Have a stopover at Melbourne Airport? There’s plenty to keep you busy here and it’s only getting better: Terminal 2 is undergoing a refurbishment that will result in an expanded food precinct and a laneway-style shopping space. Oh, and did we mention you’ll soon be able to surf there?
Get to know Melbourne’s chefs
Shannon Bennett and Frank Camorra are responsible for some of the best food in town. If you were unable to secure a table at Bennett’s Vue de Monde during a Melbourne stay, tick it off at the airport. There are two options: the Café Vue Express for those in a hurry, or the larger Café Vue with a runway outlook and Bennett’s famous barra burger. There’s also Camorra’s Bar Pulpo by Movida for breakfast, tapas, jaffles (try the jamon and manchego) and delicious churros with thick hot chocolate.
Sometimes the difference between the walking dead and the sprightly traveller is a revitalising shower. Melbourne Airport offers free showers at Terminal 2 and towels and shower kits can be purchased at WHSmith or Rolling Luggage on level one if you didn’t come prepared.
Take a mini-break
The Parkroyal at Melbourne Airport understands the needs of the weary traveller. Visitors not staying overnight can purchase a lounge and swim package enabling them to use the hotel’s luxurious facilities. Swim in the pool, work out in the fitness centre, recline in a lounger or relax with a coffee or cocktail at the Bar Airo. There’s also the option of a day-use room for three hours, five hours or eight hours between 7am and 7pm daily.
Explore local history
If you’re staring down the barrel of a long stopover, take a little break from the airport and get some fresh air. Across the road from the airport in Tullamarine is Woodlands Historic Park, where the Woodlands Homestead, dating back to the 1840s, still stands. The house was a pre-fabricated timber house brought to Australia from Britain that was home to William Pomeroy Greene, a Royal Navy officer, and his family. Today, retired racehorses graze the land surrounding the house and it’s possible to explore the home’s rooms. Beyond, there are trails for hiking, biking and horse-riding as well as a picnic spot.
In 2017/2018, visitors to Melbourne Airport will be able to surf as well as fly, thanks to Urbnsurf waterpark, which is being constructed at Tullamarine and comes complete with a 320-metre lagoon and surf-able waves. The facility will also have a plunge pool, stores and a café.
Melbourne is a place where laneway culture, art, coffee and food rule. Which is why Melbourne Airport’s Terminal 2 is getting a sophisticated makeover to reflect the city’s trademarks. To this end, there will be four distinct retail precincts: a newly expanded duty-free division; a luxury goods space; a gourmet food area; and, in homage to the city’s claim to fame, a laneway-style retail precinct. Expect a staggered opening throughout 2017.