Arrival guide for international students

Welcome to Melbourne! We hope your first day here is the beginning of a wonderful journey living and studying with Swinburne in this great city. To make sure you settle into your new home safely, we've put together a guide, so you know what to do the moment you get off the plane at the airport. 

Where your plane will land

Melbourne has two major airports:

  • Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport is the main airport. It's a 25-minute drive from the city centre. Most international and domestic flights to Melbourne arrive here, so you most likely will too!
  • Avalon Airport is a 45-minute drive from the city centre. Some domestic and international flights to Melbourne arrive here. We do not currently offer an airport pick-up service from Avalon Airport, but transport options are available.

What to expect at the airport

  • You will be given an incoming passenger card on the plane, which you will need to fill in. Flight attendants can assist you if you are unsure which sections apply to you. 
  • Once you land at the airport, you will go through passport control, where you’ll need your incoming passenger card, passport, student visa and other important documentation.  
  • Once you’ve passed through passport control, you will collect your luggage from baggage reclaim and head to customs and biosecurity (quarantine), where you will need to declare any necessary items, like animal or plant goods, to Australian Border Force officers. Officers have legislative powers to inspect baggage and to question travellers if they suspect them of breaching certain customs, quarantine and other Commonwealth legislation. 
  • If you have booked our free airport transfer service (Melbourne Airport only), head to the meeting point to meet your driver from Hughes (our service provider) once you have passed through customs and biosecurity. 
  • Australian Departure Board

    Domestic arrivals

    You're not usually required to go through passport control or meet customs requirements when travelling within Australia; however, certain items cannot be brought into the state of Victoria. 

  • Princes Bridge, Flinders Street Station, St Paul's Cathedral and surrounding buildings in Melbourne CBD

    Plan your arrival in Melbourne

    Received your Confirmation of Enrolment from Swinburne and organised your student visa? You can start to prepare for travel to Melbourne.

How to get from the airport into the city

Getting to and from the airport in Melbourne is easy. As a Swinburne student, there are different options available to you to ensure you arrive safely at your accommodation.

Meeting your Hughes driver at Melburne (Tullamarine) Airport

The meeting locations vary depending on your airline and arrival terminal. You must have a confirmed airport pickup booking. Look out for your driver who will be holding a Swinburne welcome sign. Do not leave the airport with anyone else.

Please connect to the airport's free Wi-Fi after you land, as your driver may contact you using the WhatsApp ID number you provided in your booking form.

If you cannot find the driver or the meeting point, please go to the airport information desk for assistance.

Contact Swinburne's Accommodation Advisor

Phone: +61 3 9214 5551

Contact Hughes

Phone (within Australia): 1300 615 165
Phone (outside Australia): +61 3 9403 1900

SkyBus is a bus service that connects Tullamarine and Avalon Airports with many destinations, including Southern Cross Station in Melbourne’s city centre, Southbank and Docklands near the city, suburbs between St Kilda and Frankston, and others in Melbourne’s east and west.

It departs from the domestic and international terminals and you can buy tickets online starting from A$22* each way depending on your destination. You can also buy tickets directly from SkyBus ticket booths at the airports.

*Refer to the SkyBus website for the latest timetables, pricing and other information.


Taxis are available from the taxi ranks outside the domestic and international terminals. 

For a trip to Melbourne's city centre, the approximate fares are:

  • A$70 from Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport
  • A$110 from Avalon Airport

Additional charges may apply for using airport taxis and tollways.


Rideshares can be arranged via individual service provider apps (e.g. Uber, DiDi or Ola). Drivers can pick up travellers from the rideshare pick-up zone outside the airport.

Keep on exploring