Driving in Melbourne

We weren’t sure if we would use the car in Melbourne, but because of the fees associated with returning the rental in a different city, it wouldn’t make sense to turn it in and get a new one when we left, so our choice was between using it, or parking it while we were there.

This is what we were debating when we entered the city, at 3:30pm, in traffic. Traffic at 3:30 on a Monday, what was this, Norway?

That was not even the crazy part. It took us 40 minutes to get to our hotel (this one, which, funnily, changed their name while we were there – only slightly confusing) once we were within a couple kilometers. First, we tried to follow the GPS directions, but the GPS didn’t know about the no turn rules on every street around our hotel. So we had to go in a circle, but of course there were no turn rules on those streets to so we were driving further and further away. Then, we entrusted ourselves to Google navigation, which told us to turn onto a street before our hotel and access it from the back (maybe because of where the address was actually located?). That didn’t work and made us do another really long loop around. Finally, after practically leaving the city again, we made our way to the hotel.

We had our crap everywhere and were trying to sort it out while the valet parking guys were trying politely to make us move. Meanwhile, Hubby went in to check on the parking prices and try to figure out what we were going to do (we had decided we most likely weren´t going to drive anywhere after that loooooong circling drive), and the valet told me I had to move the car, but I had never driven on the “other side” of the car, so he told me he would do it. I felt like such a little girl. Oh well!

So we offloaded the car for an obscene about of money every day, but less than the rental car drop off fee, so all was good.

One thing we avoided was Melbourne´s famous “hook turns”. Because of the amazing public transport system, especially the trams that run on many of the major streets, if you are turning right (so, crossing traffic since they drive on the left in Australia), instead of pulling into a right hand turn lane to wait for oncoming traffic to clear, you pull over to the LEFT, so you are not in the way of the trams, and then dash across all the lanes of traffic when the light turns yellow. We saw a few of these. Scary for an out-of-towner!

Anyway, our lesson was: use public transport in Melbourne. It is fantastic, not too expensive (coming from Oslo), and means you don´t have to face the crazy roads. 

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