If a roadtrip has been on your bucket list of the longest time, Australia is probably one of the best countries to start for us Singaporeans. Firstly, it’s right-hand drive (just like in Singapore_. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about converting your license and last but not least, they are super strict about their speed limits so you don’t have to be stressed about keeping up. :p Convinced and planning your road-trip now?
Here are seven tips we wished we had before we started our roadtrip!
#1. Avoid Parking in the City
Parking in the cities can be scarily expensive. Hourly parking rates can start from AUD12/hour onwards so you really have to check the prices before you enter the carpark. A safer/cheaper choice is to opt for the street parking but not all street parking are free!
#2. Park Within The Restricted Hours
If it says ‘2P’, it means you can only park for 2 hours. If it says ‘1P’, it means 1 hour – so on and so forth. Therefore, it it’s a free parking lot, you can only park for the x-number of hours. If it’s paid, you are still limited to the hours stated. Do not exceed as you will not want to be fined! More information on the parking rules here.
#3. Hook Turn (applies for Melbourne city only)
It’s called the Hook Turn where you have to keep left in order to turn right. Doesn’t make sense? You can read the simple instructions above or watch a video here to see how it works! 😉
Do note that the Hook Turn only applies for junctions where you see the Hook Turn sign above!
#4. Pay close attention to Speed Limits
And we are NOT kidding. Look out for the speed limits because fines are extremely heavy – even if you just exceeded by 5km/hr. One of my friends chalked up enough fines to buy her a return ticket to Melbourne. #justsaying
#5. Try Not to Drive at Night (especially for smaller towns)
In short, their roads are not brightly lit as ours so if you combine that with mountainous terrain or narrow lanes with sharp bends, it can be quite a disaster. Plus, wildlife can be a common sight outside of the city area and it’ll so much more difficult to spot them at night.
#6. Ditch the car if you are travelling within the City
Refer to point #1 and #2. Plus, public transportation within the city is really convenient and if all else fails, there’s STILL Uber in Australia – and it is surprisingly affordable! Oh, have we mentioned about the Free Tram Zone in Melbourne? Imagine travelling around the key attractions for FREE.
#7. Use Waze for city driving and vehicle GPS for places with weak signals
We thought we would be invincible with 5 phones in the car but there were a few spots in Blue Mountain where we couldn’t get any signal at all. At that point, we were so thankful for our vehicle GPS which got us out of the “blind spot”. BUT – just relying on vehicle GPS won’t cut it too because their maps are not updated and there were a couple of times it “guided” us to go through buildings so yup, it’s better to be more prepared! We recommend Waze for city driving because it’s easy to use (with real-time info on traffic police etc) and the maps are pretty updated!
We had a lot of fun during our Australia road trip and we are sure you’ll have an even better time with the tips above! If you are heading to Great Ocean Road, why don’t you check out our Great Ocean Road itinerary? 😉