There are many ways to get around Australia. The most rewarding, the one that will let you see more of this vast country is by hiring a car and driving. Around every bend in the road, you’ll find breathtaking natural scenery. There are also many famous drives to explore. Stretching along Victoria’s southeastern coastline the 243-kilometre Australian Natural Heritage listed Great Ocean Road is one of them. It runs between the towns of Torquay and Allansford. As you’d expect from a Natural Heritage listed area, there are all kinds of fascinating things to explore.
Useful Tips About Driving In Australia
- Steering wheels are on the right hand side of the car.
- Australians drive on the left hand side of the road.
- Seat belts are compulsory in all states.
- Speed is in kilometres per hour and distances are measured in kilometres and metres as well.
- You must carry an original valid driving license. An appropriate foreign license written in English is legal for stays of less than 3 months.
- If you have a driver’s license in any language other than English, you must get an International Driving Permit before you leave home.
- In the main, Australian drivers are considerate and courteous to other road users.
- Trucks will indicate it is safe to pass by flashing the right indicator.
- Frequent and well-signposted rest areas are a common feature on highways. These might be simply somewhere to pull off or buildings with lots of facilities.
- Parking can be an expensive business in big cities, at beaches and tourist hotspots.
- Many Service Stations are not 24 hour, even on major routes.
Distances When Driving In Australia
Unless you are from the US or Canada it is unlikely you will ever have encountered such vast Australia driving distances. What can appear close at hand when glancing at a map is actually many hours’ drive away. If you intend to drive between major cities, you are typically looking at a journey of at least a few days. For example, Sydney to Brisbane, which looks a short hop on the map, is 1000 km! Sydney to Adelaide is 1410 km and Melbourne to Brisbane 1681 km while Perth to Darwin is 4,166 km.
While many road trips around Australia have incredible sights and views to keep you engaged, there are also those that offer little variety. 90 Mile Straight, the section of the Eyre Highway between Balladonia in WA and Caiguna in SA is one of them. This 143.3 kilometre long, straight stretch of highway crosses the Nullarbor Plain. It is one of the longest straight stretches of road in the world. The Eyre (pronounced Air) is also Australia’s longest single highway.