Big and bold, Australia is amazing road trip territory. It’s epic stretches of remote Outback, roads lined with giant trees, ancient forests and glorious beaches edged by the most famous coral reef in the world. Some of the most jaw-dropping journeys lie along the winding coastline; there’s a reason why the drive between Melbourne and Adelaide is called the Great Ocean Road. And in the Australian Outback, you can really get off the beaten track on seasonal dirt roads through the Kimberley region. It’s even better if you can share the driving so you get the chance to sit back and take in the views.
Driving in Australia is easy, fun and a great options for families, groups of friends and couples who are more independent and adventurous when on holiday. Australians drive on the same side as the road as the UK and versus what we’re used to, there’s very little traffic.
Choice of cars
We work with a number of different car hire partners. Choose from a range of cars, from small economy and compact vehicles to full-size vans and SUVs. All of the cars are easy to drive and most of them are automatic (typically group B up).
Drivers must present a full licence held for a minimum of 12 months. The licence must be in English, or a foreign licence with an International Driving Permit (IDP). The minimum age is 21, or 25 for some car types.
Car hire inclusions can vary but typically include unlimited mileage, Goods & Services Tax (GST) and Standard Insurance with full excess. Most providers offer an ‘Inclusive’ upgrade option that reduces your excess to zero − we recommend taking this option.
Many rentals do not incur a one-way fee. However, one-way rentals in and out of the Northern Territory and Western Australia require a minimum seven days and a one-way fee applies. One-way rentals in or out of Tasmania are not permitted.
A motorhome holiday makes exploring a vast country like Australia easy – you have all your creature comforts with you in a home-away-from-home and the flexibility to see Australia’s attractions however you want to. All motorhomes from our partner, maui, are easy to drive with automatic transmission and an in-vehicle tablet with ‘Like a Local’ GPS system. Amenities include air-conditioning and heating, a gas stove, fridge, shower and a flat-screen TV so you can travel in comfort. maui’s motorhomes are all environmentally sensitive with solar panels and low fuel consumption.
You can choose from a selection of motorhomes and packages depending on your needs – from more affordable models from maui’s sister company, Britz, to a maui Inclusive pack which includes Wi-Fi data allowance so you can keep connected while on the move.
It’s important to take note of specific driving restrictions that apply to rentals in Australia. Your vehicle must only be used on roads that are properly formed and constructed as sealed, metalled or gravel roads. Vehicles cannot be driven on beaches or through streams, dams, rivers or floodwater, and cannot be taken onto any boat or ferry. Vehicles rented from the mainland may not be taken to Tasmania or any other island. There are a number of roads in Northern Territory and Western Australia that are access roads to Aboriginal communities; driving is not permitted in these areas without an approved permit.
We recommend carefully taking your luggage requirements into account before choosing your vehicle.
A number of motorways and city link roads in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are electronic tolls only and do not have toll booths. All renters must provide a credit or debit card to enable The Roads & Maritime Services to directly charge the applicable toll fees. Further information is available when collecting your vehicle.
Some of our self-drive packages with our local representative, AOT, include a personalised co-pilot kit. This provides you with a GPS as well as all of the practical information you need to navigate the roads, plan your journey and make the most out of your Australia self-drive adventure. You can also add this co-pilot kit to any tailor-made self-drive itinerary.
• Driving instructions
• Detailed day-by-day itinerary description and directions
• Road atlas and city maps
• Local visitor guides
• Discount offers for various attractions
• Handy backpack.
We’ve picked our favourite Australia self-drive itineraries to give you a little inspiration. You can easily tailor each itinerary to work your schedule or preferences as they’re suggested routes. This flexibility means you can choose how long you go for, choose your preferred hotel and add detours or visits to big local attractions.
Our recommended Australia self-drives
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