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Why carry an IDL while driving in Australia?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information.

It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Australia highly recommends an International Driving License.

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1. Apply Online

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Top Destinations in Australia

Planning where to go in Australia can be overwhelming. The country is huge and has a lot of great natural wonders and world-famous cities. Besides, there are nineteen World Heritage Sites in Australia. So where do you go? The best way to experience a new place is on foot. The second-best way is in a car with you driving a car rental.

An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) helps you translate your native driver’s license information internationally, into English, especially when it is in another language. With regards to where to get an international driver’s license in Australia, you can do it online.

Top Destinations in Australia

Trusted websites such as the International Driver’s Association can get your IDP processed and shipped to you within 24 hours when you’re in the states. If you are from outside the US, this will be shipped within 30 days. However, you may get your digital copy within 2 hours normally or 20 minutes, if you’re in a hurry, for only $30.

Once you have your IDP, begin preparing for your trip to the following top destinations to experience in Australia.

Sydney

Modern, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan, Sydney should be on everybody’s list to visit when they come to Australia. With fantastic beaches and the Blue Mountains practically on its doorstep, you will fall simply in love with the Harbor City if you enjoy the great outdoors.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Sydney is from September through November and from March to May. During these months, the city offers visitors comfortable temperatures and manageable tourist crowds.

Also, airline prices fall during these seasons, which makes it more affordable to visit in the spring and fall. And since Sydney is in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney’s warmest weather and peak tourist season fall between December and February, which is winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Consequently, the region’s low season begins in May and lasts through August.

When is the worst time to go?

You should probably avoid going near the holidays – from Mid-December to early March. School holidays are from mid-December to the end of January. Hotel rooms would be pricier and scarcer. Plus, the beaches will be crowded.

What can I do in Sydney?

Visit the Sydney Opera House, the city’s most famous landmark. Here you can watch live performances and you can even dine in the restaurant, called Bennelong. The Harbor Bridge nearby is the perfect spot for taking photos. You can climb the 134-meter high harbor Bridge and enjoy a panoramic view of Sydney and the sea from the top of the bridge.

Visit the Rocks, Sydney’s heritage district, where hundred-year-old buildings stand alongside modern galleries and cafes. Go to Bondi Beach: with its surfing and relaxed vibe, you will surely enjoy the trip. And for a different view of the city, go for a kayak in the Sydney harbor.

Check out also the city’s restaurants. Sydney’s food and drinks are among the best in the world. Dine out at one of the popular eating places, like Quay. Sydney also is famous for its shopping malls. You can go shopping with your loved ones.

What makes Sydney famous?

Sydney is famous for many things, but the landmark that put the city on the map is the world-famous Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece of 20th-century architecture. Today, it is one of the busiest performing arts centers in the world, staging up to 2500 performances attracting an audience of about four million. It is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Can I drive to the spot?

Yes, you can. There are tour packages that offer 3-day tours of the city, car included. To know more about this, look for tour companies or you can rent a car. However, you need to bear in mind that, although you have a native driver’s license, it is highly advised to have an International Driving Permit in Australia. For if your country driver’s license is not in English, the international drivers license or permit in Australia will translate your essential driver’s license information;

What is the historical significance of Sydney?

Sydney, besides being the site for the Harbor Bridge and Opera House, is important in Australian history because it is here that the first settlers in Australia landed. Named after Lord Sydney, the British home secretary when Captain Arthur Philip and the First Fleet arrived in 1788. The Aboriginal people, however, have lived at the harbor for at least 50,000 years before Philip landed at Sydney Cove as the site of Australia’s first penal colony.

Uluru

Uluru is located deep in the heart of Australia’s Red Center; it is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country. It carries an immense significance for Australia’s indigenous people. Uluru rises 1,142 feet (348 meters) above the surrounding desert plain. It reaches a height of 2,831 feet (863) meters above sea level.

The monolith is oval, measuring about 3.6 kilometers (2.2 miles) by 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) wide, with a circumference of 9.4 kilometers (5.8m). The Rock changes color according to the position of the sun. It is most visually remarkable at sunset. Caves at the base of the rock are sacred to several aboriginal tribes and contain carvings and paintings.

When is the best time to visit Uluru?

May to September is the best time to visit Uluru. This is due to the area’s weather. Extreme weather during summer means scorching heat, while in the winter, you will have to contend with temperatures that drop precipitously every night. The weather is much more bearable from May to September. Moreover, the colors of The Rock are much more vibrant during these months.

When is the worst time to visit?

Summertime, which is during December, January, and February, is the worst time to visit Uluru. The temperature can be unbearable during the day. From June to September is also not a good time to visit. These months are the busiest for tourists, especially those from the U.S. and Europe. This period always guarantees huge crowds, as well as peak prices for flights, tours, and accommodation.

What can I do in Uluru?

The best time to see Uluru is during sunset and see - as the sun dips in the sky - the colors of Uluru transform in the shifting light. Also, a great way to appreciate these sacred sites is to join a tour led by aboriginal guides and rangers. You can take a walk around Uluru, and follow the Aboriginal ancestors’ footsteps on one of six established walks around The Rock.

You and your companions could also experience the three-course Sounds of Silence dinner at Uluru. Sip sparkling wines and take tiny, dainty, bites of canapés from atop a red desert dune as the sun sets and watch Uluru change colors.

There are also hiking and camel tours around Uluru. You can also ride around The Rock in your vehicle and drink it all in.

What makes Uluru famous?

For thousands of years, locals have called it “Uluru.” However, in 1873, a British-born explorer (William Gosse) “discovered” it and named it after the then premier of South Australia, Sir Henry Ayers. Henceforth, Uluru was known as “Ayer’s Rock.” Then, in 1993 it was renamed “Ayer’s Rock /Uluru.” In 2002, they reversed it so it became Uluru/Ayer’s Rock.

About 250,000 people come from all over the world each year to experience the natural and cultural wonders of Uluru.

Can I drive to Uluru?

You absolutely can. It’s recommended that you drive to Uluru. The drive to Uluru is one of the most amazing experiences you can have in your driving career. Of course, it would take meticulous planning. After all, you’d be taking the drive of a lifetime.

It would take you about thirty hours to drive from Sydney to Uluru. Don’t go non-stop, though. Take restful breaks, because the way to Uluru is part of the adventure. There are so many interesting and beautiful things to stop and see along the way.

From Sydney, the road you’ll be taking is well-paved, so you don’t have to take a four-wheel drive as it is not necessary. A standard sedan will do. Just make sure you have enough fuel and have an ample supply of food and water.

What is the historical significance of Uluru?

The Rock is considered sacred by Australia’s indigenous Anangu people. According to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park website: “The Central Australian landscape (of which Uluru and Kata Tjuta are an important part) is believed to have been created at the beginning of time by ancestral beings.

Uluru and Kata Tjuta provide physical evidence of feats performed during the creation period…Anangu believe they are the direct descendants of these beings and are responsible for the protection and appropriate management of these ancestral lands.” Uluru is also named as one of the World Heritage Sites.

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. It is also one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Two million people from all over the world visit each year, making it the most popular tourist attraction in Australia. Tourism from the Great Barrier Reef generates around $6 billion for the Australian economy each year, with hundreds of thousands of people relying on the reef for their income.

It is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometers (1,400 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 sq. km. (133,000sq mi). The Great Barrier Reef was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981.

When is the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef?

The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is from June to October. Many people consider this the optimum time to visit to avoid the wet season and avoid the stinging jellyfish. The waters during this period are the clearest, so this period is perfect for diving.

When is the worst time to visit?

You probably would want to avoid the rains and the stinging jellyfish, which could be dangerous. That would be the period between November and May when the water is also murky and would result in a not-so-enjoyable diving experience.

What can I do in the Great Barrier Reef?

You can ride on a small cruise ship, which can sleep around 40 people on boats 35m long. You float around the channels and caves, islands and cays just absorbing it all. You can also do scuba diving or go snorkeling. You can also go on one of those boats with a glass bottom.

What makes the Great Barrier Reef famous?

The Great Barrier Reef is not only the world’s largest living reef system, but it is also the largest living structure on Earth. It is so large that the structure can be seen from space. At 344,400 sq km, the reef is almost the same size as Japan or Italy.

This coral system was formed by microorganisms called coral polyps for thousands of years. The reef is home to about 1,500 species of fish, 3,000 mollusks, 6 species of sea turtles, and thirty species of whales and dolphins.

Can I drive to the Great Barrier Reef?

Yes, you can. You can plan a road trip called The Great Barrier Reef Drive. You would start from Cairns to Cape Tribulations, in the process experiencing two World Heritage Sites side by side. Some of Queensland’s most famous spots are also along the route, like national parks and luxury resorts. The distance covered would be 140 kilometers and can be done in 2 hours and 40 minutes. However, if you want to make an adventure out of it, you can stretch your trip to five days and fully explore the beaches, rainforests, and national parks.

What is the historical significance of The Great Barrier Reef?

The original occupants of the Australian continent, the aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders have known and explored the reef for tens of thousands of years. The Great Barrier Reef’s cultural and historical significance has largely been documented through paintings, songs, and stories passed down through generations. Today, there is a concerted effort to save the reef from climate change and pollution.

Important driving rules in Australia

There are many ways of traveling and exploring when you’re in Australia, but for adventurers, traveling by car is the way to go! Road tripping is fun with a friend, partner, or family, but it can also be fun driving solo, too. However, driving solo presents a few challenges of its own. Either way, driving is an excellent way of traveling in Australia. Below is a list of tips for driving in Australia as a visitor.

Regarding your driver’s license, you should be able to drive in Australia with a driver's license from your country for three months, if the license is in English. If not, you should get an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) from your home country. You will also need to get a Driver’s License from the state (Australia has six states) in which you intend to drive if you intend to drive longer than three months.

If your foreign license does not have a photo, you will need to carry a formal identification with you, like a passport.

Driving on the left side of the road

Foreign drivers must also remember to stay on the left side after they have turned. This is the standard driving side of Australia. This is strictly implemented in Queensland Australia along with the presence of your International Driver’s License or permit. Do take note that making a left turn during a red light while driving in Australia is strictly forbidden. An exemption is however applicable, only if there is a sign allowing it.

Right-hand driving

Australian cars have right-sided driver’s seats, so if you are used to left-hand drives, better get used to driving from the right side. Remember that the oncoming traffic will be coming on the side of your right shoulder.

Slow lane

If you are driving on a two-lane or more road, slower-moving vehicles are required to stay in the left-most lane. Right lanes are used for passing.

Speed limits

Residential and city limits are typically between 50 and 60 kilometers per hour (31 to 35 miles per hour); country roads and highways have speed limits between 100 and 110 kph (62 to 68 mph).

Drinking and driving

Do not drink and drive in Australia. It is illegal to drive in Australia if your blood alcohol level is over 0.5%.

U-turns

It is illegal to make a U-turn at an intersection unless there is a sign permitting it. However, U-Turns are permitted in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

Fuel

Except in major urban areas, gas stations are few and far between. Furthermore, many rural gas stations are closed at night and in the early morning, sometimes even on Sundays. Plan accordingly.

In case of an emergency

The Australian emergency number is 000. Police must be contacted in the event of an accident involving injury or death. You can contact a roadside assistance group in the event of an automobile breakdown. Each state and territory have their own.

Enter roundabouts clockwise. By entering roundabouts on the left (clockwise), you give way to the right. Be careful, though: there might be drivers who won’t slow down, so pay attention when approaching roundabouts.

So, do you need to drive with an international driver’s license in any Australian zip code?

To sum it all up, yes, especially for tourists. If you want to know how to get to drive through western (Perth) or southern Australia (like Victoria, South Wales, etc) without the police stopping your enjoyment during check posts, an International Driving Permit is necessary. The IDP treaty that Australia adheres to is the 1949 Geneva Convention. If your IDP is processed in the prop 1949 Geneva Convention format, then you are also permitted to Drive in Japan.

Before anything else, to know where to get an international driver’s license or permit in Australia, you may get it online from the International Driver’s Association. The international driving permit converts your original native driver’s license language into an English translation. If your IDP expires while you’re in Australia, you can easily have it renewed with the same international driving license or permit requirements. Same as when you lose it, you can get it processed.

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