lavish travel

Top 10 Tips for Driving in Melbourne

If you have not read the part 1 of my Melbourne trip, you can read it here.

Some of you that have friends that drove in Australia before might have warned you to strictly follow the speed limit, but there are more to it than just speed limit.

Day 5 – 2 summons in the same day

We collect the car that we have reserved at Enterprise which is one of the most affordable choice among the car rentals in Melbourne. We picked the Compact car as it is easier to maneuver at a foreign place. However, they upgraded us to Kia Cerato (Economy) as they are out of the compact cars. They asked us for our itinerary as some roads will have toll charges. Some of the car rentals have electronic tag fitted to the vehicle and it will be charged to you plus some admin fee at the end of the rental period while others will require you to purchase their toll passes. You can read for more information here or check with your individual car rental company.

Car in Melbourne
Our car in Melbourne

The first place that we went to was Moonlit Sanctuary to have close encounters with animals. One of the main attraction is Gumnut, one of the koalas in Moonlit Sanctuary which is very good with wefies.

Moonlit Sanctuary – highly recommended

Moonlit Sanctuary
Moonlit Sanctuary
koala wefie
Is that me in the phone?
koala wefie
Cheese!
Wallaby and joey
Wallaby and joey
Different animals minding their own business
Animals minding their own business
Koala and joey
Koala and joey

The Koala Encounter has an additional charge of AUD 20 per person and opens at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm daily. There are also a lot of other animal encounters which can be found here.

You can get real close with a lot of animals especially when you have food in hand. Besides that, taking a wefie with Gumnut is a must-do there as she is very good with camera. However, this place is away from town so you would have to drive or take a tour to come here.

Address: 550 Tyabb-Tooradin Rd, Pearcedale VIC 3912, Australia

Business hours: Daily 10am-5pm

 

Next, we drove to The Baths Middle Brighton for lunch. We parked at the roadside at a similar sign like below.

To make sure we can park there, I confirmed with a person who is going back to his car at the same row of cars that were parked there. Feeling relieved, we cross the street and have our lunch.

The Baths – recommended

The Baths, Middle Brighton, Melbourne
The Baths
Lunch at the Baths
Market fresh fish of the day
Seafood linguine at The Baths
Seafood linguine (AUD38)

The food is fresh and tasty but slightly expensive.

Address: 251 Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia

Business hours: Daily 12pm-10pm

 

1st summon in Melbourne

When we went back to our car, we were shocked to find a summon on our car. We parked exactly in front of the parking sign but on the red side which is the last spot by the curb before a junction. We thought we cannot park on the same row after the intersection. Therefore, if you were to park on the allowed spaces by the road side, do make sure you parked on the green side of the parking sign. Do not cross to the red side of the exact same parking sign as the laws are very strict.

Our sad mood changed after we reached the colorful Brighton Bathing Boxes.

Brighton Bathing Boxes – recommended

Brighton Bathing Boxes, Melbourne
Brighton Bathing Boxes
Brighton Bathing Boxes
The famous box with Australia flag
Address: Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia

 

Luna Park, Melbourne – recommended

We then went to Luna Park to try the Great Scenic Railway ride. The Scenic Railway ride was built in 1912 and is the second oldest operating roller coaster in the world and one of only three roller coasters that require a brakeman to stand in the middle of the train. The ride is fun and not scary at all which is suitable for everyone to experience one of the oldest operating roller coaster in the world.

Luna Park, Melbourne
Luna Park
Great Scenic Railway
Great Scenic Railway

Do try out the Great Scenic Railway ride. Besides that, we were there during Halloween season therefore the place is also decorated with Halloween theme.

Address: 18 Lower Esplanade, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia

Business hours: Mon-Wed closed, Thu-Fri 7pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11am-8pm

 

St Kilda Pier – recommended

After Luna Park, we walk some distance to St Kilda Pier to watch little penguins. Based on this website, it states that the chances to see the penguins are higher from Sept/Oct to December. We waited for a long time under the chilling weather so make sure you wear enough warm clothing while waiting for the penguins.

St Kilda Pier, Melbourne
Sunset at St Kilda Pier

St Kilda Pier Little Penguins Little Penguins

You can also watch the little penguins at Philip Island. However, if you do not want to travel so far away, this is the best alternative. And best of all, it is free.

Address: Pier Road, St Kilda, Victoria, 3182

 

2nd summon in Melbourne

While driving back to Prahran which is the place we stayed in Melbourne, we got our 2nd summon. In Malaysia, the camera trap only activates if a vehicle run the red light. However, in Melbourne, some camera trap also triggers if a vehicle drove past the speed limit. Prior to the intersection, we slowed down because there are road signs to warn you if the traffic light ahead has camera. We made sure it is still green before we cross the the intersection but I saw a bright light flashes and I thought it is the car on the other side of the lane as there was a car that just crossed a traffic light. Besides that, I remember the last speed limit sign that I saw was 50 km/h.

However, to be safe, I Googled on the intersection and found this website that states the ‘Top 10 speed camera locations in Melbourne’. The intersection is 40 km/h so I knew the bright light was triggered by our car. So be careful when you passed by the intersection of Fitzroy Street and Lakeside Drive, St Kilda or any other of the 9 famous speed camera locations in Melbourne.

Besides paying for the 2nd summon, I also have to pay the car rental company AUD55 for the infringement processing fee. The company would nominate me as the driver and submit a Statutory Declaration to the issuing authority. The summon was sent to the address in my country and I proceed to pay the fine online.

10 Tips for driving in Melbourne:

  1. Understand hook turn and how to perform it here
  2. Always look out for the speed limit sign and stay within the speed limit. 40 km/h is usually the speed limit in CBD but residential area can go as low as 20 km/h
  3. School zones can have different speed limit on different day and time
  4. Understand the parking signs on the street. In CBD, most have 1 hour parking during the day and 2 hours parking after 6.30pm
  5. Strictly do not cross the no stopping line marked by the parking signs. Read the first point of ‘Specific locations’ of slide 4 here
  6. Follow the allowed parking time strictly as most parking spaces have in-ground sensors installed
  7. Some red light cameras detect both red light and speed
  8. Melbourne also have point-to-point (P2P) cameras which calculate the average speed of a vehicle by determining the time taken to travel between the 2 points
  9. Check with the car rental company if you need to purchase a toll pass waiver (Enterprise/Redspot) or toll day pass (Hertz) if they do not have an electronic tag fitted to the vehicle
  10. Use Waze or Google Maps to find the best route especially during peak hours

Day 6 – playful seals, stingray, but no dolphins

Sorrento – recommended

We woke up early in the morning to drive to Sorrento to swim with Polperro Dolphin Swims at 7.30am. Always check with the operator a day before such water activities to make sure the weather is suitable for the activities to be carried on.

There were 6 of us and 2 instructors for the session. As I am afraid of deep water, the male instructor was attentive to me and he made me feel safe in the water to see the seals and leafy sea dragons.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any dolphins, but it would be a good reason to come back to Melbourne again.

The Winey Cow – recommended

We then drove to The Winey Cow at Mornington Peninsula for brunch before heading back to our Airbnb for a nap.

Smashed Avo, The Winey Cow, Mornington, Melbourne
Smashed Avo at The Winey Cow (AUD20)

The Winey Cow is an award-winning cafe & restaurant in Mornington. All of the items on their menu seems really nice. Do drop by and try their food if you are here and let us know which ones are good in the comments section.

Address: 39A Main St, Mornington VIC 3931, Australia

Business hours: Mon 7.30am-3pm, Tue-Sat 7.30m-9pm, Sun 7.30am-4pm

 

We ended the day with a simple dinner in CBD and rest early for a long drive the next day.

Day 7 – the 12 Apostles

We started the day early as we are going to the 12 Apostles via the famous Great Ocean Road.

Great Ocean Road, Melbourne
Great Ocean Road

Kennett River Holiday Park – recommended

Along the way, you can stop by Kennett River Holiday Park to see some King Parrots and wild koalas if you are lucky.

Koala sleeping
Spot the koala
King Parrot
King Parrot
Address: 1-13 Great Ocean Rd, Kennett River VIC 3234, Australia

 

Apollo Bay Bakery – recommended

We also stopped by Apollo Bay Bakery for their famous scallop pie. The scallop is big and juicy, but Halls Gap Bakery pies that I mentioned in part 1 is still the best.

Apollo Bay Bakery, Melbourne
Apollo Bay Bakery

Address: 125 Great Ocean Rd, Apollo Bay VIC 3233, Australia

Business hours: Daily 6am-4pm

 

After almost 4 hours of drive, we reached Gibson Steps.

Gibson’s Steps

Gibson Steps, Melbourne

The Gibson Steps, Melbourne
The Gibson Steps

Next, the Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell National Park, Melbourne
Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell National Park
The Twelve Apostles, Melbourne
The Twelve Apostles
The Twelve Apostles, Melbourne
The Twelve Apostles

I personally like the 2 Apostles above as they are nearer and there are less people photographing these 2 Apostles.

We then went on for a few more worthy stops nearby the 12 Apostles. However, all of these require some simple hiking.

The Razorback, Melbourne
The Razorback
The Wreck, Melbourne
The Wreck
Loch Ard Gorge, Melbourne
Loch Ard Gorge

Thunder Cave:

We then check in to our room at Port Campbell Motor Inn as it was drizzling.

Port Campbell Motor Inn – highly recommended

Port Campbell Motor Inn, Melbourne
Port Campbell Motor Inn

I would highly recommend Port Campbell Motor Inn as it is very near to The Arch, London Arch, and The Grotto. Besides that, it is also very clean and comfy and you can park just in front of your unit. In addition, it is also near to the town so you can have meals there.

Address: 12 Great Ocean Rd, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia

 

We were contemplated if we should continue our journey to the places mentioned above as it is drizzling and luckily we chose to proceed.

The Arch, Melbourne
The Arch
The Arch, Melbourne
The Arch
The Grotto
The Grotto

As it is almost sunset, we were contemplating if we should stay at the Grotto or the London Arch nearby for the sunset shots. However, when people starts to gather at the Grotto, we decided to go to London Arch and it was the right decision. There are only a few people at London Arch and there are ample spaces to find those nice angle for the sunset shots. The surreal sunset photos below are not edited and were shot with my Redmi Note 5.

London Arch

London Arch
It is like there is a curtain pulling up to show the magnificent sunset
London Arch
One of the best sunset I’ve ever seen

12 ROCKS Beach Bar – highly recommended

We then end the night with a nice dinner at 12 ROCKS Beach Bar at Port Campbell town. As I like to try new, unique things and food, I ordered Osso Bucco and it came out as a perfect choice. The beef shank was braised to perfection and the mash potato tastes great. A 5/5 must try if you can eat beef and if it is on the menu.

12 ROCKS Beach Bar
12 ROCKS Beach Bar Specials
Osso Bucco with mash potato
Plain looking Osso Bucco but it is da bomb (AUD24)
Blue Grenadier with chips and salad
Blue Grenadier with chips and salad (AUD28)

Great food, reasonably priced, nice environment. Besides that, this is the nearest eatery that is still open at night in Port Campbell.

Address: 19 Lord St, Port Campbell VIC 3269, Australia

Business hours: Daily 9.30am-8pm

 

A perfect sunset and awesome dinner ends our journey in Melbourne. We returned the car the next day and then fly to Sydney for the next adventure. You can read about it here.

What was your most memorable experience in Melbourne? Feel free to share us your experience in the comments section.

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