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Talk:Driving in Australia

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This is great! Lots of good info and advice. We're planning a trip to Australia for next spring, so this is just what we need.

This articles' getting really comprehensive! It looks great... I was wondering whether the specific 'Outback' information should be split off into a seperate page and added to info on taking provisions/water/first aid kits etc? KJ
Sounds like a good idea. There's lots more to tell about outback driving (without it becoming a full-fledged 4WD tutorial). But will there be enough left to tell about non-outback driving in Australia? The strange thing cars have to do in Melbourne to give way to trams when taking a right turn might be one of them... :) D.D. 14:32, 14 Aug 2003 (PDT)

What's a "sealed highway"? Is it just the same as "paved"? -- Toby the dumb American

I assume so. BTW, [[w:]] here refers to Wikitravel, not Wikipedia. I think you want WikiPedia:User:Toby Bartels. Actually, I take that back! It should point to Wikitravel, but it doesn't. I'm on it. --Evan 12:23, 3 Dec 2003 (PST)
Yes, a sealed highway means "paved". Unsealed obviously means gravel or sand if you're lucky ;). --Kirk 16 Dec 2003
In Australia and New Zealand, a sealed road often means the road has been covered with hot tar and had (fine) gravel sprinkled on it. It still can have loose stones on it but the tar sticks most of them down. A paved road is often made of a bitumen mix that does not have loose stones and does not melt or soften in summer. Unsealed roads, ie paved with loose gravel or a gravel/clay mix, are often called metaled roads. While an unmetaled road may travel over bare ground and is sometimes called a paper road if it only exists on maps or plans. -- Huttite 05:54, 9 Sep 2004 (EDT)

The picture "Driving hazards: a road train and road victim" shows a dead kangaroo, you get to see a lot of them, and a semi-trailer. Not a road train! A road train will have 2 or 3 trailers. Big Bastards, treat with respect, like the text says. mik

Updated info for speed limits in Northern Territory as of 1st January 2007. Brad Mclain 17:36, 4 January 2007 (EST)

star article?[edit]

Isn't this article ready for Star status yet? --DenisYurkin 18:02, 10 January 2008 (EST)

In terms of content, I'd say yes. But it needs more mos work and proofreading. I did a little, but there were more small issues to fix. --Peter Talk 00:46, 11 January 2008 (EST)


Is the following really true? I mean, a lot of kangaroos are hit.

If you do hit a native animal you are legally required to stop, if it's safe to do so, to check if they had any young in their pouches as these animals are marsupials and some species are endangered. Groups who take care of injured and orphaned animals vary by region, so check local listings before you travel. Melbased 18:02, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

It may be true in theory but I doubt it's always observed. But it's the decent thing to do. Sourcefrog 18:10, 16 January 2010 (EST)
I doubt it is the law. Probably more useful to list the contact services I would think. --inas 17:40, 17 January 2010 (EST)


Is this a joke/vandalism? Another problem common to Australian roads arises when dangerous insects disturb drivers by being unexpectedly present inside the vehicle. Many major traffic incidents have been blamed on such occurrences. This phenomenon is known in some states as the "Huntsmen's surprise" after the somewhat fearsome looking, yet harmless Huntsmen spider. Lots of nations have insects (!) Why is this listed here? Do huntsmen spiders normally appear in cars? Melbased 18:02, 16 May 2008 (EDT)

Yeah it is. Huntsmans are pretty scary looking and when one charges onto your leg while driving a tricky section, it is very easy to lose control.[unsigned comment]
I was laughing out loud when I read this, yes it is certainly true, snakes, spiders, swarms of bees, wasps, rats and mice all can make surprise visits in peoples cars in rural areas of Australia. The same thing happens in other parts of the world though. felix 13:08, 22 January 2011 (EST)

water requirements[edit]

IN the article it says that one should take 10 litres of water per person per day. However this is way too much to be done realistically. Normal amounts are 2-4 litres per person per day. Especially if you are not doing any strenuous activity.

You need around 3l in normal cool city conditions. 10l a day in the heat of the outback is recommended, and I'd count on keeping at least 20l of water untouched on any outback road in case of breakdown - more if you are going really remote. --inas 23:07, 10 December 2009 (EST)

National Speed Limits[edit]

NT used to have no limit open road speeds, then, from 1 Jan 2007, the territory brought in a maximum speed of 110km/h other than on major highways specifically posted as 130km/h. 110km/h is only applicable if clearly defined with a speed sign, otherwise 100km/h should be assumed on open roads, in rural areas and away from built up areas or townships. So, 100km/h unless posted otherwise (SA, WA, NSW and NT are the exception, many open rural roads in those 4 states inc NT are all 110km/h, NT has a further exception to that on the 4 main trunk highways with a 130km/h posted limit, 110km/h elsewhere). 4 of the states and territories are 100km/h upper limit and those 4 states (ACT, TAS, VIC and QLD) have no 110km/h zones.

These are the State-by-State (and the territories of ACT and NT) open speed limit details current at the beginning of 2011:

  • NT, the Stuart, Arnhem, Barkly and Victoria highways are zoned and sign-posted at 130km/h. On other open roads the default open road speed limit is 110km/h, unless posted otherwise.[1]
  • Speed limits on NT open roads from: Safe Road Use-Changes at a glance-Northern Territory Government of Australia 2006. [2]
  • 130km/h speed limit – Stuart, Arnhem, Barkly and Victoria highways
  • 110km/h speed limit – rural roads unless otherwise sign posted
  • WA is 110 km/h [3].
  • "the default speed limit for open areas is 110 km/h. This applies on roads outside built-up areas".
  • "the derestricted speed zone limit is 110 km/h and this applies only to areas as signposted outside the metropolitan area."
  • "the default speed limit for freeways is 100 km/h unless zoned otherwise"
  • NSW The default speed limit in a local or suburban area in New South Wales is 50 km/h. A speed limit of 40 km/h applies around schools in the mornings and afternoons during school terms.
  • 110 km/h is the maximum allowable speed limit in NSW. From: NSW Speed Zoning Guidlines, 2009 Roads and Traffic Authority NSW. Overview of Speed limits in NSW pg13/40 [4]
• Motorways (freeways/tollways) in non-built up areas
• High quality rural divided roads
• Undivided rural road with low traffic volume in western part of NSW
  • 100 km/h, otherwise the default rural speed limit is 100km/h
NSW Road Rules 2008, Current version for 22 October 2010 to date (accessed 23 January 2011 at 00:11). Part 3, Rule 25-Speed limit elsewhere.[5]
  • (3) The default speed limit applying to a driver for any other length of road is:
  • (a) for a driver driving a vehicle with a GVM over 4.5 tonnes or a vehicle and trailer combination with a GCM over 4.5 tonnes—100 kilometres per hour, or
  • (b) for any other driver—100 kilometres per hour or as otherwise provided under another law of this jurisdiction.
NSW State Forestries have recently imposed a 60km/h limit within areas under their control, previously it was 100km/h (NSW default speed)

  • VIC, the default speed limit outside built-up areas is 100 km/h. [6]
The default speed-limit applying to a driver for any other length of road is 100 km/h [7]
  • "The default speed limit operates on roads where there is no speed limit sign".[8]
  • QLD, [9] [10] QLD Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Road Rules) Regulation 2009.
  • (1) If a speed limit sign does not apply to a length of road and the length of road is not in a speed limited area, school zone or shared zone, the speed limit applying to a driver for the length of road is the default speed limit.
  • (2) The default speed limit applying to a driver for a length of road is—
  • (a) for a road in a built-up area—50km/h; or
  • (b) for a road that is not in a built-up area—100km/h.
  • ACT [11] The default speed-limit applying to a driver for any other... (not in built up area or other defined speed zone)... length of road is: —
  • 100 kilometres per hour or as otherwise provided under another law of this jurisdiction. (pt2 sec 25-Australian Capital Territory Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Australian Road Rules, Incorporation 2010 (No 1).
  • TAS, is 100km/h, [12] but that is currently under review. The Tasmanian state government in partnership with the Road Safety Advisory Council apparently wants to reduce the speed limit from 100km/h to 90km/h on sealed roads and 80km/h and unsealed roads.
  • "When there isn’t a speed limit sign for a road, never go faster than the default speed limit. The default speed limits are"
  • "50 km/h in built-up areas (like in cities and towns)"
  • "100 km/h in country areas (outside cities and towns)"
  • SA, "Any road with a speed limit different to the default limit is signposted accordingly" [13].
  • "100 km/h is the maximum speed limit on roads outside a built-up area where no other speed limit is signposted".
Note: The below comes from the SA gov site [14]:
"These default speed limits are applied in South Australia and across Australia. Any road with a speed limit different to the default limit is signposted accordingly". (This when describing the 40km/h, 25km/h, and 110km/h speed zones.)
"Some roads may be signposted at 110 km/h".
  • ‘L’ plate drivers must not exceed 100 km/h
  • All ‘P’ plate drivers must not exceed 100 km/h
  • Drivers of buses of more than 5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) and heavy vehicles of more than 12 tonnes GVM must not exceed 100 km/h
  • A longer or wider vehicle, such as a road train or low loader, may have a lower maximum speed limit as a condition of its permit of travel.

felix 13:08, 22 January 2011 (EST)

animals and insurance[edit]

Often a collision with an animal has a higher excess (deductible) than other collisions.

Is this really true? I've never heard of it. Sourcefrog 10:27, 25 January 2010 (EST)
An excess is common in rural and remote areas, usually framed a SVA excess. Hit a tree or a animal with no other vehicle involved, extra fees apply, which can be a few thousand additional. Thrifty charge this no matter where you hire, I believe. [15] --inas 17:34, 26 January 2010 (EST)

Structural change in article[edit]

Hard reverted this editby an anon IP as it involved considerable structural change to the article, altering the emphasis of the article away from that of Driving in Australia to that of Driving in remote and outback conditions in Australia. I have explained the reasons on the IPs Talk page and hope that they will understand why the revert was made. Their edits and contributions were clearly in good faith.

It is important when editing this and other articles that any major structural or content changes are discussed on the articles Discussion page. It should also be understood that we are somewhat constrained in the use of Header descriptions and it is not appropriate to rename them when it appears they are not a perfect fit with the article content. For example, changing Understand to Essentials does not fit with the policies and guidelines in the manual of style, even if it does seem more appropriate to the content described. The header descriptions are derived from a set of universal templates used across the website and are described at MoS and in pages linked there. Obviously more casual editing of content should not need prior discussion on the Discussion page as it would rather quell any spontaneity but please, if considering making a significant change to content or article structure do discuss it here first, most especially if you are new to Wikitravel editing or are not aware of the applicable policies and guidelines. This is especially so when the article concerned is rated as a "Guide" or "Star" article. It is also important to clarify that we are always happy to see new editors and contributors here, these articles are always potentially in flux and they should always be subject to change, evolution and improvement. -- felix 05:00, 14 August 2011 (EDT)

Alternative to International Driving License[edit]

I would just like to add that there is a smart alternative to an International Driving License. In Germany and Switzerland, the International Driving Permit is issued with a validity duration of 2 years, in Austria only 1 year. For those who need the document for a longer time and don't want to pay each time for a new permit (and new pictures), a certified translation of your national driving license might be a smart alternative. The agency I went to last year before I went to Australia is based in Munich and provided really good and fair service. —The preceding comment was added by EricMeyer (talkcontribs)

Thanks for your comments, if you feel this is valuable information for all travellers then it is best to add it in the article (without links and no first person pronouns obviously). Happy editing! Adzas (talk) 04:18, 1 August 2018 (EDT)