Planes, trains, and buses: the A380 visits Melbourne

This is an post from the olden days – read more about them here.

Yeah, I’m lazy. It happened last week and now I’m writing about it.

Last Monday I went out to Melbourne Airport out at Tullamarine to see the new A380 that as on display (It’s the new double deck jet being built by Airbus in case you didn’t know). It was out in Australia on a test flight that doubled as a promotional tour for Qantas’ 85th birthday. It has the Airbus test livery (and French registration code) but had some Qantas stickers slapped onto it.

Those stickers made it look really cheap and nasty in my opinion. Also, it doesn’t look as good a Boeing 747 to me. I guess I prefer the front bump of a 747 to the full 2nd level of the A380.

The best view of it would have been from the International terminal, but they don’t let you in there unless you are catching a plane from there.

So instead, I went up the viewing deck. It was closed after the 9/11 attacks (supposed security risk) but they reopened it especially for the visit. Here’s the view;

Panorama from the Melbourne Airport observation deck

I headed over to the Qantas Domestic terminal. Though I still had to go through all of the security checks, I didn’t set off the metal detector for a change.

You couldn’t see the back half of the plane, the airbridge got in the way:

Looking out of the Melbourne Airport observation deck

And now the story of how I got out there…

I finished my exam out in Camberwell, and went on the net at uni to check the bus times. I was planning on getting the train out to Broadmeadows, where the route 500 connects with the train, heading out to the airport. The bus only runs every few hours, so you don’t want to miss the train…

I got on the train at Glenferrie, but it was 5 minutes late. I was planning on changing trains at Spencer Street, but as my train exited the City Loop tunnel, I saw the Broadmeadows train head off in the opposite direction… BUGGER!

In the end I hand to catch the next train to Moonee Ponds, walk five minutes to the bus interchange, catch a route 477 bus to some shopping centre in the middle of nowhere, and change to the 479 bus out to the airport. I had to do the same thing on the way back, but I caught the tram instead of the 477 bus.

It took me a total of an hour or so each way. I could have caught the Skybus which does it in 20 minutes, but that costs over $25 for a return trip. My way only required a zone 1 Metcard.

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