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Driving in Australia

06 December 2015 by News Desk

travel_campervanDriving in Australia is the ultimate way to see the country up close.

If you’re planning a long sightseeing journey a standard hire car will meet all your needs in Australia as you’ll find sealed roads and roadhouses (a garage with attached pub/pie-shop and accommodation) along all but the most remote sections of coast, even far into the Outback.

Hiring a camper van allows you greater freedom and a real sense of adventure. However, the lack of space and home-style facilities and space can be wearisome and many camper van tourists find regular comfort at a camp site (known in Oz as a ‘campground’ that comes with power points, barbecues and hot showers). If you hire or buy a camper van, invest in air-conditioning and a fridge. Beware of parking fines. Just because you’re travelling in a camper van it does not mean you can park wherever you like.

If you’re planning an off-road trip or a long journey in the outback, choose a good four wheel drive (4WD) vehicle such as the Toyota Land Cruiser. You can find all you need to know about 4WD driving in Australia from the safety card produced by the National 4WD Association’s ‘Outback driving tips’.

Many travellers choose to buy a car or camper van, knowing that they can probably offload it at a reasonable price down the track. Apart from the usual suspects such as Gumtree and eBay, Sydney’s backpacker car market in Kings Cross has a huge range of road-worthy (and importantly) state-registered cars for sale. If you don’t fancy the hassle, Travellers Autobarn offer a guaranteed buyback on cars and camper vans.

Maximum speed limit across Australia is 110kph (68mph). Police are hot on setting speed traps and they will chase you for a speeding fine even once you’ve left the country. Police do not need a reason to pull you over for a breath test and you’ll often find roadblocks testing every driver on the approach to big cities, especially if there’s a big sporting event being staged.

And the good news? Petrol is cheaper in Australia than the UK or Europe.

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