Posts Tagged ‘driving on the wrong side’

While Tony and I were planning our trip, Tony told me about a place he wanted to see that was a day’s drive from Melbourne.  The Twelve Apostles is a group of monoliths that have broken off of the main shore through years of erosion.  Now they stand in the Indian Ocean, a short way from the shore.  He really wanted to see it and I looked into some tours.  The tours were very pricey (over $250 for each of us) and they didn’t stop at all the places he wanted to stop between Melbourne and Port Campbell.

In the end, Tony decided to rent a car in Melbourne and drive us to Port Campbell.  He also rented a small apartment for us for the night.  He was really excited about it and through his excitement, I became excited too.  However, I was not really thrilled about the idea of Tony driving in Australia where they drive on the left side of the road.  He really wanted to do it and had made all the arrangements so that’s what we did.

Once we found the rental office, which we had to walk to from our hotel, we went through all the paperwork and got in the car.  Lo and behold, everything was reversed.  Not only is the steering wheel on the right hand side of the car, the turn signal and wiper controls and all the “stuff” on the dash is a mirror image of what we are used to.


The interior of the rental car.

We managed to get the car out of the congested down town area and into the suburbs where we spent some time finding a place to eat and letting Tony get used to the car and driving on the wrong side.  The rental car was out of GPS units even though we had reserved one so we were on our own as far as getting around town.  It was not only scary for Tony, although he played it really cool, it was really horrible for me as the passenger.  It was the strangest feeling to be a passenger in the front seat of the car and be sitting on the left side.  It also seemed that he was getting too close to the left many times.  I would end up grabbing the seat bottom and bracing myself in case he hit the car to the left of us or the curb!  Believe me, it is not easy to get used to.

When the commute traffic let up, we found our way back to the hotel and had to find street parking because our hotel had no spots left in their parking lot.  We ended up parking about three or four blocks away from our hotel and we set the clock for 6 because the place were parked the car was a tow away after 7 in the morning.  To top it all off, it was also raining that night.

The next morning, Tony and I dragged all of our luggage downhill a block away from the hotel where I stayed with the luggage while Tony walked to the get the car.  Once he picked me up, we found our way out of town and on to the freeway to get out of the area and off toward The Great Ocean Road and Port Campbell.

It was a long day of driving in very interesting and varied terrain.  That post will be coming up.  I’m reliving the whole day’s drive just writing about it.  I feel the anxiety I felt then, almost as if it were right now.



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