Guide to Melbourne Airport, Amenities and Layover Tips

Overview of Melbourne Tullamarine Airport:

Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) is Australia’s second busiest airport, accommodating over 30 million passengers annually as of 2023. The airport consists of four terminals, with Terminals 1, 2, and 3 housed in the same building and Terminal 4 located separately but within walking distance of the main complex.

Below is a detailed guide to understanding and navigating the sleeping options and amenities at MEL:

Terminal Overview:

  1. Terminal 1 (T1):
    • Airlines: Primarily serves Qantas and other domestic flights.
    • Facilities: Features multiple dining and shopping options both airside and landside.
    • Sleeping Spots: The Qantas Arrivals Area offers wooden benches without armrests, suitable for lying down.
  2. Terminal 2 (T2):
    • Airlines: Handles all international flights.
    • Facilities: Offers a variety of dining and shopping options, with some available 24 hours. Free hot showers are available between Gates 5 and 7.
    • Sleeping Spots: Quiet areas near the prayer room and the mezzanine level with cushioned seating and power outlets.
  3. Terminal 3 (T3):
    • Airlines: Serves Virgin Australia and other domestic airlines.
    • Facilities: Equipped with several dining and shopping options.
    • Sleeping Spots: The mezzanine level near Krispy Kreme is a quiet, carpeted area ideal for sleeping.
  4. Terminal 4 (T4):
    • Airlines: Dedicated to low-cost carriers such as Jetstar, Tigerair, and Rex.
    • Facilities: Offers dining options, including a 24-hour McDonald’s, and various retail stores.
    • Sleeping Spots: The food court area provides cushioned seating and minimal disturbances after midnight.

Maximize these Amenities and Facilities:

  • Dining and Shopping: All terminals offer a range of dining and shopping options, with some providing 24-hour service, particularly in Terminals 2 and 4.
  • WiFi Access: Free WiFi is available throughout the airport, though connectivity may vary.
  • Power Outlets: While outlets can be scarce, multiple outlets are available along the corridor between Terminals 3 and 4, and in the Hudson’s Coffee area upstairs in Terminal 2.
  • Showers: Free hot showers are available in Terminal 2, between Gates 5 and 7, and opposite Gate 7 with a large space for luggage and charging points.

Sleeping in Melbourne Airport:

The best places to sleep at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) include the quiet corridor between Terminals 3 and 4, the mezzanine level near Krispy Kreme in Terminal 3, and the Qantas Arrivals Area in Terminal 1.

The corridor between T3 and T4 is particularly suitable due to its seclusion, ample carpeted floor space, and availability of power outlets, making it ideal for travelers seeking a peaceful rest.

The mezzanine near Krispy Kreme offers a quiet, carpeted area with plug sockets, perfect for those needing a quieter environment away from the main terminal activity. The Qantas Arrivals Area provides comfortable wooden benches without armrests, allowing travelers to lie down flat, enhancing restfulness.

Each of these spots is strategically located near essential amenities like clean bathrooms, 24-hour food options, and charging stations, ensuring convenience and comfort for overnight stays.

Despite lacking sleeping pods, this guide on sleep in Melbourne Airport has details of best locations to catch some Zz.

Showers:

Melbourne Airport offers free shower facilities located in Terminal 2. One set is landside on the Departure Level near Nando’s, and the other is airside on the First Floor, just past the Duty Free section. Travelers should bring their own towel and toiletries, or they can purchase a shower kit from WHSmith or Rolling Luggage on the landside.

WiFi:

Free WiFi is available throughout Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. To connect from Terminals 2, 3, and 4, simply join the “Airport Free Wi-Fi” network and provide your name and email address for access. In Terminal 1, Qantas offers complimentary WiFi for its passengers.

Additionally, Hudson’s Coffee in Terminal 2 provides WiFi access. Additionally, some restaurants near Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, such as Subway and Giancarlo Coffee, offer WiFi for customers.

Charging:

Mobile charging stations are available in all terminals at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. In Terminal 3, there are benches with several plugs just before the security check.

Middle Ground coffee place, located between Terminals 1 and 2, also provides outlets at most seats. If you need to buy a charger, you can find them at the following locations: JH Hi-Fi (T1, Airside, near Gate 1), Optus (T2, Landside, Arrivals Hall), Vodafone (T2, Landside, opposite International Arrivals), China Welcome Centre (T2, Landside, International Arrivals Hall), Tech2Go (T2, Airside, and T4, Airside, Food Court), and WH Smith (multiple locations in all terminals).

Food/Dining:

Food concessions at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport operate on various schedules, with several open 24 hours: Brunetti Classico (T2, Airside, near Gates 4 and 5), Hungry Jack’s (T2, Airside, near Gate 3), McDonald’s (T3, Landside), McDonald’s (T4, Airside, Food Court), and Subway (T2, Landside, in the T1/T2 Walkway, open 24 hours from Thursday to Sunday).

Tips for Sleeping at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Tip #1: Melbourne Tullamarine Airport can get quite chilly at night, so it’s advisable to bring a blanket or a warm layer to stay comfortable during your wait or overnight stay.

Tip #2: For a quieter spot, head to the corridor between Terminals 3 and 4. This area is away from shops and announcements, providing a peaceful environment for rest.

Tip #3: Bring earplugs and eye shades to counteract the bright lighting and frequent announcements throughout the airport, ensuring a more restful sleep.

Tip #4: Utilize the free hot showers in Terminal 2, near gates 5 and 7. Remember to bring your own soap and towel for a refreshing break.

Tip #5: The mezzanine level near Krispy Kreme in Terminal 3 offers a quiet, carpeted area with available plug sockets, making it an ideal spot for overnight rest.

Tip #6: For budget-conscious travelers, the Ibis Budget Melbourne Airport is just 400 meters from the terminals, though it does not offer an airport shuttle service.

Tip #7: Take advantage of the free 24-hour airport shuttle provided by the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport, located just 400 meters from the terminals.

Tip #8: If you need to charge your devices, look for power outlets and USB ports available in the Hudson’s Coffee area upstairs in Terminal 2.

Tip #9: For cushioned seating and 24-hour food options, the food court area in Terminal 4 is a good choice, offering a McDonald’s that remains open throughout the night.

Tip #10: The Qantas Arrivals Area in Terminal 1 features long wooden benches without armrests, making it a comfortable spot for lying down and getting some rest.

Tip #11: If you’re looking for privacy, the area near the elevators and airline offices between Terminals 3 and 4 offers a quiet and secluded spot with carpeted floors.

Tip #12: Travelers needing a quick nap can utilize the day rooms offered by the ParkRoyal Melbourne International Airport, which is directly connected to the terminals via covered walkways.

Tip #13: For easy access to food and drinks, the 24-hour McDonald’s in Terminal 4 provides a reliable option for late-night or early-morning snacks.

Tip #14: Avoid the brightly lit areas and look for quieter spots like the mezzanine level or the corridor between Terminals 3 and 4 for a better sleeping experience.

Tip #15: Utilize the free WiFi available throughout the airport to stay connected, but be prepared for occasional signal variability, especially in busier areas.

Additional Tips for Sleeping at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Tip #16: If you prefer a quieter environment, avoid the brightly lit Terminal 1, as it tends to be busier and noisier due to frequent announcements.

Tip #17: For a secluded sleeping spot, try the area near the prayer room in Terminal 2, which offers a quiet space and is close to shower facilities.

Tip #18: If you have a long layover, consider booking a day room at the ParkRoyal Melbourne International Airport for added comfort and privacy.

Tip #19: The food court in Terminal 4 is a good spot for cushioned seating and minimal disturbances after midnight, making it suitable for overnight rest.

Tip #20: Bring a travel pillow to enhance comfort, especially if you plan to sleep on benches or carpeted floors.

Tip #21: For a warmer sleeping spot, head to the laneway shop sections in Terminal 2, which are the furthest from open doors and cold drafts.

Tip #22: If you need to charge your devices, look for plug sockets near Gate 8 in Terminal 2, where there are also leather seats without armrests.

Tip #23: The mezzanine level between Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 has carpeted floors and minimal traffic, making it a good choice for a peaceful nap.

Tip #24: Use the free airport shuttle provided by Ciloms Airport Lodge Motel if you prefer an offsite accommodation option with easy access to the airport.

Tip #25: Travelers can find a quiet spot near the Giancarlo Coffee in Terminal 2, which has wide cushioned chairs and is typically undisturbed at night.

Tip #26: For a quiet and comfortable sleeping spot, consider the wooden benches in the Qantas Arrivals Area, located behind a white pillar and next to luggage trolleys.

Tip #27: To avoid early morning disturbances, choose sleeping spots that are further away from the main entrances and high-traffic areas.

Tip #28: If you plan to sleep in the airport, arrive early to secure the best spots, especially those without armrests or with cushioned seating.

Tip #29: Utilize the free hot shower facilities in Terminal 2 to freshen up before continuing your journey, especially after a long flight.

Tip #30: The area near the Hudson’s Coffee in Terminal 2 is a good spot for charging devices and resting, with power outlets and USB ports available.

Image of Nathan Kip Rotich

Nathan helps travelers find the most comfortable sleep setups during layovers, from cozy airport hotels to futuristic sleep pods. His insights aim to transform layovers into rejuvenating sleepcations, offering travelers an alternative to costly hotels and uncomfortable benches.