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Driving in Australia

Driving Guide AustraliaIf embarking on a road trip around the vast expanse of land and roads within Australia or simply using your car to get around a city, it is essential you understand the driving regulations and rules. This should enable you to simply enjoy your surroundings and Australian landscapes without any added pressures or problems.

Driving License

  • A driving license in the English language. With this, you can drive in Australia for 3 months as a visitor. If you do not have a license in English, you must also have an international driving permit or an approved translation of your original licence.
  • When driving a vehicle in Australia, you will also need;
  • Your passport
  • A credit card as a form of security which is needed with most rental companies

Speed Limits

  • 50km/h in residential and built up areas
  • 100 km/h on highways and country roads (this could also be 110 km/h in some states).
  • In the Northern Territory, there is no speed limit, yet it is advisable to stick to the 110 km/h for safety.

Seat Belt Regulations

Seat Belts must be worn at all times in both the front and back seats. Children under the age of 12 must not be in the front of the car and they should be placed in a baby or booster seat.

Driving Fatigue

One of the things to remember when hiring a car in Australia is the vast stretches of road which you shall embark on. In order to avoid getting tired and losing concentration, it is advisable that you stay alert and rest for 15 minutes every two hours.

Also when driving large distances on the outback, you need to be aware of a few things;

  • Sinkholes, Potholes and rough surfaces.  Some of the roads in the outback aren’t maintained to the same standard as most roads that you find on the east coast.
  • Livestock and wildlife crossing the roads.  It is better not to drive at dusk and during the night. Kangaroos are very active at dusk.
  • Single lane bridges.
  • Changes in the road occurring without notice
  • Road trains (large trucks). These are big, fast and there is no stopping them so be careful.
  • Flash floods.

Extras

  • Driving occurs on the left side of the road
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers. Despite many travellers still trying to travel this way, do not be tempted to pick them up as it is illegal in Australia.
  • The high speed on motorways means you should be extra careful and never stop or make a U turn. Also always keep to you left.
  • Always keep a warning triangle with you in the vehicle.

Despite these general rules, each state has its own individual legislations. Depending on the area you are travelling, you must research the area for their unique laws.