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Driving Down Under

By October 19, 2006

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Australia is road trip country. I've been on a road trip across gorgeous Southeast Victoria and, next, up the section of Australia called the South Coast, which stretches along the coastline off the state of New South Wales from surfy Kiama to the state of Victoria's border. There is some absolutely lovely land here in the land down under, and I'm doing my best to see it while terrorizing drivers as well as wombats and anteaters which stray into my lane (or me into theirs -- which side is that, again?) in this part of Oz.

Though I've been driven on the right (or is that "wrong"?) side of the road before, I've never careened through curves while driving a car myself with the steering wheel on the right (that would be as opposed to left) side of the car before. My first mistake was in the marvelous city of Melbourne, where I turned the wrong way down a street which was, thankfully, empty but for a cyclist, who loudly and colorfully commented on the level of my intelligence. Drivers are unbelievably polite down this way, incidentally -- or perhaps there is a secret mark on my car indicating my addled tourist status and they thus give me a wide berth as I barrel 'round and 'round roundabouts.

Neck cranings over the wrong shoulder and endless roundabout rounding aside, it turns out that a road trip in Australia is like a road trip anywhere (well, except for the exotic creatures, beautiful scenery, lyrical birdsong, miles of national parks and preserves, and kangaroos bounding across the road) -- follow money-saving road trip tips, plug in the tunes and set out to see the sights. Which will knock your socks off.

Related: Australia Car Rental Guide | Driving in Mexico | Driving in Europe | Driving in Honduras | Road Trip Wonders: West Virginia

Photos (c) Kathleen Crislip 2006
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