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Heading to Melbourne from New Zealand? Whether you’re planning an extended holiday, work trip, or a more permanent move, knowing how to get around Melbourne and the transportation options available to you will be helpful.

Did you know that Melbourne has the best public transportation system in all of Aussie? Trams, trains, buses, taxis, car rentals – you are spoiled for choice. Uber and yellow taxis can be expensive, so the public transportation is your best bet.  

On Fridays and Saturdays, there are trains, trams and buses that run around the clock, making it super convenient for visitors and locals alike to enjoy a night on the town and still get home easily and safely. The Myki, a reusable travel card, is accepted on all modes of public transportation. Frequent users should look into getting a Myki Pass, which is available for seven days or any duration between 28 and 365 days. Or, you can load your Myki card with money as you go, including on board all buses as well as at Myki machines at metropolitan train stations, major train stations and bus interchanges.

There are helpful official Victoria websites that give you all the details about routes and timetables for buses, trams, and trains, allow you to plan your journey, and provide the latest fare details and places to purchase and top up your Myki Pass/card (starting with 7 Eleven stores).

Take a tram

Melbourne has Australia’s only tram system, and it is a vast one – the world’s largest. It may not be the fastest way around town, but it is the most convenient and well-connected too. Melbourne’s trams have an impressive 28 routes and make frequent stops – nearly 2000 of them throughout the city. Then there’s the City Circle Tram, a free service that takes visitors to all the major tourist spots across the city. And if you are in the CBD, the Free Tram Zone is in effect, which means you don’t need to pay when moving around that area. And if you are a visitor, take a ride on the City Circle Tram, with onboard commentary, and learn all about the city of Melbourne.

Ride thetTrain

The train system in Melbourne is Australia’s second largest, with 16 lines. It’s the best and simplest way to reach the city’s outskirts and suburban areas. The V/Line is the regional train network in Melbourne, and goes from Southern Cross station to small regional towns of Victoria.

Board a bus

With nearly 350 different bus routes traversing the city of Melbourne, you can pretty much be ensured you’ll find a bus to and from any part of the city. In a model of public-private partnership under a State government franchise model, 32 different private companies operate the buses of Melbourne.

There are different options, like the SmartBus rapid transit system, which offers travel cross city from Melbourne to nearby suburbs and towns, or the Night Bus network which services 21 routes. For visitors and residents coming in from Melbourne’s airport, there is a Skybus airport service bus which has four express routes. But do note, the Myki pass doesn’t work on the Skybus.

Drive yourself

As a Kiwi you will find it easier than many to drive around in Melbourne, as both New Zealand and Australia have very similar road rules. You can drive on your New Zealand license for three months, after which point you should have applied for and be granted an Australian license, which for a resident of Melbourne means getting one issued by the state of Victoria.

To do this, you need to show residency in Melbourne for a continuous three month period in order to be eligible for converting your NZ license or learner’s permit to an Australian one.

Hook turns

Within Melbourne itself, thanks to the extensive tram lines, there are some unique situations and road rules that you are going to come across. If you are self-driving or being driven around in Melbourne, you’re going to come up against the hook turn system pretty soon – this is a one of a kind system that has been developed.

At a marked intersection, in order to make a right turn, you need to pull into the left lane and then put on your indicator, signalling your intention to turn right. You are required to have your car in the centre of the intersection until such time as it is safe and you have the right of way to take your right turn. It may seem a bit weird and confusing on first encountering it, but it is extremely helpful in keeping the path clear for the cars and traffic that wants to keep going straight.

In terms of rules to accommodate the trams, you will soon learn that the yellow dotted line is permission to drive in the tram lane, if safe, whereas a solid yellow line is an indication that the lane is exclusively for the tram and not to be encroached upon by cars. Also, do note that disembarking tram passengers have right of way.

Leaving the city

One thing to note is that you can travel long distances in the outback without coming across a town or city. You should be prepared to have an adequate amount of petrol in the tank! And of course, being the wondrous outback with its magnificent variety of critters and wildlife, keep an eye out and be watchful as you drive, so as not to bump into any kangaroos –this is as stressful for you as the animal, not to mention quite damaging to the vehicle!

Get out there are explore

Whether by bus, train, tram or car, there are loads of options for day-to-day transit in Melbourne. You’ll find an option that suits your needs, whether its that daily commute to work or a late night bus ride home after a night out.

If you are moving to Melbourne and need help with transport options for your possessions from NZ to Australia, give us a call or email us. We can help you get your move underway.

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Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

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