How couldn’t you fall in love with Australia while driving around so many splendid landscapes? A word of caution, though; driving your rented car Down Under means you will have to become familiar with local driving rules before embarking on a road trip of a lifetime.
Be prepared and get your license to drive
Before packing your brand-new hiking boots, don’t forget that an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) will be required to drive or rent a vehicle. To be eligible you will have to be at least 18 years old. So, make sure you have your IDP with you before getting on a plane flying you off to the other side of the world. To be eligible to rent, you must be no less than 21 years of age and a young driver surcharge applies for specific vehicles and drivers under the age of 25.
Behave and fasten your seat belt
Don’t be fooled by the huge deserted areas. Remember to always wear your seat belt no matter where you are, because the Aussie legislation for compulsory wearing of seat belts is implacable. It also applies to you, yes, you, the enthusiastic snoozer in the back of the car.
No Need for Speed: Respect the limits
Australians don’t kid around the fast and furious. Down there, restrictions are strictly enforced and fines are steep. Speed limit is 30 mph (50 km/h) in cities and 62 mph (100 km/h) on main roads and motorways. There are also many fixed and mobile speed cameras especially on motorways or freeways. Do pay attention to road signs! You wouldn’t want a close encounter with a police officer, would you? Bear in mind Australian cops are unfazed by exotic accents and will issue you a ticket without a second thought.
Stack some cash in the car before you hit the road
Right. Road signs are more difficult to decipher than hieroglyphs. To crack their codes and better understand them, you might want to look at the government website. Australia makes you pay by the rules: you must pay at parking meters and tolls on motorways around major cities. Alternatively, you may want to purchase an e-TAG pass to pay toll fees as all motorways are equipped with a fully electronic system. These passes can be purchased in advance or online before or within 3 days of your first toll road trip. Phone in your bag and hands on the wheel While driving in Australia, it’s illegal to use a mobile phone. So please, don’t try to call that cute pearl diver you met the day before, don’t text your mother who worries about sunburns, and doesn’t even think about watching that cute cat video either. Keep your eyes on the road. The diver, your mother, and the cat, all can wait.
Phone in your bag and hands on the wheel
While driving in Australia, it’s illegal to use a hands-free mobile phone. So please, don’t try to call that cute pearl diver you met the day before, don’t text your mother who worries about sunburns, and don’t even think about watching that cute cat video either. Keep your eyes on the road. The diver, your mother and the cat, all can wait.
Enjoy your ride and get ready for some wild up-close encounters
While on the road, from kangaroos to koalas, cattle and what not, you sure want to do some wildlife-spotting. That’s at least one reason you should always be travelling at a safe speed.