So, you've finally arrived, exhausted, at Melbourne airport. On the plane's final descent, you'll have been given cards to fill in, stating your name and address, your flight number, your hotel, a family member to contact back home, whether you're on holiday, a returning resident etc. It's a wonder they don't want your National Insurance number. Also, you have to tick boxes saying if you've got various items in your possession or not.
If you've seen the TV series Australia Border Control, which is screened in the UK, you'll know how strict the authorities are with people arriving in Melbourne. The best thing is to declare everything you've got with you. The most important items, apparently, are organic, such as plants and food. I once went so far as to declare a packet of mints I had in my pocket, but it seems that sweets and chocolate are exempt.
Another thing I was surprised about on our last visit was that you're now only allowed to take 50 cigarettes into the country.
Anyway, you've finally successfully run the gauntlet of Border Control, collected your luggage and need a way to get to your hotel.
On our first visit, we didn't know any better and just took a taxi. A far cheaper option, we subsequently discovered, was to use one of the airport shuttle buses.
There are two firms that I know of, Skybus and Jetbus. I think Jetbus is the better choice, as we used Skybus once and had to change vehicles en route.
Look for the Jetbus counter in the airport. You'll be able to book a seat on the next shuttle due out (you may have to wait up to half an hour). Your ticket will have a contact number for the company. While there, you'll probably be able to pick up a load of brochures on Melbourne attractions.
The fare is $17 one way, which is way cheaper than a taxi. The bus itself is the size of a people carrier and luggage is carried in a trailer pulled behind. You are dropped off at your hotel. The only downside is you're sharing the bus with other people and it has to go to all their hotels too. It is possible, at your initial booking to make it a return ticket. Towards the end of your holiday, you phone up Jetbus and arrange a pick-up time.
Finally you reach your accommodation and can relax!