australian culture and customs

find out how australians do things, how we see the world and the world sees us


  • Description: A sign on the Great Ocean Road in...You must hold a driver’s license to drive in Australia.  Get an international one in your own country before you come for insurance cover.
  • There are serious penalties if you do not have a current licence and drive
  • In some states you can get a ‘learner’s permit’ from the age of 15 years and 9 months but you must be accompanied by a licensed driver at all times when using this permit
  • you need a different licence for cars, motorbikes and trucks of different sizes
  • all vehicles must be registered and the cost varies between states and territories
  • All states offer roadside assistance insurance in case your car breaks down while you are travelling

Road and traffic laws

  • all traffic travels on the left side of the road in Australia; we also walk on the left hand side as a rule.
  • the steering wheel of vehicles is located on the right side
  • you are expected to follow road rules at all times or you may be fined or charged with an offence
  • passengers and driver must wear seat belts and you cannot travel in the back of a truck or utility vehicle
  • infants must be strapped into a baby capsule which is anchored to the vehicle and young children must use child seats which are anchored to the vehicle
  • it is illegal to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and you can be imprisoned, fined or penalised heavily if caught. ‘Booze buses’ often stop drivers for ‘random breath tests’

Driving etiquette


  • stop at zebra crossings and slow down at schools
  • obey traffic lights, signs and rules
  • take turns to weave into merging traffic


  • honk your horn unless to signal imminent danger – it’s rude and may very occasionally invoke ‘road rage’  where people get very angry
  • double park – people will NOT appreciate it

Look at Australian government information on driving in Australia here

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