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I and my wife have planned for a short Australia tour, just covering Sydney as we have only 5 days in our hands. But it looks like during our return journey we will have a 14 hour stopover time at Melbourne airport before the departure of our flight to Singapore. Perhaps we did not look carefully before making the booking.

What can we do in such a situation? This is during the night and we might end up the whole night at airport, and if it were during the day, I believe, we could have gone for a short city tour.

Now, rescheduling the departing flight, if we do it before we arrive in Australia, seems costly to us. But does anyone know if after arriving in Australia, if we choose to re-book the departing flight one day later (like catching up the next flight, which will give us 1 full day) is going to be cheaper? I know once I rescheduled my US flight after arriving in US and it cost me less than rescheduling up front before the travel. Does it work with all airlines and across the world? Does anyone have any experience specifically in Australia?

What are the suggestions for spending a short duration in Melbourne?

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Which airline? Which seat class? If you've booked economy, you're probably not going to be able to change your flight without paying, no matter where you are. If you need to transfer from domestic to international in Melbourne, you could still get transport into the city and get a meal, even if it's in the middle of the night. –  jozzas Aug 15 '11 at 3:52
    
jozzas - Jetstar and it is economy class only. I am fine with paying the fine for change of dates. In US once when I did that, it costed me 100 USD as opposed to much higher cost if I had to change the itinerary before the travel. –  Senthil Kumaran Aug 15 '11 at 3:57
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Looks like it will cost you $75AUD to change flights. I would go ahead and do it as soon as you can. –  jozzas Aug 15 '11 at 5:12
    
jozzas - Thanks a lot, I shall try that and give an update. –  Senthil Kumaran Aug 15 '11 at 5:27
    
I'm assuming you are talking about Tullamarine Airport and not Avalon or Essendon? –  hippietrail Aug 15 '11 at 11:57
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According to the Airport Website, there are three hotels at the airport itself. As you're there for the night, you might want to book one and get a decent bed! It also rates well for sleeping in the airport itself if you needed to...

If you have 14 hours, then that's probably long enough to head into town, see some of the city by night, crash there and make it back. The Airport Bus runs from 6am-10pm on weekdays (less on weekends), so unless you have a really late arrival / early start you should be able to make it in and back out again.

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I could not postpone my melbourne flight as it was a connecting one. Went ahead and booked at Formula 1 hotel which is near Airport. A very basic relief at least. Thanks for the pointers. –  Senthil Kumaran Aug 20 '11 at 11:30
    
Only there for a night and there's not much to see at the airport - better to get into the city if possible. –  WW. Sep 20 '11 at 11:16
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Melbourne -- go to the city centre, will take you half an hour by taxi or SkyTrain (I think that is what it is called but I may be wrong) from Tullamarine Airport (MEL) and then get off at Southern Cross Railway Station.

From Southern Cross, take a TRAM (a quintessential Melburnian experience) to Flinders Street Station. After alighting at Flinders Street Station, head off to Federation Square. At Fed Square you can: 1. Visit the Australian Centre for the Moving Image 2. Visit the National Gallery of Victoria (the actual gallery is across the street from Fed Square but there is the Ian Potter Centre inside Fed Square itself). 3. Sample the food at Fed Square restaurants. Chinatown is a five-minute walk as well. 4. Visit the Visitors Centre for more ideas. 5. Take the City Circle tram for a short tour of the city centre. 6. Take the Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle for a more extensice tour of the city area.

Enjoy!

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You could have an (expensive) drink on the 36th floor of the Sofitel and admire the city lights. If it is really late when you arrive, I would not recommend wandering the inner city. –  WW. Sep 20 '11 at 11:15
    
For anyone who stumbles on to this answer, there is no train to the Airport in Melbourne; there is a bus though called the SkyBus which operates 24/7 to Southern Cross Station. (@Ver Maybe you were thinking of Brisbane or Sydney?) –  Sam Oct 14 '13 at 23:44
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