Driving in the outback

Your Guide to Western Australia 

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It's pretty much inevitable that you'll be spending many hours on the road if you're journeying around Western Australia. Driving your way around is incredibly rewarding and means you can control your itinerary and journey. However, visitors to Western Australia often underestimate the vast distances between towns in regional areas, so please be familiar with the following before you head out to tackle the outback!

In Australia vehicles travel on the left-hand side of the road and are right-hand drive. Petrol stations are plentiful in Perth, many open 24 hours. In rural areas major roads have trading stops at regular intervals. It is very important to plan your refuelling, as the outback is a pretty harsh place to run out of petrol!

Head HERE for maps and self-driving itineraries for each of the regions.

And HERE for some useful four-wheel driving and caravan towing tips.

car hire

Rental vehicles are available from numerous locations throughout the state including air and rail terminals. Cost is determined by the location, the type of car and the rental period requied.
Compulsory third party insurance is included.
Minimum rental age is 21 and a premium may be charged for drivers under 25.
4-wheel drive (off-road) vehicles and fully-equipped caravans are also available for hire.  

myaree car hire

Myaree Car Hire helps you see more of Western Australia, with a wide range of vehicles from small cars to family sized wagons, trucks, campervans and people movers. Airport delivery can be arranged and GPS is available. See more of Western Australia. Book online from their website above.

driving laws

Overseas driver's licence holders must carry their licence with them when they drive.
Seatbelts must be worn by all people in the car at all times.
Small children and babies need to travel in an approved infant restraint device, car hire companies can help you with this if you aren't travelling with one.
It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .05 or higher; random breath testing is conducted throughout Western Australia.
Make sure you check the speed limit, signs are posted. Most suburban roads are either 50km/hr or 60km/hr; the upper limit for country roads is 110km/hr. Speed cameras are used around the state.

road signs

All distance signs in Australia indicate distance in kilometres.
Green and gold route markers indicate roads which are part of the National Highway System, showing the most direct routes between Perth and Adelaide or Darwin.
Look for the white-on-brown tourist roadsigns which indicate areas of significant historic or scenic interest.

outback driving

When planning a route through isolated outback areas make sure you carry plenty of water (at least 5 litres of water per person per day) and adequate food and fuel supplies.
Advise someone of your route, destination and expected arrival time.
If you have a breakdown do not leave the vehicle under any circumstances.
Wildlife can be a hazard to drivers, particularly around dawn and dusk.
Road trains (large trucks towing up to 3 trailers) can be over 50 metres long and 2.5 metres wide so extra care should be taken when overtaking; allow for at least a kilometre of clear road ahead.

Get tips about four-wheel driving and towing HERE

driver fatigue

Drivers are most at risk of fatigue between midnight and 6am when alertness is at its lowest point.
Tiredness can affect you on short journeys as well as on long, straight country roads. So if you feel yourself getting tired, stop and take a break.
At participating roadhouses throughout Western Australia you'll find coffee stops where drivers receive a free cup of coffee. During peak travel periods such as Christmas and school holidays Driver Reviver stations around the state offer refreshments to encourage drivers to stop, revive and survive.