Insider’s Guide to Navigating Melbourne Airport Parking During Peak Times


Ever faced the challenge of finding a parking spot at Melbourne Airport during the rush? You’re circling the car park, watching the clock tick closer to your check-in time, yet there’s still no empty parking space in sight. It's the kind of test that can fray even the calmest of nerves.

But you’re in luck because, in this blog, we’re dishing out our best-kept insider secrets on how to get a parking space, even in those times when the car lines are as long as the queue for a sausage sizzle on a weekend.

From identifying peak travel periods to understanding your parking options and securing the best rates, we've got you covered. Plus, we'll share insider tips to enhance your parking experience, even when the airport is at its busiest. So, say goodbye to parking panic and hello to a hassle-free start to your journey.

When Are the Peak Travel Times at Melbourne Airport?

Peak travel times at Tullamarine Airport typically coincide with school holidays, major events, and festive seasons in Australia. Think December to January, the Easter break, and July for school holidays. These periods see a significant uptick in travellers, both domestic and international.

Early mornings and late afternoons are especially busy, as flights align with business hours and long-haul departures. Weekends also see a surge, with Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons being particularly hectic.

If you’re planning a trip around these times, expect the parking areas to be bustling. With more cars vying for the same space, finding a suitable spot might feel like a mini adventure in itself. The parking rates could also see a slight increase, reflecting the higher demand.

Lastly, peak times often mean more people at the check-in and drop-off areas. So, giving yourself more time for these steps can help your visit go smoothly.

How to Avoid Parking Hassles During Busy Periods

While parking is indeed very competitive during peak hours, avoiding parking hassles during this time is easier than you might think. The golden rules are simple: park onsite and book parking online.

By choosing to park within the airport's own facilities, you're opting for convenience and security. You're mere minutes away from the terminals, with easy access to check-in and drop-off areas. Melbourne Airport’s parking facilities are also monitored with CCTV and regular patrols. Plus, the free shuttle services that run every 15 minutes mean you’re never too far from the airport terminals, even if you’re parked outdoors.

Booking your parking in advance, on the other hand, saves you from the hassle of second-guessing which car park has available spots. It can also be lighter on your wallet, as pre-booking often comes with better prices compared to drive-up rates.

But the best part about pre-booking online is the flexibility. Our online booking platform allows you to compare parking options and rates so you can pick one that best suits your needs. You can even amend or cancel your booking up to two hours before arrival!

To book parking online:

  • Head to the Melbourne Airport parking page.
  • Fill in your parking start and end dates and times.
  • Choose the terminal you’re flying from.
  • Select from the various parking options.
  • Pay for your booking (we accept debit/credit cards and Google Pay).

Once your booking is confirmed, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the QR code you can use at the gates. If you lost your QR code or having trouble using it, just press the help button, and our friendly customer service team will be there to help.

What Are Your Melbourne Airport Parking Options?

Another key step to making your airport parking experience smoother is planning ahead. And if you want a foolproof plan, you need to know your options. Lucky for you, Melbourne Airport has parking options that suit your travel needs and budget. Whether you need long-term parking for a lengthy trip or short-term parking for a quick pick-up/drop-off, you can choose from our:

Value Car Park

Our Value Car Park is a top pick among budget-conscious travellers. At just $12 per day, it offers a low-cost yet convenient solution for those who don’t want to spend on airport parking more than they have to.

Though a bit further out, there’s a free shuttle bus running every 15 minutes, 24/7. So you’re never too far from the airport terminals, no matter the time of day (or night).

However, getting a spot in our Value Car Park can sometimes be a challenge during peak times. With its attractive rates and easy access to the terminals, spaces fill up quickly. So your best bet is to book online as early as possible.

Terminal Car Park

While our Value Car Park is all about well.. value, our Terminal Car Parks are about convenience. Located right outside Terminal 1, 2, and 3 and a few minutes’ walk from Terminal 4, it's the perfect spot for quick access to your flight. Whether you're flying with Virgin, Rex or Jetstar, this parking facility is perfect. Plus, the first 15 minutes are free, making pick-ups and drop-offs a breeze.

But like our Value Car Park, securing a spot in this prime location can get tricky, especially during peak travel times. With direct access to Terminal 1 and just 100m from Terminal 4, it's a popular choice for many. So, plan ahead and book parking online to save yourself from last-minute parking stress.

Valet Parking

Imagine pulling up to the terminal and handing over your keys while someone else takes care of parking your car. All that during peak times, when the airport is bustling and parking spots are hard to come by. That’s the VIP-level convenience our Valet Parking Service offers.

Located at a prime spot in the Terminal 1, 2, and 3 car park, it’s perfect whether you’re flying Qantas or need quick access to the international terminal. It lets you skip the hassle of searching for a spot and head straight to your check-in. Plus, with 24/7 customer service, it's an effortless way to kick off your travels.

Premium Car Park

When the airport is a hive of activity, the benefit of parking close to the terminals cannot be overstated. That’s why, if you’re on a time crunch or expecting a long queue at the check-in counters, our Premium Car Parks are your go-to.

Positioned on Level 2 in the Terminal 1, 2, and 3 Car Park and Level 1 of the Terminal 4 Car Park, it places you just moments away from your check-in counter. We’re talking about literally seeing the counters from the parking area. This prime location means you can slip from the car to the terminals before you even know it. Plus, all our Premium Parking spots are undercover, so you won’t have to worry about your car being exposed to the elements.

Business Car Park

Located directly opposite Terminal 1, our Business Car Parks are especially popular among Qantas passengers during peak hours. I mean, at just 50m away, it’s literally at the airport terminal’s doorstep. There’s no need to drag your luggage across the car park. Just get out of your car, walk a minute or two and you’re there. And it’s all undercover - something that you’ll really appreciate in Victoria’s unpredictable weather.

Qantas Valet Parking

With Qantas Valet Parking, Qantas passengers can enjoy a swift, hassle-free start to their journey, bypassing the usual stress of finding a parking spot during peak hours. All you need to do is drive up, hand over your keys, and proceed straight to check-in.

And it doesn't stop there – we also offer optional car cleaning services so your car can get pampered even while you’re away. Plus, you can rack up those Qantas frequent flyer points just for parking - what more can you ask for?

How to Find the Best Parking Rates Amidst the Rush

Due to the high demand, parking can get a little competitive during peak travel season. But, no worries. Finding a parking option that suits your needs and budget, even during the hustle and bustle of peak hours, is totally doable! Here’s how:

  • Book Online: Our online rates are typically better than drive-up prices. Plus, our online booking platform lets you compare parking rates in real time.
  • Stay Updated: Sign up for Melbourne Airport’s newsletters. We usually give out exclusive discount codes and offers to our loyal customers.
  • Compare Options: We have multiple parking options, from Value to Premium. Compare to find the best fit for your budget.
  • Consider Length of Stay: Longer stays might benefit from our Value Car Park’s flat daily rates.

Navigating Melbourne Airport parking during peak hours doesn't have to be a headache. With a bit of planning and some savvy tips, you can find the perfect spot at the best rate. So, the next time you’re planning a trip during the peak travel season, remember these tips and transform your parking experience from frantic to fantastic.