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Explore South Bank

Explore South Bank with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!

Expedia car hire in South Bank comes with No Hidden Fees

Why rent a car in Southbank?

Less than a mile and a half from Melbourne’s central business district, along the south bank of the Yarra river, Southbank is its entertainment hub. Walking along the Southbank Promenade, on the river’s southern shore, stop by shops, cafés and fine restaurants while enjoying the glorious views. Taking a river cruise is a great way to see the city’s stunning shoreline and marvel at the best of its architecture, such as the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Eureka Skydeck 88, a 975-foot skyscraper with an all-glass cubic observation deck protruding from its 88th floor. Not for the faint-hearted!

The Arts Centre Melbourne, with its iconic spire, has three theatres and concert halls, plus exhibition space. Covering the equivalent of two city blocks is the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex, the largest in the southern hemisphere. The National Museum of Victoria boasts the world’s largest stained glass ceiling and displays works by international masters as well as Aboriginal art. Discount shopping and the best Asian restaurants can be found in the suburb of Richmond, while bohemian St Kilda is perfect for a swim or stroll on its famous St Kilda Beach. For a mellow Southbank evening, cross the pedestrian bridge to Ponyfish Island bar, on a tiny island, and blend in with the Melbourne hipsters for a well-deserved drink.

Once you’ve covered the city’s main sights, it is time to explore further afield with a hire car in Southbank.

How to get to and around Southbank?

International flights land at Melbourne Airport, and the city centre is about 16.6 miles away. The Skybus express runs 24/7, departing every 10 minutes for a journey of 30-45 minutes into the city for AU$19 one way.

With a hire car in Southbank, you can do the same journey in half an hour in the comfort of your own vehicle, and you’ll be ready for your day trips straightaway. A toll of around AU$15 is required for using the CityLink road, which you can pre-purchase on the CityLink website. Otherwise, take toll-free alternative roads for a 10-15 minute longer journey.

Hiring a car in Southbank city centre

Your Southbank car hire can be arranged either at Melbourne Airport or from various points around the city. Road trips are the perfect way to discover the delights of the Australian landscape.

As in any major city, rush hour traffic is bad and finding parking spaces can be tricky. The less stressful but pricier option is to use parking lots. Downtown, you can park at the Crown Casino for reasonable rates, or free, if you become a member (no joining fee). If you park on the street, make sure to check the parking sign well and ask someone if unsure. Parking fines in Melbourne can be upwards of AU$120.

What brands are available?

You can arrange a car hire at Melbourne Airport from many companies, some of which are listed below. Use the Expedia car hire tool to help you choose the best deal.

  • Alamo
  • Economy Rent a Car
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Hertz
  • Jace
  • Must-sees within an easy drive of Southbank

    You can’t come to Melbourne and not do the scenic Great Ocean Road trip along the southeastern coast. It is a 151-mile road (B100) stretching between Torquay, known as a surfing epicentre, an hour and 15 minutes southwest, and Allansford, passing through the ‘Surf Coast’, pockets of rainforest limestone and sandstone cliffs. Stop to admire the famous Twelve Apostles rock formations on the way.

    A must-see is Philip Island, an hour and 45 minutes southeast. Enjoy its windswept beaches, spas and wineries during the day and see the Penguin Parade at sunset. Seal Rocks off Philip Island is home to more than 16,000 fur seals, so bring your binoculars.

    Daylesford is in an hour and 20 minutes north. With 80% of the country’s mineral springs located in this region, it’s a haven for relaxation with many indoor and outdoor spas to choose from. There are also plenty of historic buildings, quaint shops and a stunning lake to enjoy.

    Tips and tricks for driving in Australia

    Driving on the wide, scenic roads of Australia can be a beautiful experience but watch out for animals straying onto the road. UK driving licence holders do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP). As in the UK, Australians drive on the left-hand side and overtake on the right.

    The speed limit in Melbourne is 31 mph unless signposted otherwise. Melbourne has an extensive tram network, and trams (that is, the passengers) have right of way. Familiarise yourself with the tricky ‘hook turn’. Move forward into the intersection as far to the left as you can and wait for the traffic lights to turn red. When they do, and the right-hand side is clear of oncoming traffic, take a wide turn to the right.

    Ready to plan your Southbank city break?

    Feeling inspired to start planning your trip to Southbank and other parts of Australia? Use this city guide and the Expedia search tool to find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research your preferred attractions and activities.