Monday, 15 February 2010

Australian travellogue: Getting around the South-western

This is my GPS unit, bought about a month before Saw See and I left on our Australian holidays last year. When we bought it, it came with only a navigational mp of Malaysia and Singapore. As we had planned to drive around in Western Australia, I had to search for a compatible map to install in the GPS unit. It took a while for me to get what I wanted and of course, we hadn't any idea whether the map would work well over there.

My fears proved unfounded as we discovered - to our great delight - that it worked! From the moment I switched on the unit at the Perth international airport, it located the satellites without any problem. The directions proved to be reliable but I also uncovered some quirkiness in the GPS unit's usage which I put down to two main reasons: a rather out-of-date map of Western Australia's south-western region and perhaps some wrong settings in the GPS unit itself.

For instance, during our drive from Northcliffe to Pemberton, the GPS unit kept telling us to make a U-turn when there was only one main road. I knew for sure that we were on the right track but the unit kept saying "where possible, make a U-turn." Eventually, I had to switch it off.

Then, while travelling from Bunbury to Fremantle, the GPS unit couldn't detect the Kwinana Freeway and we were practically driving blind trying to determine the turn-off to Rockingham. I think by then, we were getting too dependent on the unit.

For our holidays, we rented the Nissan Tiida from the Red Spot counter at the Perth international airport. It was a small compact car but you should not let the size of this vehicle fool you. Beneath the hood was a 1.5-litre engine that had great power and which enabled the car to pull away effortlessly on the road. A bonus feature was the cruise control which I found to be most useful on Australia's wide open roads. There was always a temptation to travel faster than the speed limits and the cruise control kept us below the speed traps (if there were any). I did most of the driving but my wife did take over the wheel during those times when I wasn't up to it. Here are some photos of us with the car.

Comfort Inn, Belmont, Perth

Petrol station near Serpentine

Lavender and Berry Farm in Pemberton

Next: Busselton jetty
Previous: Abbey Beach Resort

1 comment:

stephen said...

Looks like a nissan latio.