Driving in any new city or country, can always be a bit of a daunting experience, depending on what country you’ve travelled from, and to. You may need to drive on a different side of the road, and get used to different road rules.
When I first arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, a city I had not previously been to, my dad paid for a car for me to use or the first week, to get my bearings and get settled. I was given an automatic car at the car rental place. At first I couldn’t get used to life without a clutch, but then realised that it was much easier. Automatic cars are the lazy mans car – so much less thinking involved.
When I picked up the car, I half expected travelling in and around Melbourne would be easy. It wasn’t too bad getting from where we stayed to the Motorway to the Great Ocean Road. However, driving in the city of Melbourne itself was a challenge.
There are a few reason for this:
1. The trams – they are everywhere, and you must giveaway to them. However if you don’t know the routes of these trams, it gets a but crazy
2. Different road rules – when I arrived in New Zealand, they had this silly give way rule, which meant that if you were turning right, you had to give way to the person turning left (and effectively cutting in, in front of you). This rule has since changed. In Melbourne, they have the most bizarre rule that when you need to turn left, you have to get into a right hand lame and creep forward, so that when it goes green, you must wait on all those in the left hand lane who are going forward to move. You then turn left once the light had just gone red. Now who invented that rule. Every time this happened I almost had a wee in my pants.
Apart from that, driving in Australia is not dissimilar to driving in any big city in the UK. Car hire was cheap, as was fuel, and parking wasn’t too bad. In fact we paid
If you’re in Australia for any length of time, I’d recommend bring a car to see a bit more at your own pace. Also check Transfer Car for info on free car transfers between major Australia cities.