A guide to Melbourne Airport (MEL)

Melbourne Airport (MEL) is the primary airport serving the city of Melbourne in Australia. The airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, is so large, it has its own postal code.

Aerial view of Melbourne city. Image credit: Brett Ginsberg/iStock
Aerial view of Melbourne city. Image credit: Brett Ginsberg/iStock

While Melbourne Airport (MEL) serves 10 million international passengers each year, its most popular flights are its connections to Sydney — in fact, the Melbourne-Sydney flight is the second-most traveled air route in the world. With four terminals, Melbourne Airport, also called the Tullamarine Airport due to its location within Tullamarine, can be easier to navigate with these useful airport maps.

Airlines flying out of Melbourne International Airport

Melbourne Airport’s four terminals are divided according to the types of flights that originate from them. Terminals 1 and 3 are devoted to domestic flights, and Terminal 4 hosts the budget domestic airlines. International flights originate from Terminal 2. Take a look at where Melbourne’s airlines are situated to find your flight.

Terminal 1

  • Qantas

Terminal 2

  • AirCalin
  • Air Canada
  • Air China
  • Air India
  • Air New Zealand
  • Air Vanuatu
  • Capital Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Cebu Pacific
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Jetstar (international flights only)
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Melindo Air
  • Philippine Airlines
  • Qantas (international flights only)
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Brunei Airlines
  • Scoot
  • Sichuan Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
  • SriLankan Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • United Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Australia (international flights only)
  • Xiamen Air

Terminal 3

  • Virgin Australia

Terminal 4

  • AirNorth
  • Alliance Airlines
  • Jetstar
  • Regional Express
  • TigerAir

Airport lounges at Melbourne Airport – pre-flight comfort

Melbourne Airport’s domestic lounges are each home to one lounge. In the international terminal (Terminal 2), half a dozen airlines host lounges for their passengers, plus several lounges are open to anyone wishing to pay an entrance fee.

Terminal 1

The Qantas Club

This lounge serves Qantas and Emirates domestic passengers, Qantas Platinum frequent flyers, Qantas Club members, and oneworld alliance members flying on Qantas. The lounge enjoys lots of natural light streaming in from the large windows overlooking the tarmac. Table-service dining is available at the Asian Spice Bar, a spinoff of chef Neil Perry’s Spice Temple restaurant, as well as a hot and cold buffet station featuring Asian dishes and a sandwich press to make your own toasties. All-day barista-served coffee and a full-service bar are also available, as are private shower suites.

Terminal 2

Air New Zealand/United Airlines lounge

This lounge is accessible to Air New Zealand and United Airlines premium passengers as well as Star Alliance Gold members and premium passengers. This spacious lounge features some private seating areas as well as a separate play area for kids. The hot and cold buffet includes a pancake machine at breakfast, and you can get all sorts of barista-prepared espresso drinks at the bar. Shower suites are available for those who need to freshen up.

Fresh pancakes are the order of the day at Melbourne Airport (MEL). Image credit: zeljkosantrac/iStock
Fresh pancakes are the order of the day. Image credit: zeljkosantrac/iStock

American Express lounge

This lounge is open to American Express Platinum cardholders and their guests. While the lounge is on the smaller side, the dining area features ample seating that includes booths and communal tables. Among the general seating options are several semi-private cubicles with built-in tables. A hot and cold buffet (including a pancake machine at breakfast) are available, along with a full-service bar with a barista making coffee drinks to order. This lounge shares shower facilities with the Plaza Premium Lounge just next door.

Cathay Pacific lounge

The Cathay Pacific lounge is open to premium passengers flying on oneworld airlines. In addition to comfortable seating around the lounge, passengers needing to get some work done can take advantage of work cubicles that come equipped with printers. One shower space is available. Food service consists of a cold buffet featuring dim sum items as well as sandwiches and desserts.

Emirates lounge

Emirates first-class and business-class passengers can access this lounge, as can elite members of Emirates’ Skywards frequent flyer program, Qantas premium passengers, and Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers. The gourmet buffet features a wide variety of hot and cold Western and Asian dishes.

The House

This lounge is open to Virgin Atlantic premium-class passengers, Priority Pass, and DragonPass members, as well as to any traveler at Melbourne Airport who pays the entrance fee. The lounge, which was formerly the Virgin Atlantic lounge, features a white-tablecloth, waiter-service dining area serving global dishes prepared with locally sourced produce, as well as a full-service bar that serves premium liquor, smoothies, and barista-made coffee drinks. Shower facilities are also available.

Marhaba Lounge

Also available to any passenger who pays the entrance fee, this lounge features massage chairs to help you relax before your flight. A Hudson’s Coffee bar makes coffee drinks to order, and both buffet and à la carte dining are available. This lounge also features separate showers for men and women, as well as a dedicated quiet area to help you escape the commotion of the airport.

Plaza Premium Lounge

This lounge is open to any traveler paying the access free. Inside the lounge, you’ll find private workstations designed to help you get your work done. Table-service dining is available, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options on the menu, and an on-duty barista prepares coffee drinks to order. If you’re traveling with your family, you’ll be glad to find children’s books and kid-friendly snacks available.

The Qantas Club

Qantas and Emirates first-class and business-class passengers, as well as members of the Qantas Club, have access to this spacious, recently renovated lounge, which features plenty of outlets for charging mobile devices. You can order coffee to be waiting for you at the grab-and-go station just inside the lounge’s entrance, or proceed on to enjoy the hot and cold buffet. A full-service bar features barista-drawn coffees as well as liquor. Next in line for renovation is the Business Lounge section of the Qantas Club, open to premium passengers, who will enjoy large windows overlooking the tarmac and a separate dining facility.

SilverKris Lounge

This is the Singapore Airlines Lounge, open to Singapore first-class and business-class passengers, who enjoy different areas of the lounge. In the Business Class lounge, a small communal business center makes it easy to get some work done, and shower facilities are available. The hot and cold buffet serves both Western and Asian dishes.

The First Class lounge area is spacious, with a dedicated TV area and leather armchairs that swivel, each with an individual side table. In addition to its hot and cold buffet, the First Class lounge also offers a cooked-to-order menu at every meal, and you’ll find high-end Champagne on the self-serve liquor counter. Attendants in this lounge check on you constantly to make sure all your needs are being met. Shower suites are also available.

Virgin Australia Lounge

Terminal 3

This lounge is, unusually, located before security, so you can buy single-entry passes for guests you aren’t flying with. Virgin Australia Upper Class passengers, Virgin Australia Lounge members, American Express Platinum cardholders, Velocity Gold frequent flyers, and Gold frequent flyers with Etihad Airways, Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic all have complimentary entry to the lounge.

Inside, you’ll find plenty of seating, including long tables with chargers placed down the middle of the table. A well-equipped business center is also available, along with meeting rooms that you can reserve if your team needs to get some work done before your flight. A barista-tended coffee bar is available, and attendants patrol the lounge with platters of finger food. A well-supplied hot and cold buffet is supplemented with a grab-and-go station for economy passengers who want to take a meal onboard. Shower facilities are also available.

Terminal 4

The REX Lounge

This lounge welcomes passengers flying with Regional Express as well as Priority Pass, LoungeKey, and Lounge Club members, plus Diners Club cardholders. The lounge features a cold buffet, with self-serve beer and wine available during the afternoon and early evening hours. A business center offers computers, printers, and plenty of workspace and outlets to help you get work done, while a couple of massage chairs and a TV lounge encourage you to relax.

Melbourne Airport hotels – overnight or daytime use

Within walking distance of Melbourne Airport are several accommodation options.

ParkRoyal Melbourne Airport

Skybridge walkways connect the ParkRoyal Melbourne Airport to the domestic and international terminals, and you can book rooms for partial day use if all you need is a place to rest for a few hours or a spot to hold a quick meeting with your team. Spacious rooms, a fully equipped gym, a spa, and a heated indoor pool make it easy to unwind after a flight, and a business center lets you prep for your sales presentations. Choose from three in-house restaurants, or order room service to enhance your relaxation.

Mantra Tullamarine Hotel

Because of its location, only four minutes from Melbourne International, Mantra Tullamarine also offers a short-stay, daytime-only option for travelers who need just a few hours stopover. The studios and suites in the hotel feature space to spread out, or you can get some work done in the hotel’s state-of-the-art conference rooms. Get in a last-minute workout before you fly at the hotel’s full gym or lap pool, and enjoy fine dining in the relaxed restaurant.

Take time out at a nearby Melbourne airport hotel on longer stopovers. Image credit: Vesnaandjic/iStock
Take time out at a nearby airport hotel on longer stopovers. Image credit: Vesnaandjic/iStock

Melbourne Airport shops – luxury fashion

Melbourne Airport recently introduced a host of high-end fashion stores to its T2 Luxury shopping area in Terminal 2, and you can find necessities for your flight in all the other terminals as well.

Terminal 1

You’ll find the last-minute travel products you need at Carry On, or fill out the missing items in your toiletries kit at Amcal Pharmacy or L’Occitane. Looking for an Australian-themed gift to take home? Check out the souvenirs and mementos at Australian Way or Melbourne & Beyond. Men’s clothing is available at Henry Bucks, and unique accessories await you at Mimco. For reading material on your flight, turn to Newslink, Voyage, or Watermark Books.

Terminal 2

Here in the international terminal, you can choose from a wide array of tax-free luxury stores. Update your outfit at Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, and Hugo Boss. If you’re in the market for high-end accessories, watches, and jewelry, check out Tiffany & Co., Watches of Switzerland, Bally, Furla, and Tumi. You’ll also find Melbourne Duty Free by Dufry, where you can pre-order duty-free purchases of liquor, fragrances, jewelry, and other luxury items, and have them held for you until you pass through the airport on your return trip.

In addition, Terminal 2 hosts Flight Centre, Australia’s top travel agency, if you need to make more travel plans. Kidzone lets you pick up a gift for those little ones awaiting your arrival at home, or head to Out of Australia or The Melbourne Store for other gifts and souvenirs. Kathmandu provides all the gear you need for adventure trips, Optus lets you augment your travel electronics and entertainment, and Rolling Luggage gives you the opportunity to upgrade your luggage.

Terminal 3

Get ready for your active vacation when you stop in at Sportsgirl Accessories, Surf Dive ‘n Ski, or Sunglass Hut. Tech 2 Go offers unique travel accessories, and Newslink provides you with reading material for your flight.

Terminal 4

Pick up casual clothes for your trip at Country Road or Witchery, and top off your makeup kit when you stop in at MAC Cosmetics. Peter Alexander lets you upgrade your pajamas to get a good night’s sleep on the road, and WH Smith supplies the reading material you need.

Melbourne Airport dining – grab a beer and enjoy

While Terminal 2’s recent remodel puts it at the forefront of airport dining at Tullamarine, you’ll find plenty of food options at Melbourne Airport across all four terminals.

Terminal 1

  • Two Brews: Coffee? Beer? If you can’t decide, head to this bar/coffee shop that’s pouring both.
  • Crown Lager Bar: You can watch the planes on the tarmac from this sophisticated bar that pairs a great keg room with pub favorites.
  • Krispy Kreme: Hot, gooey doughnuts made while you wait are a great way to start your morning.

Terminal 2

  • Bar Pulpo at Movida: This outpost from Melbourne’s beloved tapas restaurant serves Spanish favorites ranging from patatas bravas and chorizo breakfast sandwiches to churros decadently dipped in drinking chocolate.
  • Machinetta: Superb coffee in a relaxing atmosphere makes boarding your plane a little more enjoyable.
  • Cafe Vue: If you have time, enjoy a confit duck quiche or barramundi burger — and if you’re in a hurry, the grab-and-go lunchboxes treat you to anything from banh mi fishcakes to gluten-free orange-poppyseed cakes.
  • Little Ludlow: Breakfast pizza in the morning, proper fish and chips later in the day, and a very interesting beer selection indeed make this pub worth a stop.
  • Billy Chu: This quick-serve spot is where to head for dim sum or noodles.

Terminal 3

  • Able Baker Charlie: You’ll notice the smell of freshly baked bread as you approach this popular spot, whether you prefer the stone-baked pizzas, the fresh sandwiches — or the wine list.
  • Sushi Sushi: Fresh sushi is on the menu here either to eat in the airport or as a grab-and-go option.

Terminal 4

  • Brunetti: This Italian restaurant serves appealing pizzas and pasta, but it’s the birthday cake and gelato that’ll bring you back.
  • Oportos: Authentically cooked Portuguese grilled chicken makes this quick-serve sandwich shop a popular stop.
  • Ali Baba: There’s so much garlic in the chicken at this spicy Middle Eastern spot that your seatmate might not appreciate you — but you’ll be in bliss.
  • Brasserie Bread: The passion of the artisan bakers comes through in the amazing sourdough at this quick-serve bakery.
  • Muffin Break: Everyone’s day is made a little better with a fresh, hot muffin.

Whether you’re headed to the airport or reaching your final destination within Melbourne , having a car waiting for you can smooth your travel and get you where you want to go feeling rested and ready for anything. Book a reliable Blacklane airport transfer for Melbourne Airport (MEL) to complete your journey in style and comfort.