Tips and Local Laws

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Drivers License

You must be licensed and carry your licence with you when you are driving in Australia, or you will incur an on-the-spot fine. If your licence is not in English, you must carry an English translation.

For more information, contact the Roads and Traffic Authority in New South Wales on 132 213 or visit www.rta.nsw.gov.au. In Victoria, contact Vic Roads on 13 11 71 or visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.

Seatbelts

All passengers must use seatbelts at all times. Baby capsules or child restraints must be used for all children.

Speed Limits

You must not drive at a speed over the posted limit (check signs along the roads).

In most towns the limit is 50 kilometres per hour (31 miles per hour) and on freeways it will vary between 60-110km/h (37-68 miles per hour).

Drinking Alcohol and Driving

For fully licensed car drivers the legal limit is 0.05 g/100ml.

Australian Police are authorised to stop any vehicle and breath test the driver at any time.

Driving and Mobile Phones

It is illegal to drive or ride a vehicle while using a hand-held mobile phone.

It is also illegal to perform these activities when your vehicle is stopped but not parked, such as when you are waiting at traffic lights. The penalty is a significant fine.

Driver Fatigue

It is recommended that for every two hours of driving you stop and rest for 15 minutes - distances between towns and cities may be far greater than you realise and to which you are accustomed.

Country Driving

Constantly be on the alert for dangerous situations and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.

Watch for:

  • Potholes and rough surfaces
  • Soft or broken road edges
  • Single lane bridges
  • Road surfaces changing without notice
  • Livestock or wildlife crossing the road (particularly just near sunrise or near sunset).
  • Very large trucks (road trains).

Safe Driving in the Alps

The Great Alpine Road is fully sealed, with year-round access. While you do not need a four-wheel drive to tour it in winter, care should be taken. Snow is cleared regularly, but you should be prepared for potential fog, ice, and strong winds. 

Driving in the Alps in Winter

Check road conditions: Check for possible winter closures with Vic Roads on 13 11 70 or visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au, the Victorian Snow Line on 1800 067 600 or at visitor information centres.

Over winter all vehicles enter alpine resort areas must carry snow chains. Snow chains can be leased or purchased from snow equipment stores.

Prepare your car

Check fuel, oil, tyres and anti-freeze before you go, as there are limited services at the ski resorts of Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Mt Buffalo or Falls Creek.

Hire Snow Chains

Snow chains must be carried to these resorts from June to early October, and fitted if directed.

Travel slowly on snow and ice

Use lower gears, especially on steep down-grades, brake slowly and early, don't brake on corners.

Caravans and Trailers

We recommend you don't tow a caravan or trailer over Mt Hotham during winter, as motorists may be turned back if weather conditions are poor.

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