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Melbourne Airport Car Rental Tips

Taking a taxi from Melbourne Airport into downtown Melbourne will cost you $55 - $65. And that's just one-way. If you're travelling further, then the cost will be even higher. So why not book a rental vehicle instead? Hiring a car gives you the flexibility and freedom to travel at your own pace and can save you money.

There are over 20 rental car brands at Melbourne Airport competing for your business. If you want to find the best deal that's a lot of websites to check out... 

To make things easy, our car rental comparison search engine hunts down the very best offers available from all car rental suppliers and lists them side-by-side for you. This lets you instantly compare and find the best deals.

Melbourne Airport has six car rental companies with depots at the airport. These being Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty. Other rental operators, such as Alpha, Firefly, Enterprise, Bargain, Atlas and East Coast Car Rentals, are located close to the airport and will transfer you between the terminal and their depot. Although this isn't as convenient, it is often the cheaper way to rent a car from the airport.

Before you pick up your vehicle, make sure you have your booking confirmation eVoucher, a valid driver's license for each of the drivers, a credit card or cash for the bond and suitable ID.

When returning your rental car it's best to ensure it has a full tank of petrol, to avoid the higher price that will be charged by the rental company. There are petrol stations close to the airport, including BP Connect, The Tulla which is situated on Centre Road and Melbourne Drive, near the airport. Click here to find more petrol stations close to the airport.

Book now and save! Just enter your travel details into the quote box at the top of the page to instantly compare a wide range of vehicles at the best price. Let us do all the hard work so you can enjoy your time in Melbourne.

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The best deals from all these rental car operators & many more...

avis car rental
Hertz NZ
Thrifty Car Rental NZ
East Coast Car Hire
Europcar rental cars Australia
Alpha Car HIre
Enterprise Car Hire Australia
Keddy Car Hire
Bargain Car Rentals
Redspot car hire Australia
firefly car hire
Budget Car Rental NZ

Booking your Melbourne rental car with MatesRates Car Hire is quick, easy, and saves you money!

Melbourne Attractions

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring the Melbourne and surrounding areas, including the famed Melbourne wineries, nightlife and creative art scene. As one of Australia's top tourist destinations, Melbourne has it all. Below are some of our favourite attractions that we know you will love. For more ideas, check out the Melbourne Tourism website.

Dandenong Ranges

Just under an hour's drive from Melbourne Airport, the Dandenongs are an excellent example of the lush, rainforests and rolling hills that Australia is so well-known for.

Part of an extinct volcano which was last active approximately 200 million years ago, the Dandenong Ranges are home to rainforests, Mountain Ash forestry, fern gullies and an amazing array of Australian wildlife.

From the beautiful song of the Lyrebird to the cuddly koala and wombat, the forest is home to a variety of Australian birds and animals - with opportunities for visitors to get up-close and personal at the Healesville Sanctuary, where orphaned and sick animals are treated at the animal hospital.

While you are visiting Dandenong, you might like to take a step back in history and walk the 1,000 step Kokoda Walk, which commemorates the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. Throughout the commemorative walk, plaques depict the lives of those who died on the mammoth walk.

The original trail was taken by Australian soldiers in World War II and ran for 96 kilometres (60 miles) through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. It was the location for the battle between Japan and the Allied forces. Long, hot days, coupled with the threat of tropical diseases such as malaria, made the track particularly difficult to travel.

After a long walk, you might like to take a break on the Puffing Billy Steam Railway, which is still running on the same 25 kilometre track that it has been travelling across for over a century. Alternatively, you might like to sip on a glass of Australian wine, which you will find at one of the many wineries along the Yarra Valley.

For more information on what to do while you are visiting the Dandenong Ranges, stop off at the Visitor's Centre at 1211 Burwood Highway.

The Great Ocean Road

This is widely viewed as the best coastal drive in Australia. If you want to truly experience Australia, a trip down the Great Ocean Road will provide you with an amazing array of fun activities and stunning panoramic views to enjoy. 

Travelling from Torquay (a settlement just an hour's drive from Melbourne) to Allansford, the Great Ocean Road was originally built between 1919 and 1932 by soldiers who had recently returned from the war. The road hugs the coastline and travels alongside lush rainforests and towering cliffs of limestone.

Begin your trip with a surf on Bells Beach - one of Australia's most famous-surf beaches, which holds the Rip Curl Pro surf competition at Easter, every year.

Great Otway National Park is home to the southern-most point of Victoria and home to some of the region's most remote and beautiful rainforests. Take a glimpse at cuddly koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and an array of bright and colourful bird-life in their natural habitat.

Four hour's drive down the Great Ocean Road, one of the more famous attractions - the 12 Apostles, can be found rising majestically from the Southern Ocean. Created by coastal erosion of the surrounding limestone cliffs, the 12 Apostles is a collection of eight limestone stacks (the remaining four have slowly eroded over time).

If you have always wanted to view a pod of whales in their natural habitat, complete your trip, just past Allansford with a trip to Warnambool's Logans Beach. The perfect spot to visit between May and October, when the Southern Right Whales return home to their nursery. In order to witness the mother whales and their calves, playing together, Logans Beach whale viewing platforms are located off Hopkins Point Road in Warnambool.

Although you could drive the whole road in a day, it isn't recommended as you don't get the chance to fully experience the views and activities available. Instead, you might like to book accommodation or camping grounds ahead of advance.

Phillip Island

If you've never seen a penguin parade before, you probably don't really understand the concept of 'cuteness overload'. Visit Phillip Island and be entertained by the amazing sight of the world's smallest penguins - Blue Penguins, waddling ashore after a long day of hunting and swimming.

A variety of viewing opportunities are available from area at Summerland Beach (with a 180-degree elevated view of the parade), or an up-close view from the Penguins Plus platform, you could also view the procession from the underground viewing window or the penguin sky box which is situated in an elevated viewing tower.

Phillip Island isn't just about penguins, however, it is also home to an array of stunning surf beaches, spa and healing centres, tour and scenic flights and wildlife viewing opportunities including the Koala Conservation Centre, Churchill Island Heritage Farm and The Nobbies Centre, an ecotourism destination which looks out at Australia's largest colony of fur seals, with approximately 16,000 living relaxing on the rocks and swimming about in the ocean.


Australia has a varied and interesting history which includes the Australian gold-rush which took place in the mid 1800s. Soon after Victoria became a state of its own, separated from New South Wales, the gold-rush took over the region and Ballarat quickly went from being a sheep station to the home of 20,000 migrants, desperately looking for their piece of the golden pie.

Ballarat attracts 2.2 million visitors per year thanks to a variety of fun and exciting activities which include the award-winning open-air museum called Sovereign Hill, which is a recreated gold-mining settlement, where visitors go back in time to encounter the life of a gold-mining family and learn the history of the region. The Gold Museum, Eureka Centre, Botanic Gardens, Tramway Museum and Ballarat Ghost Tours are also a great draw card.

In order to unwind from the fun and excitement of the activities available in Ballarat, you might also like to enjoy a wine or beer in one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants throughout the area or take in the many art galleries dotted across the city.

Ballarat is just over an hour's drive from Melbourne along the National Highway M8 and it makes a great day-trip or weekend stay-over, with plenty of activities to impress even the weariest of travellers.