Save Money Getting to Sydney & Melbourne Airport

The Sydney Airport bus costs much less than the train
Catching the bus to Sydney Airport costs much less than the train

Getting to Sydney or Melbourne Airport is not exactly cheap. The train to Sydney airport may be convenient, but it costs up to $18.50 for a one-way ticket from the city. This includes a “station access fee” of $14.30. It’s even worse in Melbourne, where it costs $19.50 for an overcrowded bus service to Tullamarine Airport. But there are some little-known methods to get to both Sydney and Melbourne Airports for just a few dollars, using public transport.


How to save money getting to Sydney Airport

The Sydney Airport train may be expensive. But there is also a public Sydney Airport bus service that stops at both the domestic and international terminals. The bus is not subject to the train station access fees, so fares are much lower.

The 400 bus runs from Burwood to Bondi Junction via Sydney Airport. It’s the only Sydney Airport bus service, but it takes just 5-10 minutes to get from the domestic airport to Mascot train station. Buses come every 20 minutes. From there, you can catch a train to the city for just $4.20 – or less with an Opal card.

With an Opal card, it would cost just $3.61 (or $2.57 off-peak) to take a bus from Sydney Airport to Mascot station, and then a train to the city. The whole trip takes 30-40 minutes.

If you feel like some exercise, it’s only a 20 minute walk from the domestic terminal to Mascot station, or from the international airport to Wolli Creek station. Regular trains depart both stations for the city, and the trip from there takes only 10-15 minutes.

On arrival in Sydney, you can purchase an Opal card from the airport train station ticket booths. They are also sold at most newsagents and Woolworths supermarkets in Sydney.

Read more about saving money to Sydney Airport: Transfer Sydney Domestic to Sydney International Terminal Option


How to save money getting to Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

It’s difficult to miss the advertising for SkyBus when travelling to or from Melbourne Airport. But this is not your only public transport option. There are several public bus services to/from Tullamarine Airport. These depart from the transport hub near Terminal 4.

The most popular bus is the 901 service to Frankston. It’s a 15-minute trip on the 901 bus to Broadmeadows station, from where you can complete the journey to the city by train in 30 minutes. In total, the trip normally takes around an hour but can take a little longer on weekends as public bus & train services are less frequent. While the SkyBus is normally quicker, the bus/train combination only costs around $4 with a Myki card.

Myki cards can be purchased from the kiosks in the arrivals hall at Melbourne Airport.

Read more about saving money to Melbourne Airport: SmartBus 901 to Melbourne Airport


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]