Top 10 driving tips for visitors in Australia

Many international visitors choose to drive around Australia and in particular Queensland – it is a great way to experience all our beautiful state has to offer.  But it is vital that tourists follow the road rules to help ensure a safe and happy trip.

Keep left

Keep left

Keep LEFT! We drive on the left-hand side of the road in Australia.



Always stop at STOP signs or red traffic lights, including at railway crossings.


Safe overtaking

Overtake other vehicles only when it's safe to do so. Use passing lanes whenever possible, and make sure you have a clear view of oncoming traffic.


Drive to conditions

Drive to the conditions. You'll need to reduce your speed if it's raining and in some other conditions - like on unsealed roads - or if you're in a road works area. Ask your accommodation provider if in doubt. Also look out for wildlife on or near the road. Dawn and dusk are times when animals are especially active. 

Drink drive

Don't drink drive

Do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law in Australia and strictly enforced by police, severe penalties apply.


Wear your seat belt

Always wear your seat belt. Everyone in your vehicle must wear a seatbelt, and children under 7 must be secured in an approved child restraint.

Slow down

Safe speeds

Keep to the speed limit. Always slow down to observe recommended speeds around bends and check for oncoming traffic on one-lane bridges or narrow sealed roads.

Well rested


Stay well-rested. Plan to take at least a 15-minute break after every 2 hours of driving and only drive for a maximum of 8-10 hours per day.


Plan ahead

Use the RACQ Trip Planner or GPS to estimate driving times while planning your journey. Driving in Australia can often take longer than expected due to weather conditions, road works, unsealed roads and traffic.

No phone

Don't use your phone

It's illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving in Australia. If you need to make a call or send a text message, pull over in a safe place off the road (e.g., a rest area or in a car park).

The information on this page is a brief summary only.

For more information on licensing for international drivers please visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads. They also provide detailed information on the Queensland Road Rules and Road Closures and Conditions.

Please also make yourself familiar with RACQ’s advice on what to do if you break down while travelling in Queensland.