Are we crazy to try to drive into Melbourne CBD?

Old Apr 26th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Are we crazy to try to drive into Melbourne CBD?

We will be renting a car at the Melbourne airport in order to spend a couple of days in Healesville, Yarra Valley, and environs. Then, we will want to turn in the car before spending the last two nights of our trip in Melbourne. We can drop it at the airport and take public transportation into the city, or we can turn it in to one of several Avis city locations--two in the CBD or one in South Melbourne. We will be staying at the Marriott in the CBD. Our thinking is that it would save us some time and add some flexibility to our day to be able to drop it in the city, but I've read that driving in the CBD can be particularly challenging due to the hook turns, etc. Timing will probably be late afternoon on a weekday.

We are comfortable with city driving/traffic (we drive in Chicago all the time, plus NYC, etc.), and by this point in the trip we should be reasonably comfortable on the left after the few prior days and a week-plus with a car in north Queensland. Is this pretty straightforward, or are we asking for trouble? All advice appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Short answer is yes.

Longer answer is that it might be worth it if you have an exact route planned and know about the hook turns (where you have to get into the left lane to ultimately turn right).

Another factor to consider is that Melbourne charges a toll for cars driven on a certain road (can't remember which, sorry!). And because it can be collected from a EZ-Pass type thing, Avis may charge the toll for each day you rent the car - not just the day you actually drive it in the city.

I'd probably return it in the CBD - but i'd also check with Avis about the toll before deciding.
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Getting from the airport into the CBD seems like a real waste of time - and getting to the airport from the Yarra Valley is a real detour. The 2 Avis locations in the city are quite near your hotel and I'd suggest you choose one of those. Or select the South Melbourne one and take a taxi from there (it's only a couple of kms).

If you come into the city from the Yarra Valley on the Eastern Fwy (the most logical route) you will not be on any toll roads. However the Tullamarine Fwy to the airport is a toll road.

From the end of the Eastern Fwy here are the routes to the 2 Avis offices (neither involve a hook turn!): Franklin St - take the Hoddle St exit off the Fwy continue along Hoddle St & turn right into Victoria St, continue along Victoria St to Franklin St.

Grand Hyatt: At end of freeway continue straight ahead, turn left into Rathdowne St and continue. Rathdowne st becomes Exhibition St. In the CBD turn right into Little Collins St & then left into Russell St.

Getting to Sth Melbourne from the Eastern Fwy is more problematic as you have to cross th city.

Hope this helps!
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 05:01 PM
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Thank you both! Great information, maryk. My reservation currently calls for us to drop the car at the Avis location at the Grand Hyatt, and I think I'll stick with that--and your directions.

I have a detailed map and I've now been able to determine which streets have trams--so I assume the key to avoiding hook turns is to avoid those, or least having to make a right turn off of one, right?
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Have a look at www.citylink.com.au which is the company that is in charge of the tollways . Rental companies will ask you about using them and can easily make the arrangements for the use of what is called the 'etag ' which is the electronic device fitted to ensure that use is registered and fees charged . You will be fine driving . The hook turns are not hard to do .You turn right from the left lane where you see an overhead sign showing that it is required . You pull the car to the left and drive as far into the intersection as is safe with your righthand indicator on and wait until the traffic lights turn from amber to red and then complete your turn .
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