Travel Australia By Road

Australians don't need to be told this, but for the benefit of International travellers, let me say that if you want to get to see the real Australia, you have to do at least some of your travelling by road. Driving your own vehicle, or hiring one, is often the only way to gain access to some parts of Australia that are serviced only by road transport. Australia's major roads and highways are all sealed, so you can see just about all the major attractions the country has to offer without going off the bitumen.

Australia's towns and cities are linked by a network of well signposted, well maintained sealed highways and major roads which allow for easy travel between localities. In most states, the speed limit on the open road is 110 kilometres per hour. In built up areas the speed limit is either 50 kilometres per hour or 40 kilometres per hour. Speed limits are clearly marked with International-standard signage. In Australia, a drivers licence from your home country or another Australian state is sufficient to drive a motor vehicle in all states and territories, as long as it is current, has photo identification and is for the same class of vehicle you intend to drive.

Distances: By State

By state: Tasmania | Victoria | New South Wales | Queensland | NT | Western Australia | South Australia

Driving Times

Allow 1 hour for every 100 km of travel on Australia's major highways. Increase this by 20% when calculating travel times on lesser roads which travel through regional centres and small towns. Breaks of up to 30 minutes should be added every two to three hours to counter driver fatigue. The best way to prevent driver fatigue is to make sure you have enough sleep before driving, regardless of the length of your trip. Rest areas are places where you can park safely, get out of your car and refresh yourself before continuing on your journey. They are available 24 hours a day all year round and are clearly signposted. Service centres, petrol stations, parks and country towns are other places you can stop and take a break from driving.

Driving Speeds (approximate)

60kph - 37mph
80kph - 50mph
110kph - 69mph

Visitor Information:
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Rent of Purchase?

Transfercar is an online relocation service providing really cheap rental cars, motorhome and campervan hire. Some cost only a dollar a day to hire, though most times it's free. So how can they afford to do this? Here in Australia we call it relocating but overseas the concept is called driveaway or one way hire. Rental car or camper van companies need to move vehicles between their branches all the time. They can either use expensive trucks or trains or they can let you drive it for free. The rental operators win, you win.

So how do they make money on this? Transfercar charges a small fee to the rental operators for each successfull relocation. They are constantly looking for more relocation drivers - families, students, backpackers, event-goers, seniors or other travellers are all welcome. You need to be over 18 and have a full drivers license and be available to go at relatively short notice (vehicles are generally listed up to two weeks in advance of their availability, though many are read to drive away immediately).

The most popular routes are between Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin and Perth to Sydney and Melbourne, but other locations are listed all the time. Most cars comes with free insurance. A free tank of fuel and other expenses covered is not unusual either.

Vehicle Purchase: a cheap alternative for the overseas visitor

Purchasing an older vehicle is a viable option to renting one, thanks to websites like Cars 4 Backbackers or Travellers Auto Barn which provide a useful service for travellers wishing to take up this travel option. Travellers can purchase a cheap car, campervan, station wagon and 4wd through the website, and when they have finished with it when they are ready to leave Australia, they simply sell it back or advertise it on the website and sell it to another traveller seeking their own set of wheels during this visit to Australia.

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