air travel

The ultimate Australia airport arrival guide | Compare taxi, train and shuttle bus costs

We've all been there. You’re so excited about the prospect of island-hopping in the Whitsundays or shopping in Sydney that you disembark in a flurry only to realise that you have no clue how to get out of the airport and get to where you want to be.

On the other hand, you’ve meticulously researched your arrival options and discovered that the internet is full of conflicting recommendations (and out-of-date taxi fare estimates).

That’s why we’ve compiled this super-simple guide to all the main airports in Australia. (Let us know in the comments which others you’d like to see added). Bookmark this and you’ll have a quick reference guide for your next trip. #nostress

adelaide generic


Time: 20 minutes

Distance: 9km

Taxi: Approximately $20-$30

Bus: Catch the JetBus. The J1 or J2 goes every 15-30 mins, and the J1x departs every hour.

Ayers Rock/Uluru

Time: 10 minutes

Distance: 6km (from Ayers Rock Resort)

Taxi: No taxis available

Bus: A complimentary shuttle bus to Ayers Rock Resort meets every flight.

Ballina (Byron Bay)

Time: 30 minutes to Byron Bay; 7 minutes to Ballina

Distance: 31km to Byron Bay; 5km to Ballina

Taxi: Approximately $80-$90 to Byron Bay; $15-$20 to Ballina

Bus: Catch Blanch’s bus route for $3.80. The 640 connects Ballina, Lennox Heads, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby. Various shuttle buses from $20 are available to Byron Bay.


Time: 25 minutes

Distance: 16km

Taxi: Approximately $40-$50

Bus: Catch the Con-x-ion bus for door-to-door transfers, it’s $20 ($36 return) and departs every 40 minutes.

Train: The Airtrain leaves every 15 minutes and costs $17 ($32 return) to the city. You can also get the Airtrain to the Gold Coast.

rezdy cairns


Time: 10 minutes

Distance: 6km

Taxi: Approximately $20-$30

Bus: The Sun Palm shuttle costs $15 for an adult ($7.50 for a child) to Cairns and $44 for an adult ($23.50 for a child) to Port Douglas.

darwin generic


Time: 15 minutes

Distance: 13km

Taxi: Approximately $20-$30

Bus: The door-to-door Darwin Airport Shuttle meets every flight and costs $18 for an adult ($8 for a child).


Gold Coast

Time: 40 minutes

Distance: 23km (to Surfers Paradise)

Taxi: $59 flat rate to Surfers Paradise, $49 flat rate to Broadbeach

Bus: Catch the Con-x-ion bus for $22 per adult ($13 for a child), departing every 15-20 minutes and dropping off at your accommodation. There’s also the Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle for $21 per adult ($13 for a child). Public bus routes 777 and 760 depart every 30 minutes and cost $8.60.



Time: 20 minutes

Distance: 19km

Taxi: Approximately $40-$50

Bus: The Redline Airporter meets every flight and costs $18 per adult ($14 for a child).

cataract gorge launceston


Time: 15 minutes

Distance: 15km

Taxi: Approximately $30-$40

Bus: The Redline Airporter meets every flight and costs $18 per adult ($14 for a child).


Time: 15 minutes to Mackay; 2 hours to Airlie Beach

Distance: 7km from Mackay; 160km from Airlie Beach

Taxi: Approximately $15-$20 to Mackay; not recommended for Airlie Beach (approximately $350)

Bus: Catch the Whitsunday Transfers bus to Airlie Beach for $69 per adult ($35 per child).

Melbourne Avalon

Time: 25 minutes to Geelong; 45 minutes to Melbourne CBD

Distance: 20km to Geelong; 55km to the Melbourne CBD

Taxi: Approximately $40-$50 to Geelong; $120-$130 to Melbourne CBD

Bus: Catch the Airport Shuttle to Geelong for $18 per adult ($14 per child); catch the Sita Coach to the Melbourne CBD for $22 per adult ($10 per child).


Melbourne Tullamarine

Time: 25-30 minutes

Distance: 25km

Taxi: Approximately $60-$70

Bus: Catch the Sky Bus, which departs every 10 minutes, for $18 per adult ($9 per child).

newcastle generic


Time: 40 minutes

Distance: 27km

Taxi: Approximately $70-$80

Bus: Get a shuttle bus for $40 for the first person, then another $10 per person. The 130 coach route goes to Port Stephens for $4.60 per adult ($2.30 per child). Hunter Valley buses go to Maitland, Raymond Terrace and Stockton, and they accept cash or Opal cards for single trips.



Time: 40 minutes

Distance: 12km (domestic), 19km (international)

Taxi: Approximately $35-$45

Bus: Perth Airport Connect is $15 per ticket and will take you to the Perth CBD. Transperth Bus 380 from T1/T2 is $4.50 per ticket and runs every 30-60 minutes. There are also bus routes 37 and 40 from T3 and T4, which take approximately 40-55 minutes to get to the CBD.

whitsundays generic

Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast)

Time: 35 minutes

Distance: 40km (from Airlie Beach/Whitsunday Coast)

Taxi: Approximately $90

Bus: Catch the Whitsunday Transfers bus for $18 per adult ($13 per child).

Cartwright Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast

Time: 30 minutes to Noosa; 12 minutes to Maroochydore

Distance: 30km to Noosa; 9km to Maroochydore

Taxi: Approximately $80 to Noosa; $23 to Maroochydore

Bus: Henry’s Airporter Shuttle to Noosa costs $30 per adult ($16 per child) or you can take Translink bus 622 for $9.70 per adult ($4.80 per child). You can catch the Con-x-ion bus to Maroochydore for $20 per adult ($12 per child) or Translink bus 622 for $5.60 per adult ($2.80 per child).



Time: 20 minutes

Distance: 8km

Taxi: Approximately $45-$55

Train: Catch the Airport Link train, which departs every 10 minutes, for $17 per adult ($13.60 per child).

townsville generic


Time: 10 minutes

Distance: 6km

Taxi: Approximately $20-$30

Bus: The airport shuttle bus costs $10 per adult ($5 per child).

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Sarah is our shopping & lifestyle publisher here at She'll help you find the perfect gift, an unbeatable flight deal, the hottest fashion sales and pretty much anything else you're looking for - all at a discount, naturally.

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