Will you be driving in Australia? 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 remaining calm and cool, like a local. Then you’ll be able to enjoy seeing the sights in Australia.
Driving in Australia
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 using a service such renting a car, request any extra information or driver manuals they might have 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 Australian maps showing major highways and roads in Australia. Study these to gain insight into the intricacies of road and highway configurations.
Then be sure to drill down further with more detailed maps of the areas you will be visiting. With a little bit of effort, it is possible to work toward feeling more comfortable on the road once you arrive at your destination. You may also consider experiencing Australia by train for part of your journey.
Rules of the Road – Learn the Variables
At first, traffic signals in Australia might be confusing. You can watch this video about traffic signals in advance to you know what they are like. 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. With this knowledge, traffic signals will be easier to understand and follow when you are there.
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 “roundabout.” When travelers encounter right turn arrows at busy intersections, this is similar to the “yield” signs seen elsewhere. Also, remember you’ll be driving with a steering wheel on the right side of the car. This will be the trickiest part of all!
Driving in Australia to the capitals
It’s likely you may want to road trip through Australia. One popular thing to do is to visit Australia’s capitals. This way, you will capture the spirit of each area while still having a destination and itinerary in mind.
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. Enjoy trying a new cuisine in an up-and-coming restaurant. Then, shop for vintage fashion, and stay in a boutique hotel.
No matter how much time you have in Sydney, you’ll want to stay longer. 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 you may want to indulge in luxury in a fancy hotel with spectacular views, such as those offered at the IBIS Darling Harbour.
There is much to do while visiting Sydney en route to Brisbane.
Get hands-on at Queensland Museum and Sciencentre. Decide to get arty at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), or take in a show at Brisbane Powerhouse.
Climb Story Bridge, or get your pulse racing on a ghost tour. You can take a whale or dolphin watching cruise in Brisbane as well. Discover Brisbane’s past at the ANZAC Square Memorial, the Old Government House, or at the Queensland Maritime Museum.
Read about the reasons to visit Cairns Australia.
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.
Wherever your Australian road trip takes you, you can be sure to spot some incredible wildlife and scenery.