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Old Jan 28, 12, 8:01 pm   #1
 
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landing at Melbourne - where to go

I'll be landing in Melbourne at about 4:30 pm from Sydney. We want to start to go out on the Great Ocean Road for a couple of days. This will be the first time I will be driving on the left side, so I don't really want to drive in the dark.

I'm looking for suggestions on where to stay for the night coming out of the airport and heading to the Great Ocean Road.

Any help is appreciated.
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Old Jan 28, 12, 8:20 pm   #2
 
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Welcome to FT & Melbourne

Have a look at www.wotif.com.au. Select Melbourne Airport. Some motel places have courtesy shuttle or walk to the airport hotels.

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This will be the first time I will be driving on the left side, so I don't really want to drive in the dark.d.
Driving right hand drive for the first time and in peak traffic may be difficult. A better option is to take the http://www.skybus.com.au/ into the city. They have a mini bus that goes to hotels. Car rental is cheaper in the city anyway
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Old Jan 28, 12, 8:38 pm   #3
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If you drive T all in the city of Melbourne, watch out for the trolleys and learn the rules about jug handle turns, which seem counterintuitive to outsiders. I would avoid driving anywhere near the center of the city for this reason. There are still street cars and traffic, especially on weekends, but how about the beach suburb of St Kilda (?)?
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Old Jan 29, 12, 2:54 am   #4
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If you drive T all in the city of Melbourne, watch out for the trolleys and learn the rules about jug handle turns, which seem counterintuitive to outsiders. I would avoid driving anywhere near the center of the city for this reason. There are still street cars and traffic, especially on weekends, but how about the beach suburb of St Kilda (?)?
Whilst I like St Kilda (I live there!), if the OP is short on time, I would recommend driving straight from the airport and staying in Geelong - it's an easy drive of less than an hour, pretty much all on multi-lane freeway. Geelong is effectively the gateway to the Great Ocean Road - it's less than an hour from the start, so you can get a good start the next day. Geelong also has a waterfront area and good cafe's, restaurants, etc.

Depending on the time of year (in winter, it will get dark at approx. 5.30pm, whilst in summer, not until 8.30-9pm), you could even stay further, at Torquay, Anglesea, or even Lorne, which is approx. 2 hours from the airport. Lorne has plenty of accommodation, restaurants, etc and is on the beach.

Finally, a couple of corrections to your terms:

trolleys: trams
jug handle turns: hook turns
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Old Jan 29, 12, 3:02 am   #5
 
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Please be super careful on the Great Ocean Road. It is an unfortunately common occurrence for newly-arrived tourists to come around a corner, become disoriented as to which side of the road they should be driving on, and either cause a head-on or drive off the road down a ravine.

If you do drive, go slow and take plenty of breaks. I would be cautious about doing it first day after an intercontinental flight, too.

All that aside, Geelong is a good option to start the trip from.
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Old Jan 29, 12, 4:36 am   #6
 
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+1 for Geelong. The Four Points Sheraton is nice, central to the waterfront and usually reasonably priced.
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Old Jan 30, 12, 10:19 am   #7
 
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Thanks for the help. Geelong looks like the place to start. We're coming from Sydney after having been there a week while I work, so jet lag won't be a problem. I had to google jug handle / hook turns. We actually use those a lot here, so I'm familiar. Being on the left will be a challenge. We'll probably return the car back to the airport and then take a shuttle into the city to stay there for a few days. We want to avoid driving downtown if we can avoid it.
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Old Jan 30, 12, 3:27 pm   #8
 
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You will get straight into driving on the other side. It will only take a few minutes.

Having traffic indicators and lights on the opposite sides of the steering wheel however is a different story !
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Old Jan 30, 12, 4:11 pm   #9
 
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Thanks for the help. Geelong looks like the place to start..
Going to Geelong is just about all divided freeway from the airport, so not hard. Just follow the signs and keep to left

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..Having traffic indicators and lights on the opposite sides of the steering wheel however is a different story !
Not al the same anyway. My mothers car (Suzuki) has these opposite to my car (Ford)
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Old Jan 30, 12, 9:44 pm   #10
 
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Going to Geelong is just about all divided freeway from the airport, so not hard. Just follow the signs and keep to left
As I quoted above, when I suggested Geelong!

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... I would recommend driving straight from the airport and staying in Geelong - it's an easy drive of less than an hour, pretty much all on multi-lane freeway.
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Old Feb 1, 12, 5:06 pm   #11
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We'll probably return the car back to the airport and then take a shuttle into the city to stay there for a few days. We want to avoid driving downtown if we can avoid it.
Depending on who you're renting from, drop the car in the city. The freeway back from Geelong will get you most of the way into the city - driving all the way back out to the airport and then taking the shuttle back into town is really unnecessary. Ask your rental car company for a mapbook (just ask for a 'Melways') and figure out ahead of time how to navigate (a) to your hotel so you can drop off the bags and (b) from there to the rental car company's city location. It's not really that bad ... If you indicate which rental car company you're going to use and what hotel you decide to stay in, no doubt somebody can suggest the best way to navigate back from Geelong/GOR.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 2:39 am   #12
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Just don't judge Melbourne or Australia by Geelong
It is a backward grimy sleepy industrial town that is slowly being gentrified, and there is no reason to visit it as a tourist destination ... a bit like going to Trenton NJ when visiting NYC. Have fun.
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Old Feb 2, 12, 9:15 am   #13
 
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Just don't judge Melbourne or Australia by Geelong
It is a backward grimy sleepy industrial town that is slowly being gentrified, and there is no reason to visit it as a tourist destination ... a bit like going to Trenton NJ when visiting NYC. Have fun.
But to be fair, it does have the best football team ever!
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Old Feb 3, 12, 11:00 pm   #14
 
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It is a backward grimy sleepy industrial town that is slowly being gentrified, and there is no reason to visit it as a tourist destination ...
Whilst I haven't actually stayed in Geelong in years, my understanding is that might be a bit harsh! Agree that there are not many reasons to visit as a tourist (except as a gateway to the GOR) and Melbourne shouldn't be judged by Geelong!
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Old Feb 5, 12, 4:57 am   #15
 
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Geelong's indeed not a highlight of Victoria, and there certainly are "grimy industrial" bits to it (and to Melbourne itself, for that matter), but the fairly recently renovated waterfront bit is actually fairly pleasant and more than tolerable for one night's stay.
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