Roadtripping in Australia
Australia is made up of vast lands, beautiful beaches, rainforests, vibrant cities and endless attractions stretching out from coast to coast. If you’ve been mesmerized by the beautiful people, sandy shores and shopping spots, it’s only natural that you’re thinking about road tripping in such a lovely place. When road tripping, there are some things you need to know to make sure you’ll have hassle-free travel and you enjoy your trip to the fullest. By being aware of things like traffic rules, weather and even minute details you can avoid mishaps and just have a safe and wonderful trip.
If you are thinking of going on a long road trip you should buy a reliable second hand car from a reputable site. Australia is a big country and some road trips can take weeks to complete so if you were to rent a car you would spend a lot of money. By buying a second hand one and re-selling before you leave you can save some money.
Make sure to choose a car that’s sleek, comfortable and fully functioning. After all, you will be in it for extended periods of time.
You should also learn about their traffic rules which can be different from the country you’re coming from. Make sure you follow their guidelines and laws. Take note that the steering wheel in Australia is at the right side and they drive on the left side of the road.
If you’re seriously planning a road trip in Australia, make sure you have an international driver’s license aside from the driver’s license (local) you have from your country. There is a speed limit of 31mph (50kph) in residential areas; unless stated otherwise, in the Northern Territory though the speed limit is 35mph (60kph) the best thing is to always check on local authorities or websites before going as speed limits may differ from area to area. For places outside of residential areas, there is a default speed limit of 62mph (100kph); in Western Australia and Northern Territory though the speed limit is 68mph (110kph) and some stretches like Newcastle Highway and Sydney’s M4 freeway, the speed limit is decreased.
The driver and passenger/s are required to wear their seatbelts during the ride. Alcohol is also strictly prohibited to be consumed if driving. There is a maximum level of 0.05% alcohol level allowed for the driver. You can’t smoke if there’s an 18-year old and below passenger with you (17-year old and under in Western Australia). You should also restrict yourself from using your mobile phone while driving; this includes making phone calls, texting, browsing or playing games. You should make a stop if you need to see your phone. The driver on the straight lane has the right of way at the T intersection. You’re allowed to overtake another vehicle but only if the center line is a broken and single line and you must make sure it’s safe to do it. If the closest line to your car is unbroken or there are two lines at the center, you’re not allowed to overtake.
Some of the traffic signs that you need to know are “No Standing” which means you can’t stand by at the area but you could pick up or drop off a passenger, “No Stopping” means unless there’s a medical emergency; you can’t stop at that spot, “Bus Zone” or “Taxi Zone” are only for buses and taxis, no exemptions and “Loading Zone” are meant for loading and unloading cargo. It’s usually meant for large vans and trucks but you’re allowed to load and unload at these areas. If you want to drive below the speed limit, you should stay at the leftmost lane to allow other drivers to pass through you and beeping is used minimally. There are rest areas every 49-62 miles (80-100km) on highways and main freeways. The distance between towns is quite large. If someone is expecting you, you might want to inform them when you’ll be arriving. 000 is the Australian emergency phone number which will give you access to police, ambulance and fire assistance.
Lastly, there are tollways at The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Harbour Tunnel and other freeways and highways; it’s advisable you have some change ready to prevent traffic built-up and be on your way to you your journey. There are many Australian cars that already have transponders (e-Tags) to allow quicker passage through tollways and there’s an encoded magnetic card (temporary e-Way passes) that can be used in some Australian tollways. Research on the tollways you’ll be passing through to get crucial details so you’ll have a smooth passage.
Transponders have been fitted into an increasing number of Australian cars, which allow them to drive through certain tollgates without having to stop. An encoded magnetic card which speeds up the process is also available for some Australian tollways. Please note that on some tollways, only transponders (called e-Tags) and temporary e-Way passes may be used, so it’s wise to check the conditions of the tollway you plan on traveling on to prepare yourself.
These guidelines were made to help you have the best road trip in Australia. By following through, you can be sure that you’ll have a memorable life experience in this blissful country.
Also Read: Spectacular and superb, it has to be Sydney!