Anyone can drive in Australia if they have a driver’s license printed in English and if they are registered to drive the type of vehicle they will be. Once the license is obtained, you’re a free man because driving is the best and fastest way to travel around the country.
The minimum age requirement is 16-18 depending on which city you are driving in. If you are planning to live in Australia for more than six months, an international driving permit is required. You can even apply for an Australian Driver’s license.
Australians drive on the left side of the road, something you might have to get adjusted to. However, driving in Australia is no big deal. Roads are well maintained and looked after. The most popular routes such as the Melbourne-Sydney and the Sunshine Coast-Brisbane-Gold Coast are cut off from the entrance to big cities. A car is also the best way to visit picturesque places such as Fraser Island and Cape York Peninsula.
Speed limits vary and the maximum speed limit is 130kph on the highways. In the cities the speed limit is around 50-60kph. A large number of cities are opting for lower speed limits to prevent accidents. It is mandatory to wear seatbelts and mobile phones are banned while driving. You are also not allowed to park your car facing traffic.
If you plan to drive around the out-backs, you must keep your eyes open for the road trains. These semi-trailers, which are about 50m long, take a long time to stop before they come to an actual halt. Therefore you should keep a safe distance from them and move out of the way if you see one approaching. The land of kangaroos has some very active ones jumping about the countryside. Be extremely careful as they are quite unpredictable and may pop out of anywhere. They tend to jump onto the path of a traveling car.
Most of the roads in Australia are toll-free except The North Ryde Toll Plaza and Pennant Hills Road Plaza. The roads between various cities in Australia, is quite long and overnight stops might become necessary. If fatigue takes over, make sure to have lots of water and keep yourself hydrated.
However, before setting foot on your accelerator, you must take the time to get to know the various roads and highways in the country. It will help make your driving smoother and cause less trouble. While driving if you do spot a hitchhiker, try not to pick him/her up. It is illegal to hitchhike in Australia.
With all these rules firmly embedded in your mind, drive down the country to enjoy the beautiful country of Australia, mate!