Arriving in Melbourne to begin your studies is an exciting time. You’re sure to be full of questions about your new neighbourhood, your studies, and your new life in Victoria. But the first question you have to answer when you arrive at the airport is “How do I travel safely to my new home?”

Here are our top tips for a safe journey from Melbourne International Airport.

1. Don’t take rides from unregistered taxi drivers

It’s common around the world for drivers to offer rides directly to passengers from airport pick up locations, but in Australia this is illegal.

If anyone directly offers you a ride, do not accept it.

2. Go to the taxi rank

Taxi drivers don’t approach passengers directly in Australia. Instead, they wait at a designated taxi rank. Look for signs around the airport that direct you to the taxi rank, and only accept a ride from a taxi that you find there.

3. Look for registered taxi vehicles

Taxis in Victoria are registered by the State Government. All registered taxis have the words “Accredited Taxi Service” written on their license plate. The cars are usually yellow or silver, and the license plate should be dark green. Don’t get into a taxi unless it is clearly accredited on the license plate.

Sample Melbourne taxi number plate

Accredited Melbourne taxis have special number plates like this one. Read more about how to catch a taxi on the Taxi Services Commission website.

4. Catch the SkyBus

Taxis aren’t the only way to travel from the airport into Melbourne. SkyBus is a regular bus service that offers rides from Melbourne Airport to Southern Cross Train Station in the city, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. SkyBus is usually cheaper than a taxi, but it will only take you to the city. From there, you can catch a shorter taxi ride to your new home, or buy a Myki travel card and use Melbourne’s public transport system to take you the rest of the way.

Skybus on Carlisle Street St Kilda

Catch the SkyBus from the airport. The SkyBus is safe, inexpensive way to travel into Melbourne. The main depot is at Southern Cross station in Melbourne's CBD. There are SkyBus services to destinations like St Kilda. Ask your driver for information.

5. Do not catch an Uber or rideshare service

Uber and similar rideshare services are legal in Victoria, but they are not permitted to pick up passengers from the airport. If someone approaches you claiming they are an Uber driver, do not accept their ride.

6. Use a verified service

Use a verified service from your institution or accommodation provider.

Some institutions or accommodation providers offer pick up services from the airport. If you are using one of these, make sure you book it ahead of time. These services are not available from the airport if they are not pre-booked.

Make sure your driver can prove who they are working for. Ask them to verify your booking before you accept the ride.

7. Have a friend pick you up

Not all international students will already have friends or family when they first arrive in Victoria. If you’re one of the lucky ones that does, ask your friend or family member ahead of time if they can pick you up from the airport.

8. Ask the International Student Welcome Desk

The International Student Welcome Desk is a helpful service at Melbourne Airport for arriving international students. The desk as in the International Arrivals Hall in Terminal 2, and the friendly staff can provide you with information about safe travel options from the airport. They can also give you plenty of other advice and resources to help you settle into your new life.

Welcome to Melbourne!