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Driving in Sydney and elsewhere in Australia

Driving inside cities like Sydney is not very much different from the experience of doing it in London or Paris. Expect congested traffic in the rush hours. Bear in mind, also, that parking is very difficult in the central areas and that the use of off-street car parks can be quite expensive.

The maximum speed limit inside Sydney is 50 Km/hour, but lower near schools and other danger spots. In rural areas the limit goes up to 100 km/hour, with some roads allowing the maximum for the state of 110 km/hour. This is standard throughout Australia, except for the Capital Territory, which has a lower limit of 100 km/hour, and the Northern Territory where the highest legal speed is 130 km/hour

Australian road dangers

However, new legislation due to start in February 2014 removes the speed limit from the 120 miles stretch of road, between Alice Springs and Barrow Creek, on the Stuart Highway, in the Northern Teritory, making it one of the few places on Earth where you can drive as fast as you like...

Australia has an excellent network of good roads, although in the Outback, many are not sealed (sand, or gravel) and may need a 4x4 vehicle in bad weather. This very large part of the country has few inhabitants and should you have a mechanical breakdown, run out of petrol, or be involved in an accident you may be in trouble, as the mobile telephone coverage is poor, to non-existent, towns are 100 km to 160 km apart, and your only hope may be the very infrequent passing traffic. If you decide to drive into the Outback, be prepared!!!

A further hazard on many Australian roads is the sudden appearance of wildlife in front of the cars, with kangaroos being a particular concern.

Australia, with such a large territory and a relatively low population, entitles you to expect light traffic throughout the country, except in the vicinity of large cities

The roads are well patrolled by the police, and excesses of speed, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as other serious driving offences, are punished with large fines, and often a criminal conviction.