What to Do Before Parking at Melbourne Airport


Planning a trip and wondering what steps to take before parking at Melbourne Airport? This handy guide will walk you through some pre-travel checklists that can make your pre-flight experience as smooth as possible.

From understanding your parking options to getting the best rates, we cover all you need to know before you drop off your car and head to your flight. Whether you're looking for short-term or long-term parking options, we've got the insights to help you make the best choices.

Parking Onsite vs. Offsite

Should I park onsite or offsite? This is probably the first thing that pops into your mind when thinking about parking at Tullamarine - and likely the first decision you’ll have to make.

Onsite parking means parking within the airport's own car parks. Offsite parking, on the other hand, involves parking at locations outside the airport grounds, usually requiring a longer trip to the terminals.

If you're running tight on time or just don't want the fuss of travelling further, onsite parking is perfect. You’re right in the airport vicinity, so you’re just a short walk or a quick bus hop from the terminals. Plus, there are plenty of onsite parking options at Melbourne Airport that fit different needs and budgets.

Offsite parking services might be cheaper, but it’s a bit of a ride away from the terminals. Some places may have on-demand free shuttle buses, but they can be unreliable and pretty packed, especially during peak hours. Besides, most offsite parking facilities don’t have undercover parking spaces, leaving your car at the mercy of the elements.

So, if you care about your car (and your legs), I’d say parking on-site is the better deal.

How to Get Ready for Parking at Melbourne Airport

While parking onsite at Tullamarine Airport is easy as pie, a little bit of preparation can make your parking experience a lot easier. Here’s how to prepare for your parking:

1. Know Your Parking Needs

Before you park at Melbourne Airport, you should think about what you really need. It not only helps you choose wisely but also avoids last-minute stress. Consider factors like:

  • Your trip duration: Knowing how long you’ll be away helps determine whether you should opt for long-term or short-term parking. If you’re jetting off on an extended holiday, we’ve got low-cost options for long-term stays. But if you’re just there for a quick pick-up or drop-off, our hourly rates might be more economical.
  • Budget: Set a budget beforehand so you can choose a parking option that doesn't stretch your finances.
  • Proximity to your terminal: Look at which airport car park offers easy access to your specific terminal. Most of our parking options are just a few minutes walk to the check-in counters. You can also refer to our car park maps to get a better idea of where a specific car park is located.

2. Understand Your Melbourne Airport Parking Options

Whether you’re jetting off on a business trip to Sydney or embarking on your dream holiday outside Australia, Melbourne Airport offers heaps of parking options to suit every traveller's needs. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right spot for your car:

  • Value Parking: Ideal for budget-conscious travellers, our Value Car Parks provide great value for both short and long-term stays. It includes a free shuttle service to all terminals that runs every 15 minutes, 24/7.
  • Terminal Parking: Located right outside Terminal 1, 2, 3, and near Terminal 4, our Terminal Car Park is perfect for those who prefer convenience. It offers direct access to Terminals 1,2 and 3 via link bridges, and just 100m away from Terminal 4. 
  • Valet Parking: For the ultimate seamless experience, opt for Valet Parking. Drive up, hand over your keys, and the rest is taken care of. It’s available at Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
  • Premium Parking: With direct access to Terminals1, 2, and 3, and just 100m away from Terminal 4, our Premium Car Parks are perfect for Link Airways, Rex, Virgin, and Jetstar passengers looking for the ultimate pre-flight convenience.
  • Business Parking: Directly opposite Terminal 1, it’s tailor-made for Qantas travellers on a tight schedule.
  • Qantas Valet Parking: Conveniently located on the ground floor (arrivals level) of the Qantas Domestic Terminal, it’s the ultimate pre-flight luxury. Just hand over your keys and our friendly staff will park your car for you. Plus, we’re throwing in optional car cleaning services and the chance to earn Frequent Flyer points just for parking.

3. Book Parking Online

After choosing the best parking option for your needs and budget, it’s time to book a parking. Lucky for you, Melbourne Airport now has an online booking platform where you can book and even compare parking options and parking rates in real time. That means you can now book parking even before pulling up at the airport car park. Plus, booking online often offers better rates than drive-up rates.

Here’s how to pre-book parking at Tullamarine Airport:

  1. Visit the Melbourne Airport Parking page.
  2. Enter your parking dates and times.
  3. Choose your parking option.
  4. Pay for your booking (we accept debit/credit cards and Google Pay).

Once your booking is complete, you’ll receive a QR code that you can use to enter and exit the car park. We recommend allowing at least two hours after your scheduled arrival time to account for delays and baggage claim hassles.

4. Prepare Your QR Code

Before driving up to your designated car park, make sure to have your QR code with you. You’ll need to flash it at the gate for quick and hassle-free entry.

If you lost your phone or cannot retrieve your QR code, simply press the help button at the entry gate machine and one of our friendly staff will be there to assist you.

Preparing for Long-Term Parking

Heading out on a long trip? Parking your car at Melbourne Airport for an extended period requires a bit more preparation. Here's a simple checklist to ensure your vehicle is ready for long-term parking:

  • Check your car’s fluids: Top up oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid before you leave.
  • Inflate the tyres: Ensure your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure to prevent flats.
  • Clean out the interior: Remove all valuables and perishables to avoid odours and theft.
  • Disconnect your battery: If parking for a very long time, consider disconnecting the battery to prevent drain.
  • Lock up and double-check: Make sure all doors, windows, and the trunk are securely locked.
  • Take a photo of your parking spot: Snap a picture of your car in its spot in case you need to recall the exact location when you return.
  • Opt for Overstay Guarantee: When booking online, you’ll be asked if you want to add an Overstay Guarantee to your booking. It might cost a little upfront fee, but if you opt for it, you can claim a refund on the excess parking charges should your return flight be delayed for reasons beyond your control.

The best part? All of our car parks are equipped with CCTV cameras and are regularly patrolled. So even if you’ll be gone for a long time, you can jet off with peace of mind knowing that someone is watching over your car.

Planning Your Trip to the Airport

Preparing for your parking at Tullamarine obviously involves planning your trip to the airport. Here are some tips to make it hassle-free:

  • Check traffic updates: Before you leave, take a quick look at traffic conditions. Apps like Google Maps can predict busy times and suggest the best routes.
  • Leave early: Aim to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before domestic flights and 3 hours for international. While our parking spots are near the terminals, leaving extra time for parking is always a good idea.
  • Pack essentials: Ensure you have your booking confirmation, QR code, and any travel documents easily accessible.
  • Know Shuttle Schedules: If you opt for Value Parking, our free shuttle service runs every 15 minutes. You’ll need to factor that in, especially if you’re flying during peak hours.
  • Plan your terminal access: You can refer to our car park maps to know the closest entry point from your parking area to your check-in terminal. We also have accessible parking bays conveniently located in every car park, should you need one.

Getting ready for a trip can be hectic, but with these tips, parking at Melbourne Airport doesn't have to be part of the stress.

So, why wait until the last minute? Head over to the Melbourne Airport website today to pre-book your parking. With plenty of parking options and a convenient online booking process, airport parking will be the least of your worries. Book now and park your worries as you embark on your next great adventure!