty easy to get to and from. It's two terminals are also walking distance from each other.

Pre-arranged Backpacker hostel

Some backpacker hostels in Cairns will pick you up from the airport or organise you a free or discounted shuttle to your accommodation if you have prebooked. We use these accommodations in our east coast packages so if you are starting from Cairns this will by organised by us.

Shuttles

Sun Palm Transport offers shuttles to and from the Airport to Cairns and it’s northern beaches as well as Port Douglas. If you haven’t prebooked your shuttle there is a booking desk in the airport terminal though we would advise to book in advance. For more information click here.

Taxi

Cairns Taxis have sheltered taxi Ranks out the front of each terminal. A taxi to the Centre should be around $15 to $20, Click here to use the fare estimator.

Uber

Cairns airport has dedicated pickup areas for Uber out front of both it’s terminals making it easy to get to and from the airport using the ridesharing service. A ride to or from the centre of Cairns should set you back $13 to $17, Click here to use the fare estimator.

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Perth

Perth’s Airport is about 20-25 minutes drive from the city centre and features 4 terminals both Domestic and international located in separate areas. It has recently undergone an upgrade to it’s access roads making it easier to go between terminals via transfer.

Public Transport

From Terminal 1 and 2 precinct – Public Bus Route 380 runs between from here to Elizabeth Quay Bus station in central Perth. The buses are equipped with luggage racks and the trip takes 50 to 55 minutes.

From Terminal 3 and 4 precinct – public bus route 40 runs to Elizabeth Quay Bus station in Central Perth. The trip takes 50-55 minutes.

Taxis

It’s a 20 minute ride to get from Perth Airport to the centre in a Taxi and will set you back about $43 approximately each way. Taxi ranks are located outside the terminals, just follow the signs. The two Taxi services are Swan Taxis and Black and White Cabs.

Uber

Perth has dedicated Uber pickup and drop off areas outside their airport terminals. It’s approximately a 20 minute journey to the city centre and will cost between $32 - $45. Click here to use the Uber Fare estimator

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Adelaide

Adelaide Airport is only a 15 minute drive west of the centre of the city and there are quite a few different transport options available to get you where you’re going.

Public Transport

Adelaide Metro runs both the JetExpress and JetBus services from the Airport. JetExpress is a Double Decker bus that will get you from the airport to the city centre in roughly 30 minutes.  JetBus will get you from the Airport to the beachside suburb of Glenelg, West beach and the city.

The bus stop is on the left-hand side of the plaza as you are leaving the airport. For more information click here.

Shuttle

Airport City Shuttle runs a service from the airport to the front door of your hotel/hostel. It costs $10 each way and runs approximately every half hour. You can book when you arrive at the airport at the information and tourism bookings booth on the ground floor.

Taxi

Taxi Ranks are located to the left of the plaza as you exit the airport. A taxi will cost $25 to $30 approximately and take 15 to 20 minutes to get into the city.

Uber

Uber has only very recently become allowed to pick up from Adelaide airport. The journey in either direction will cost approximately $25. Click here to use the Uber Fare Estimator.

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Adelaide Airport Map

Hobart

Hobart airport is located 20 minutes drive north east of Hobart City centre.

Shuttle

Tasmania Red Line Shuttle bus will take you from the airport to your hotel. The trip takes 20 to 30 minutes and can be booked on their website in advance by clicking here.

Taxi

Taxi Ranks are located directly out front of the terminal and the ride to the city centre will take about 20 minutes and cost between $25 and $40.

Uber

Uber is currently not allowed to pickup from Hobart Airport.

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Hobart Airport Map

Darwin

Darwin international airport is only a 15 minute drive north east of the city centre.

Shuttle

Darwin City Airport Shuttle service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will drop off and pickup from your accommodation. The pick up point is directly out front of the terminal near baggage collection and the fare is $18 each way. Those wanting to go from their accommodation to the airport need to book online and can do so by clicking here.

Taxi

The taxi rank is located directly out front of the terminal and will set you back between $25 and $30 for a trip between the airport and City Centre.

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Darwin Airport Map

Proserpine(Whitsunday Coast) Airport

Proserpine airport offers the easiest access to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays with cheap flights available through Tiger and Jetstar airways.

Shuttle Bus

Whitsundays 2 everywhere offer shuttles from the airport to your accommodation and vice versa for $20 one way and $35 return. They have shuttles for every flight. Click here for more info.

Taxi

A taxi from Airlie Beach to Proserpine airport will cost $100 to $120 approximately and therefore we recommend the shuttle!

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Sunshine coast Airport

Sunshine Coast Airport is a great option for those wanting to access beachside towns just north of Brisbane such as Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Caloundra and the more popular Noosa.

Shuttle Bus

For those wanting to Access Noosa and Sunshine Coast Suburbs north of the airport Henry’s Airporter offers a shuttle service to these locations. Click here for more information.

Those wanting to access Suburbs and towns south of the Airport such as Maroochydore and Mooloolaba can use Con-X-ion for a shuttle transfer. Click here for more information.

Taxi

Sunshine coast cabs are the local operator and can pickup or drop off at the airport with the taxi rank located just outside the terminal. Those wishing to book a transfer to the airport can click here.

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Sydney's Airport Link Train is a great option for getting to and from the city.
Sydney Airport Taxi Rank Locations
Sydney Airport's international terminal
Map of Melbourne Airport
Skybus Pickup locations at Melbourne Airport
Melbourne Airport Uber Pickup and dropoff Locations
Destinations the Brisbane Airtrain Travels to
Brisbane Airtrain Domestic terminal map location
Brisbane airtrain international terminal map location
Cairns Domestic Terminal Map
Gold Coast Airport Terminal Map
Cairns international Terminal Map
Perth Airport Overview
Perth Airport Terminals 1 and 2 map
Perth Airport Terminals 3 and 4 map
Adelaide Airport Map
Hobart Airport Map
Darwin Airport Map

By Clinton Forster

Clinton is a One Stop Adventures Travel Expert who has 5+ Years experience,
has travelled to every continent except Antartica and been everywhere in Australia!