Wherever you go, no matter what country you visit, if you intend to drive, you need to acquaint yourself with the habits, the rules and the regulations of driving in that country. In some parts of the world, this can save your life, mostly in countries where the rules are not that clear and no one is enforcing them; in others, you need to know how to behave to have a pleasant experience in your car and also to avoid getting into trouble. Here are some of the things that are true for driving in Australia that you need to keep in mind.
The absolute biggest thing to remember is that in Australia, you drive on the left (more info here), just like in Great Britain, Japan and some other parts of the world. However, if you come from one of the majority of countries where they drive on the right, this is the biggest thing to keep in mind and something that is crucial for your survival on Australian roads. This also means that the steering wheel is mostly on the right side and that the gear stick is on the left. The foot paddles are still the same as in cars with steering wheels on the left.
Next, if you are coming from a non-English speaking country, you will need to have an international driving license issued to you in your country of residence (Read more). With it, you will be able to drive in Australia for three months, after which you will need to get an Australian license. In Australia, you can get both manual and automatic cars and if you are not sure about your skills with one of these options, you should consider taking automatic and manual driving lessons (More details) , just to stay on the safe side in caseyou have to drive a type that you are not that familiar with.
Another thing to remember is that in Australia, they use metric system which means that the distances are given in kilometres and not miles. One mile equals roughly 1.6 kilometres. The speed limits will also been in kilometres per hour and not miles per hour. Finally, the expression they use for gasoline in Australia is petrol and they sell it by litre and not by gallon. This is an important thing to remember when buying petrol in Australia.
You should also remember that the myths about no speed limits on the Australian roads are simply not true. In cities and inhabited areas, the speed limit is generally 60 kilometres per hour or 35 mph, while on the highways, the speed limit is usually 110 kph, or 68 mph.
Finally, it is essential that you remember that once you set out of larger urban centres, you may drive through areas that are completely deserted and where it is impossible to find food, water and petrol. It is essential that you are properly prepared for such journeys that take you through such areas.