Driving in Australia
So the open road is beckoning...
A road trip is the only way you want to see this wonderful country. What do you need to know to get you started?
Well, if you have an acceptable and valid driver´s licence the good news is the open road is yours for the taking. Ah, one thing you need though is a car. These are readily available from rental outfits such as Hertz or Avis which are the well-known companies. There are loads to choose from depending on your budget and style of vehicle. A great budget busting option is Rent-A-Bomb.
So, keys in hand get in the on the right hand side. If travelling from the UK or South Africa this will not seem too alien. However, drivers from Europe, North America and other countries that drive on the left hand side may find this takes a bit of getting used to.
There is a fantastic sticker developed in the UK called DriveRight®
Lane Safety Device which will help you if you have never driven on the other side of the road.
To make it even easier for you check out our driving info below and enjoy your trip!
Built up areas and towns: Max speed limit 50kmph.
School zones: Max speed limit 40kmph.
Motorway driving: Speed restrictions can vary from 60kmph to 110kmph.
The limits can change very quickly so watch out for quick braking from the car in front and asways allow a safe braking distance.
WARNING: Speed Cameras do operate on some parts along the Sunshine Coast as do random Police
If caught speeding it can result in hefty fines and penalties on your licence.
Even if you are on holiday, the Police aren’t . Drink - Driving laws are pretty strict here.
As of 1st July 2011 new rules have been instigated: If you are tested positive to breath/alcohol of 0.10 or higher your licence will be suspended immediately.
As a rule of thumb – for men no more than 2 standard drinks per hour with one per hour thereafter. Women no more than one standard drink per hour.
Driving under the influence of drugs
Police in Queensland operate random roadside drug testing to detect presence of:
THC - Found in Cannabis and Marijuana.
Methylamphetamine - Also known as SPEED or ICE.
MDMA - found in the drug ECSTASY.
A first offence will carry a fine of A$1400 and you could face disqualification for up to 9 months.
Australia is a huge country and there are many road trips and amazing driving to be had.
Follow a few of our safety guidelines to ensure your trip is as safe as possible:
PLAN AHEAD : Always check your vehicle, trailer, caravan before heading off. Make sure it's roadworthy and capable of the journey ahead. Make sure you have roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown.
EMERGENCY : Always have a first aid kit in the vehicle and sufficient food and drink.
PLAN YOUR TRIP : Ever found yourself shouting at your GPS? Always have a back up of a good old fashioned atlas - those GPS' are not right all the time!
TIME YOUR JOURNEY : Have an idea of how long your journey will take and this will help plan accordingly.
Do not drive more than 10 hours in one day and try and share the driving. It is recommended you stop every 2 hours for a 15 minute break.
Look out for the distinctive coffee signs along the motorways. These are DRIVER REVIVER stops and offer free refreshments on your break.
Child restraints and seatbelt laws
Babies (0 - 6 months)
Must be secured in approved rearward facing baby capsule or infant restraint.
6 months - 4 years
Compulsory rearward facing for approved forward facing seat.
Must use an approved booster seat. It is recognised that some children are too big / small for booster seats despite their age.
Guide to remember : If a child is too tall for a booster seat when the level of the child's eyes is above the level of the back of the booster seat.
Children are not allowed to sit in the front of vehicle, there are some exceptions though and is dependent on age of child and type of vehicle.
The below is a rough guide.
Vehicle has only one row of seats (ie : a UTE) then a child of any age can sit in the front seat as long as they are properly restrained.
Vehicles with 2 or more rows. Children under 4 years cannot sit in the front. A child between 4 and 7 is permitted to sit in the front seat if all other seats are occupied by children under 7 years.
ADULTS: It is compulsory for all Adults to wear seat belts.