How to read a Melway map

In the days before satellite navigation became the norm, reading and following a map was a necessary skill. I have had my driver's licence for forty years, and I have always been able to navigate my way around Melbourne's main roads. When I needed to navigate to an unknown address or location, the Melway street directory was always the weapon of choice.

The Melway was Melbourne's number one street directory, first published in 1966. If you owned a car in Melbourne, you would have had a Melway in it. Updated and reprinted every year, the Melway street directory always made a great Christmas present.

Using the Melway was very simple. Find your destination by looking up the street and suburb in the index. The relevant map number and the cross-reference will take you to the page and reference the destination. For example, my childhood home in Brae Grove, Nunawading, was Map 48 E7.

Once I had my current location and desired destination, I would plan the journey across multiple pages. I would balance the directory on my lap, driving and navigating at the same time to ensure I didn't get lost. From time to time, I would have the map up the wrong way, often finding myself heading in the wrong direction.

Sadly, I no longer need the Melway. However, it is still available in a printed format and online. It remains the most comprehensive map of Melbourne city and suburbs, trusted since 1966.