Ballboy and I road tested four different ways to get to the Australian Open from Federation Square to find out which is the fastest. We were surprised…
One of the fabulous things about the Australian Open is that it is well located in relation to the Melbourne CBD. This means there are several easy options for getting from Melbourne to the AO, including tram, train, hiring a bike, walking or catching a taxi.
We didn’t try catching a taxi but I imagine that it’s pretty fast, as long as you don’t have to wait too long in the taxi queue. If you’d like to try for yourself, there are taxi ranks outside Flinders Street station on Swanson Street and also outside Melbourne Park between Rod Laver and Hisense arenas.
For more information on how to get there, also refer to the
Australian Open’s Event Guide.
We timed the tram, train, bike and walking options. All successful methods took less than 20 minutes.
Official Timepiece = iPhone
Starting Point = Visitors Centre at Federation Square*
End Point = Closest main entrance to Melbourne Park
*Fed Square is a Melbourne landmark that is close to all forms of transport. There is an Australian Open live site there.
Road tests were done under non Australian Open conditions. No guarantee is given for travel time taken when the AO is on and transit methods are more crowded.
The fastest time is…. Walking
14 mins, 30 seconds (pace = leisurely*)
*Power walking could potentially shave minutes off your transit time.
The walk is probably not suitable if you are carrying a lot of stuff, if you are wearing uncomfortable shoes or if the weather is incredibly hot or wet.
For all other circumstances, it’s a great option. It’s efficient. It’s exercise prior to sitting down court side all day. And the scenery is really quite lovely.
Second fastest time… The No. 70 Tram
14 min, 59 seconds
The biggest impact on the time required for this option is how long you have to wait for a tram (and how many people need to get on and off at each stop). Usually during the Australian Open there are extra trams added to the timetable to get people to and from Melbourne Park.
Yarra Trams have advised that there will be “extra trams every three minutes in peak and five/six minutes at other times.”
Here is some more info about Australian Open tram services.
There are two tram stops at Melbourne Park, the first one from the city is Rod Laver Arena and there is another stop for Hisense Arena.
If you have a valid Australian Open ticket, the No.70 tram is free between the city and the arenas.
Third fastest.. the Train
18 min, 49 seconds
Flinders Street station is directly opposite Fed Square. Ideally take any train from Flinders Street that goes direct to Richmond (some trains go to Richmond but they go around the city loop first so it takes longer).
To shorten the walk to Melbourne Park from the station, use the exit that’s at the city end.
And the failure… The Bike
Melbourne Bike Share provides bikes all around the city that can be hired at low cost and used for short trips around the city.
As there is a rack of bikes next to the Visitor’s Centre at Fed Square, and there is also a bike rack outside Melbourne Park, this seems like a good option for getting to the tennis. Given that walking proved to be the fastest option, riding a bike has got to be faster, right?
Well, in our experience, wrong.
In Melbourne when you ride a bike you need to wear a helmet. As part of the Bike Share program, helmet’s can be purchased for $5 and you get $3 back when you return it. Seems quite straight forward.
Well it should be. Except that the first 7-11 we went to had sold out of helmets, and although we studied the map hard and walked around looking, we couldn’t find the second place close where helmets were available.
After wasting about the same time that it took to walk to Melbourne Park faffing around trying to get a helmet, we gave up on the bike idea.
If you have experience using the Bike Share bikes to get to the Australian Open, or feedback on the other transport options, leave a comment and let us know.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
Welcome to Australia!! Where something as simple as riding a bike down a dedicated path (no where near the road) has to be a major logistical exercise. Which is why these bike sharing things have beena total failure in any city in Australia when in fact they are a great concept.
You got my message about the hot swiss people on my tram right?
As a person who almost always chooses a tram instead of walking (even if it is faster) I can say that during the AO they there is an abundance of trams going to and from the arenas so wait time is basically non-exsistent so i would say during the days of the AO tram is the better option, and you can almost always guarantee striking up a conversation with other tennis fans on the ride, so you get to make friends as well!
( probably wouldnt suggest a taxi because 9 times out of 10 they will get lost…even though RLA is a landmark and its basically across the road from flnders street station…and it will take a while with traffic)