Australian drivers enjoy the same clear, concise driving rules and publicly posted directions like most countries of the world. Driving in any new city or country is always a challenge, even more when you need to drive on the “wrong” side of the road! The key is in knowing the basics, keeping the rules in check and just acting like you’re a local! There are five key things to consider before you head out on a road trip in Australia:
- Take time before you travel to study roads and maps of the areas you’ll be visiting.
- Review rules of the road in major all major Australian cities as these may vary
- Plan an itinerary to avoid unfamiliar travel routes
- When a service such as Budget Rent a Car, request any extra information or driver manuals they might have that are specific to visitors
- Do your best to become familiar with the terminology of road use (Like “hook” turns)
Roads and Maps – A Traveler’s Best Friend
Travel agents often supply maps of major highways and roads in Australia. Study these to gain insight into the intricacies of road and highway configurations.
With a little bit of effort, it is possible to work towards feeling more comfortable on the road once you arrive at your destination.
Rules of the Road – Learn the Variables
Traffic signals aren’t very difficult to understand in Australia and they provide strict interpretation of each change in color. One thing that may take some getting used to is that there are no right turns allowed when a traffic signal is red. Always make sure to take your time and study their traffic signals and posted signage.
Plan An Itinerary – Avoid Unfamiliar Travel Routes
With advanced planning, travelers who plan to rent a car, should advise the agent of their travel itinerary. You’d be surprised how often you’ll meet helpful, knowledgeable people who offer assistance with unfamiliar travel routes. Most agencies have mastered the art of getting travelers in Australia from one destination to the next, so make sure you take advantage of this.
Request a Driver’s Manual For Visitors
Request a driver’s manual for visitors that reflects Australian driving habits and tips on how to navigate traffic in large cities.
You can also hop online and search for other specifics as well as tips and tricks.
Any information you manage to find beforehand is a great reference to have and makes for good reading whilst you’re traveling.
Become Familiar With Terminology of Road Use
There are certain terms used to describe Australia’s roads.
In some parts of the world, a traffic circle is referred to as a “round about”. When travelers encounter right turn arrows at busy intersections, this is similar to the “yield” signs seen elsewhere. Also, don’t forget you’ll be dealing with a steering wheel on the right side of the car as this will be the trickiest part of all!
Going on a whistle-stop tour of Australia’s capitals? Here are a few things you should not miss!
Get lost in Melbourne’s laneways, have a drink in a spit and sawdust pub, and listen to some great live music.
Go to the seaside at St Kilda, ride the rollercoaster at Luna Park, or take a Neighbours tour for a behind the scenes look at one of Australia’s most famous soaps.
Go to an AFL game and cheer on the local team, try a new cuisine in an up-and-coming restaurant, shop for vintage fashion, and stay in a boutique hotel.
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, take a tour of the Opera House, and wander through the Botanic Gardens.
Go surfing, lie around on Bondi beach, or take in the sights at Darling Harbour.
Find a bargain in the markets, taste the best international cuisines, and find out more about Sydney’s fascinating past in museums and galleries.
Stay in a cheap (and hopefully cheerful) hostel, or find luxury in a fancy hotel with spectacular views, such as those offered at the IBIS Darling Harbour.
Get hands-on at Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, get arty at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), or take in a show at Brisbane Powerhouse.
Climb Story Bridge, get your pulse racing on a ghost tour, or take a whale or dolphin watching cruise. Discover Brisbane’s past at the ANZAC Square Memorial, the Old Government House, or at the Queensland Maritime Museum.
Take a cruise along the Swan River, cuddle a koala at Perth Zoo, or wander round Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Hang out at Cottesloe Beach or City Beach, expand your mind at Scitech, or breathe in Perth’s past at St Mary’s Cathedral and the Perth Mint.
Take a tour of the Art Gallery of Western Australia or the Western Australian Museum, explore the heritage walking trails, or see the penguins at Penguin Island.
Discover fine art at the Art Gallery of South Australia, find an oasis at Botanic Park or Adelaide Botanic Gardens, or meet some Aussie wildlife at Cleland Wildlife Park or Adelaide Zoo.
Find out more about the history of Adelaide at Ayers Historic House, at Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institution, or at the Migration Museum.