Flying to Melbourne
It's a good idea to be organised for your arrival in Melbourne before you leave home.
Students are advised to take out at least 4 weeks travel insurance before departure. Your travel agent should be able to help you organise this.
Booking Your Flight
Once your course application has been fully processed, the course tuition fees paid in full and your student visa granted, you should make a flight booking to Melbourne. You MUST arrive well before your course commencement date.
Preparing Your Finances
It is a good idea to arrive with some Australian money. It is recommended that you bring approximately AUD$250 in cash (notes and coins), and maybe AUD$500 to AUD$1000 in travellers cheques or as a bank draft.
It is also helpful to have a credit card, especially in emergencies.The most common credit cards used in Australia are Visa and MasterCard. Some shops and restaurants will also accept American Express and Diners Club credit cards.
Melbourne Airport's international and domestic terminals are conveniently located under one roof.
The airport is a 25 minute drive from the city on the Tullamarine Freeway.
Some airlines fly to and from Avalon Airport, which is about 40 minutes from Melbourne. You can get there by car or taxi.
On the plane, you will be given an Incoming Passenger Card to complete. You will need to fill in your flight details and customs information.
Make sure you have your passport and Incoming Passenger Card ready for the Entry Control Point.
When you have passed through the Entry Control Point, you will collect your baggage and exit via Customs and Quarantine (AQIS).
There are 2 exit channels after you have collected your baggage.
- If you have any goods to declare, you must walk through the red channel
- If you have nothing to declare, you can proceed through the green channel
If you are flying to Melbourne from another state, you will arrive either at Melbourne Airport or Avalon Airport.
From Avalon Airport, which is about a 40 minute drive south-west of the city, you can hire cars, or catch a taxi into the city.
Domestic passengers are not usually required to go through the Entry Control Point.
Message from Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS)
To help keep Australia free from serious pests and diseases, strict quarantine laws are in place at all Australian international airports and mail centres. Don't worry if you see AQIS detector dogs sniffing your bags at the baggage collection area. These dogs are looking for quarantine items such as food, or plant or animal products.
Arriving in Australia
Before your aircraft arrives in Australia you will be given an Incoming Passenger Card to fill in. This is a legal document and you must tick "Yes" if you are carrying any food, wooden material, plant material or animal products. If you are unsure about items you are carrying, declare them anyway, by ticking "Yes".
In many cases items will be returned to you after inspection. However, any item that has a pest or disease risk will be withheld. Depending on the quarantine risk, some items can be treated to make them safe (you will have to pay a fee) while other quarantine risk items may need to be destroyed or returned to your home country (again, you would have to pay for this).
All luggage is screened using a combination of detector dogs, x-ray machines and physical inspection of bags upon arrival in Australia . If you fail to declare any quarantine items or make a false declaration:
- You could be fined up to AUD$220 on the spot
- You could be prosecuted and fined up to AUD$66,000 and/or risk 10 years imprisonment.
Once You're Here
Australian Quarantine screens ALL international mail sent to Australia. Quarantine will remove high risk quarantine items from parcels. Therefore it is important to let your family and friends know what items cannot be sent to you in Australia . Anything they send by mail must be declared on the postal declaration label. Many of your favourite foods are available in Australia 's major cities. These foods have to pass strict quarantine conditions before they are allowed into Australia .
To find out more information on what you can and cannot bring into Australia at the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service website.
Airport pick-up service
The airport pick-up service is free for Swinburne international students when they first arrive.
Harlan is Swinburne’s reception agent.
A driver from Harlan will meet you at the airport after you have cleared customs and transport you to your arranged accommodation.
Students may experience waiting periods at the airport and on their journey, as the driver may be required to drop off other students in the same pick up. We appreciate your patience with this.
You can use our Online Booking System to arrange the Pick Up Service before you arrive. Your SAMS and Student's ID numbers are required to log in the online booking form and you need to provide your accommodation address in Melbourne. You must book at least 24 hours before you arrive, otherwise we will not be able to guarantee a place for you.
If you have any problem in logging in the booking system please email your full arrival details to Accommodation Advisor (email@example.com)
If you are arriving with family members they will be required to pay on arrival and make payment directly to the Harlan driver. The cost is AUD$80 per person. Please include the number of family members accompanying you when completing the online booking form in the ‘comments’ section.
Arriving at the Airport
Arriving at the International Terminal
Once you have collected your luggage and passed through customs you will exit into the Arrivals Hall.
TURN RIGHT when you enter the Arrivals Hall & make your way to the Group Tours desk Meeting Point. (see below map)
The Harlan driver will be standing near the ‘Meeting Point,’ see instructions below .
Arriving at the Domestic Terminal
Go to the baggage carousel where you pick up your luggage. Once you have collected your luggage, go to the Arrivals Hall of the International terminal which is also on the ground floor.
Please see below for where to meet the driver at the International Arrivals Hall.
For direction to the International Terminal, please ask airport staff,
Meeting the Harlan Driver at Melbourne Airport
The Harlan will meet for you at the Arrival hall of the international terminal. If you have arrived at the Domestic terminal you need to go to the International terminal to meet the driver. The driver will be standing near the ‘Meeting Point area’ holding a sign that looks like this:
The ‘Meeting Point’ is located next to the Groups and Tours desk at the southern end of the Arrivals Hall in Terminal 2. Please see below the map of Arrivals Hall.
If your flight is delayed, you change to another flight or you cannot find the driver at the airport, you must contact Harlan directly on either of these numbers:
- +61 3 9354 5025
- +61 4 12 073 749
Do not try to contact Swinburne International as we may not receive your message in time to advise Harlan.
Subsequent Arrivals in Australia
Harlan are willing to collect students and their families on subsequent arrivals, i.e. on arrival back from holidays, however, this must be booked separately and paid for by the student. To make a private booking please email Harlan.
The Skybus is a special bus service that runs between Melbourne (CBD) and Melbourne Airport. It leaves from the domestic and international terminals and costs about AUD$15.
Please refer to the Skybus website for timetable and more information.
All Melbourne taxis are yellow and are available at each terminal. Taxi fares to the CBD from Melbourne Airport cost approximately AUD$50 to AUD$60.
Additional charges may apply for taxis waiting at the airport taxi rank, or those that commute to their destination via tollways.
Arriving at your accommodation
If you have booked your airport pick up through Swinburne International, the Harlan driver will take you directly to your accommodation.
When you arrive at your temporary accommodation show your confirmation and your personal details to staff at the reception area. You will also need to tell them how long you will be staying.
You are advised to stay in your temporary accommodation for a minimum of two weeks, especially in February and March when temporary accommodation can be very hard to come by.
Long Term Accommodation
If you have specified a private address on your Arrival Services Booking Form, Harlan will take you there, but you will need to find your own way to your campus. Swinburne International's campus information page explains how to get to each of the campuses.
International Student Welcome Desk will operate at Melbourne International Airport for students arriving between 25 January – 24 February 2013.