Melbourne travel by car is easy. The city and suburbs are laid out in a grid system, and if you miss taking a turn you can usually get to your destination on a parallel road.
Another plus point for driving in Melbourne is that three major tollways converge near the city and connect you to the freeways that take you out of Melbourne into the different directions.
For these tollways you will either need an e-TAG, or purchase a CityLink pass either before or up to midnight three days after you travel. You can also phone CityLink on 13 26 29.
The disadvantage of Melbourne car travel are the peak hours, which can slow traffic for a few hours in the morning and also in the afternoons, from the end of school time at 3:30 pm until about 6pm.
Also, inner city areas really belong to trams, which can also make driving frustrating. If you want to get around the inner city, Melbourne public transport is your best option – or a bike. These are attractive ways to travel and they also save you parking cost in the city.
If you drive, there are parking meters and car parks throughout the city. It is not cheap and there are hefty fines for expired meters. However, you can get reasonable parking on ‘early bird’ deals, where you have to stay in the parking lot all day, or on the weekends.
Also be aware of red light and speed cameras on your Melbourne travel. They are very numerous. If you want to avoid a ticket, don’t run red lights or speed.
Melbourne has some unique traffic rules to be aware of:
When driving in Australia you will need to be on the left side of the road. You will need a local licence if you are staying in Victoria more than three months.
The speed limit in residential areas is 50km/h, but it can also be higher or lower if indicated by signs. On the open road you can drive 100km/h or 110km/h when indicated.
In the city, there are a few intersections, where you will need to make a Hook turn if you want to turn right, e.g. you have to line up in the left lane before you can make your turn. This is to keep the tram tracks free of cars. There are signs where this type of turn applies.
You also need to respect the tram traffic sharing the road. Make sure that you stop your car where a tram stops at a tram stop.
Pedestrians have right of way at all intersections.
Melbourne travel and driving in Victoria is easy if you follow above rules. You will only need to know where you are going.
A Melways is the street directory Melburnians swear by, but you can also get directions from Google Maps for online mapping.
If you want to go on an independant tour or day trip out of town and don’t have a car, I recommend you get one from a car rental Melbourne.
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