As a proud south-east suburbs Adelaidean, before moving to Melbourne, trains were mythical creatures and anything more than 15 minutes' drive away was farmland. Flying in to Melbourne for an interview, and then for medicine, trying to get to Clayton was an experience. Here's what I learned.
Melbourne's main airport is Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine).1 From Melbourne Airport, Airport Bus Dandenong operates a direct service to Monash University Clayton campus for $28, but it runs only approximately every 2 hours.
Alternatively, the SkyBus runs direct to Southern Cross Station in the city for $19.75 one way. It departs from outside the airport terminal (look for the big, red ‘SkyBus’ signage) with regular services.2
From Southern Cross, the most straightforward way to get to campus on weekdays during the day is to catch a Pakenham or Cranbourne train from Southern Cross to Huntingdale, then catch the 601 shuttle bus, departing every few minutes weekdays from the bus loop just outside the station, or the 630 (to Monash University) or 900 (to Rowville/Stud Park, not to Caulfield).3
Note that you will need a Myki card to travel on any public transport in Victoria, which you can purchase from, among other places, Myki vending machines at the airport. You must touch your Myki on at the card reader when entering the platform or bus, and should touch your Myki off at the card reader when exiting the platform or bus to be charged the correct fare.
On weekends, the situation is a little more complex, as the 601 does not run. The 630 and 900 will still run at less frequent intervals, but connections from other train stations may be quicker. Check the PTV website or mobile app (Android, iOS) for more information. Your destination is the bus stop titled Monash University (Clayton).
A word of advice for interpreting PTV stop names: The stop is named after the the closest location of interest, and the street the stop is located on. For example, the stop Hourigan Ave/Clayton Rd (sometimes displayed as just ‘Hourigan Ave’!) is located along Clayton Rd, near where it meets Hourigan Ave.
Additionally, sometimes corresponding bus stops on opposite sides of the road have the same name, but sometimes the names are different! Check the side of the bus stop, and the destination of the bus!
There is also Avalon Airport. Services there are less frequent, but might be cheaper. ↩
There is one public bus that runs from the airport, the 901. However, the route is quite, shall we say, ‘scenic’, and a 2 hour detour is probably difficult to stomach for all but the most adventurous travellers. For more details, see the PTV app. ↩
When I first came to Melbourne, Huntingdale Station had not yet been redeveloped, and these buses all departed from very different locations around the station. Post-redevelopment, the situation is thankfully much simpler! ↩