Melbourne experiences very defined seasons, with often sweltering summer days that see holidaymakers pack the city’s beaches between December and February. This is the city’s peak tourist season when domestic visitors descend on their long annual holidays and hotel prices peak for the Australian Open Tennis Finals and summer festivals.
There is another slight peak in demand for hotels during the Formula 1 Grand Prix in March, as well as the Easter week holidays, when accommodation and flight tickets should be booked well in advance.
The winter months of June through to August are generally considered the off season in Melbourne, but with plenty of cultural and culinary events in the city throughout the year, such as the Winter Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, it never feels deserted. Temperatures drop considerably and the weather is known to be a bit dreary, but you will benefit from some good hotel and flight deals, particularly if you plan to travel in the mid-week.
The spring months of September through to November are a great time to visit Melbourne, with temperatures starting to warm and fewer tourists in the city meaning there are excellent accommodation deals to be found. Unless you are visiting specifically for the event, try and avoid the Melbourne Cup in the first week of November when the city sees a sharp influx of visitors.
When is the best time to book a flight to Melbourne?
Because Melbourne is a popular destination with both business and holiday travellers, it’s wise to book as far in advance of your travel dates as possible to secure the best flight deals throughout the year. This is particularly true if your visit coincides with one of the city’s many festivals or the Australian and New Zealand school holiday periods. Keep in mind that some airlines offer heavily reduced mid-week flight deals, so you could secure some cheap flights to Melbourne if you are flexible with your travel dates.
How long is the flight to Melbourne?
Flights from Auckland to Melbourne – 4 hours 05 minutes.
Flights from Christchurch to Melbourne – 4 hours 50 minutes.
Flights from Wellington to Melbourne – 4 hours.
Flights from Queenstown to Melbourne – 3 hours 30 minutes.
Which airlines operate flights to Melbourne?
Air New Zealand, Qantas, Emirates, Jetstar and Virgin Australia all operate multiple daily flights to Melbourne from Auckland, with Jetstar and Virgin Australia generally offering the cheapest flight tickets. From Christchurch there are direct flights to Melbourne with Air New Zealand, China Airlines, Virgin and Jetstar, while Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar all fly direct daily to Melbourne from Wellington. If you are travelling from Queenstown, there are also daily flights to Melbourne with both Air New Zealand and Jetstar, with the latter usually offering the cheapest flight tickets.
There is also a Skybus Express service from the Melbourne International Airport direct to Southern Cross Station in the city centre which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and departs every 10 minutes. The journey time takes a minimum of 20 minutes and tickets can be purchased on arrival at the bus stop or online. SkyBus also offers a complimentary hotel transfer to some inner city hotels on arrival at Southern Cross Station.
The most hassle-free, but expensive way to get from Melbourne International Airport to your accommodation is with one of the metered taxis that operate from outside Terminal 1 and 4, and between Terminals 2 and 3.