Flag of Australia

Flag of Australia


  • Australia is divided into 6 states » New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania; and 2 territories: the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
  • Population » 22.9 million
    • Most people live around the eastern and south-eastern coastlines.
    • A very multicultural country.
  • Major language » English
  • Major religion » Christianity
  • Life expectancy » 80 years (men), 84 years (women)
  • Currency » Australian dollar (AUD)
  • There are three times zones in Australia.
    • Australian Eastern Standard Time ( AEST ) » New South Wales , Australian Capital Territory , Victoria , Tasmania and Queensland
    • Australian Central Standard Time ( ACST ) » South Australia and Northern Territory
    • Australian Western Standard Time ( AWST ) » Western Australia


  • Area » 7.7 million sq km (2.9 million sq miles)
    • Sixth-largest country in the world. There are often massive distances between cities.
  • Maps » OpenStreetMap / Google Maps


  • Canadians require a visa and must also be in possession of an electronic travel authority (ETA) to visit Australia.
  • Australian Tourist Commission, Sydney: +61 (0)2 9360 1111 or Australia.com


  • The best places to cycle in Australia every month of the year » The Guardian


  • Beadlock rims are not legal for the road in Australia
  • Temporarily importing an overland vehicle to Australia is highly problematic, time consuming, and very expensive. Often not worth the effort.
    • Must be absolutely clean.
      • Other overlanders have spent 2 weeks cleaning their vehicle, and driving it straight into a container, only for Australian officials to find a small piece of dirt on the undercarriage which meant outrageous fines and a very expensive cleaning by an officially recognised company.
    • No part of the vehicle or vehicle build may contain wood or wood products.
    • For extended overlanding, it is cheaper and a lot less trouble to fly to Australia, buy, and modify a second hand vehicle.
      • Consider a 2007-2014 Nissan X-Trail SUV, Subaru Forester, Suzuki Grand Vitara – all small, economical, with better 4wd systems.
      • Then ship this vehicle to New Zealand and tour that country.
  • »» Note »» This no longer appears to be valid as at June 2022 » A Carnet de Passage is required for a non-resident to bring a vehicle into Australia (Government link found to be expired as at June, 2022)
  • The Australian Automobile Association states » “The simplest way to bring your vehicle to Australia on a temporary basis is by Carnet De Passages en Douane (CPD carnet). ” (Source, June 2022)
    • Vehicles temporary imported into Australia without a CPD carnet will be required to provide security with Australian Customs and Border Protection Service on arrival in Australia. The vehicle cannot be released until all Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development requirements have been fulfilled.”
  • Drives on the left side.
    • Vehicles are generally right hand drive (RHD)
  • There are massive between major cities
    • Always know where you are going to get fuel up next before you set out as distances can be great between fuel stops.
      • 860 km between Sydney and Melbourne on the Hume Highway
      • 964 km between Sydney and Brisbane on the Pacific Highway
      • 2695 km between Adelaide and Perth on the Eyre and Great Eastern Highways.
  • Fuel stations may be closed at night and Sundays.
  • It’s important to consider that mobile phones will not work in many parts of Australia.
  • Roads which are OK in the dry season may become impassable in the wet season – especially in the northern part of the country.
    • The dry season usually runs from April to November.
  • You are legally required to stop and help if you have been in an accident where someone has been hurt or injured.
  • Be on the lookout for animals such as kangaroos. If you do hit a marsupial you are legally required check whether they had any young in their pouches.
  • Seat belts are required for all occupants.
  • It’s unlawful to operate a mobile phone while driving in Australia.
  • Each state has it’s own traffic laws. Victoria, for example. bans U-turns at traffic lights while some other states may not.
  • Parking is expensive in the major cities.
  • There are an increasing number of toll roads in Australia as well as toll bridges and tunnels.
  • Overlanding is a very popular activity across Australia.

Australian Automobile Association
103 Northbourne Avenue
G.P.O. Box 1555
Canberra ACT 2601, Australia

Phone: +61 2 6247 73 11 | Email: international@aaa.asn.au | Fax: (61 2) 6257 53 20

Adventure Rankings


  • The norther part of Australia has distinct “wet” and “dry” seasons
    • Wet season is roughly November to April, and many of the accommodations and roads in the Kimberly will be closed or inaccessible.
    • Cairns and Darwin are also affected by the “wet”.
  • The interior (Alice springs, etc) is very hot in December/January – 40+.

Natural Dangers

Amateur Radio

World Rankings

Safety & Security

  • Always tell someone when you are leaving for a long road trip and provide them with your planned itinerary.
    • If your vehicle breaks down in the Outback stay with it and do not attempt to walk out.


  • Emergency Services Numbers » 000 (112 also works)
    • Sat phone – check with your provider
  • The Australian Search and Rescue team, who can find you if you are lost in the Outback, are at 641.
    • There is little cellular service 30 km outside developed areas.
  • Royal Flying Doctors Service

Foreign Embassies in Australia

  • British High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 6666
  • Canadian High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4000
  • Embassy of Ireland, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6214 0000
  • New Zealand High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4211.
  • South African High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6272 7300
  • Embassy of the United States, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6214 5600

Travelling with Pets

  • Australia puts many controls on the temporary importation of animals, including cats and dogs. (Info here)
  • Most national parks in Australia do not allow dogs

Adventure Posts

  • Adventure Trend
  • Dan Grec from The Road Chose Me YouTube channel has a series of overlanding around Australia for over a year.
    • Note that Dan is an Australian citizen



This page was updated May 23, 2024