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Driving a motorhome in Australia

Because not everyone drives a campervan or motorhome every day, and certainly not in Australia, you can read here what you can expect from driving a motorhome in Australia. We will of course provide you with the necessary tips to get on the road as safely as possible. The most important, which we will mention once again for certainty: Australians drive on the left side of the road. Although you will use quickly, on some remote parts it is possible to fall into old habits. Be aware of this when you drive off.
Australia is a perfect motorhome country, with wide roads and large parking spaces. Australians are usually relaxed in traffic, so you certainly don’t have to feel bothered when driving a large(r) or slower vehicle.

What is different about driving a campervan

The first big difference between a campervan and a car is immediately noticeable when you hop on. Motorhomes and bus campers have a high seat, so you have a completely different field of view if you participate in traffic. Many people experience this as pleasant.
The space that a campervan or motorhome occupies on the road is something that you must be aware of constantly. An average motorhome is one meter wider than most passenger cars and often a few meters longer. Use your side mirrors not only to look at the other traffic, but also keep an eye on your own position on the road. This is especially important when taking a turn. If you take a turn too sharply, the rear wheels can go over the curb, or worse, get stuck in a ditch. But also, the overhang (behind the rear wheels) comes round a corner differently than a normal passenger car would. Therefore, it’s better to take turns too wide.

>>> View our wide selection of motorhome rentals in Australia <<<

Traffic rules and signs to watch out for in Australia

In addition to your own position on the road, and driving from A to B without damage, there is even more that you need to take into account when you are driving a camper in Australian traffic. There are a number of traffic rules that can be different from your home country. Or they are checked / observed much more strictly.
Examples of this are the speed rules; a small speed violation can quickly amount to a fine of hundreds of dollars. Not surprising that the Australians are keeping the speed limit. Also, driving under influence or using your phone behind the wheel will be severely punished. For example, you may have a maximum alcohol content of 0.5 promille (1-3 glasses) at the wheel. The use of the mobile phone is completely prohibited.

The maximum permitted speed is often well indicated. Outside built-up areas this is 110 km/h, unless stated otherwise. However, this is not the ideal speed for every motorhome. Always choose a speed that suits your motorhome, so it drives nicely, and you have some power left in case of an emergency.
The signage in Australia is generally very well organized. Of particular interest are the brown signs indicating tourist routes. These routes often take you along historic roads, away from the highways, and show an authentic piece of Australia. Or these routes lead past historic places or preserved nature. In short, these routes are highly recommended when on a motorhome trip in Australia.

Good to know before you hit the road

Hopefully you now have a better idea about driving a camper through Australia. To get the most out of your camper trip, a few tips;

  • Australia uses (as opposed to England) metric measures and weights. So, speeds are indicated in kilometres.
  • Fuel prices can vary widely in Australia. You can refuel the cheapest in and around the city. The more remote you are; the more expensive fuel is.
  • In Australia, it is forbidden to give way to animals on the road. This sounds animal-unfriendly, but accidents are prevented in this way. It is even the case that any damage caused by the fall-out is not reimbursed by the insurance.
  • Australians are fairly relaxed in traffic, little hurry is made, almost no honking and there is a lot of respect for the security services.

Once with the camper on the road

Once you are on the road with your motorhome, camping in Australia is obviously the way to go. We have pointed out the various options for you. A tip we would like to give you is to contact the locals. Australians are friendly and often open to a chat or tell a good story. They are full of tips that they are happy to share so that you can truly experience Australia. Retired Australians in particular, who often travel for months on end in their motorhome, are a great source of information.

Are you planning to rent a motorhome in Australia? Contact us without obligation. Our travel experts are ready to work with you to find the perfect motorhome for your Australian motorhome trip.