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International drivers need to remember our vehicles are right hand drive. Before leaving home ensure your licence is valid in Australia.
To be able to drive in Australia, it is necessary to have a driving license with you when driving. If you can show you are a tourist in the country from overseas and your license is in English, you will not need to get any special permits. If your license is not in English, you will need a translation of your license with you when driving.
Seat belts must be worn by all passengers. Driver must ensure this is done.
Driver Fatigue is very prevalent when you drive long distances. Stop and rest every 2 hours.
Fuel may not be available. Always check or carry supply.
Road Trains will amaze you they are so long. Allow 1km of clear road ahead to overtake. And get out of their way.
Dirt roads can be very dusty and obscure your vision. Watch for whirly winds that can pick up stones.
Unfenced roads may have cattle grazing . Wildlife abound especially early morn and dusk.
For more tips on driving in Australia see my Australia page review
Updated Jan 13, 2013
Zig arranged our outback troupie vehicle hire through Thrifty. As far as I know we didn't have a problem with them. So if you want to hire a 4 wheel drive to go outback, then Thrifty is the place to check out.
We also rented our bus for the big weekend from Thrifty, so if you are planning to hire a bus....then they will be able to help you also.
Written Jun 21, 2008
We travelled to and from Darwin from Perth 2 different ways.
We went with Virgin Blue via Melbourne to get there as this was the cheapest option.
And we travelled straight to perth via Qantas on the way back.
If I had to compare both....I would take the Virgin Blue option. I will be reluctant to fly Qantas at all from now on as the food is crap....but I always knew that....and now you have to pay for the grog!...Well that did it for me!! .....Qantas is not the flash alternative it used to be! Not any more!!....and if it comes down to service & nice food....allbeit that you have to pay extra....then Virgin Blue wins hands down!!
Written Jun 21, 2008
We rented our car in Darwin from Hertz. We all had a day or two after the big vt meet to have a look around so we decided to share the cost.
We had no problem with Hertz and considering some problems people have with car rentals wanting to pin everything on you.....I don't have a problem with recommending this mob.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
This is certainly the fastest and probably also the cheapest way to reach Darwin. You won’t see much en-route, but the long miles are soon gone. Darwin is served by all four major Australian domestic airlines (VirginBlue, Tiger, Qantas and Jetstar), as well as by regional and some international airlines.
As usual though, there is something of a catch. For airline scheduling reasons, many flights arrive in Darwin very late at night and depart at ridiculous hours of the morning (our flight departed at 0220, and the terminal was full of passengers waiting for other flights). It’s all related to curfews in places such as Sydney, and the airlines wanting to keep the planes flying – so the long haul flights to and from places such as Darwin (with no curfew) become overnight runs – and those red-eye flights are where you will find the discount fares.
Written Jun 1, 2008
Taking the train to Darwin involves travelling on the tourist-style “New Ghan”, intended more as a drawcard in its own right for train enthusiasts, rather than as transport. The transcontinental railway was finally completed in 2004. only about 120 years after the idea was conceived. Although the line was intended mainly for freight, it seems that most freight is still carried to and from the south by road transport – but the railway trip, known as “The Ghan” after the original passenger train from Adelaide to Alice Springs (on a completely different line) is now a roaring success.
The “Ghan” we watched pass must have had over 25 carriages, I didn’t count. It runs twice weekly in each direction, with the fare options ranging from a “daynighter seat” for $710A to $2975A for “Platinum Class”. We’re not talking of a European style high speed train here, the “Ghan” leaves Adelaide at 1220 in the afternoon, then rolls into Darwin at 1730 on the afternoon two days later, after travelling 3000km across the continent.
If you’re a train enthusiast, you can find all the details here or book online. The “New Ghan” was named after the (locally) famous original Ghan which for many years ran from Adelaide to Oodnadatta, where it was met by ‘Afghan’ camel drivers to take goods onward to Alice Springs. The line was later extended to Alice Springs, but closed when an entirely new set of tracks was built in more suitable country – and the current “New Ghan” uses the new tracks.
Updated Jun 1, 2008
This is when you find out that Darwin’s a long way from anywhere! Darwin is 4000km from Sydney, or Perth; 3700 from Melbourne, 3400km from Brisbane and 3000km from Adelaide. If you work on the basis that you’ll be lucky to average 100kph for an eight hour driving day (800km), you’ll be looking at about a five day trip from Sydney: and that’s without taking any time for sightseeing on the way.
If you drive, of course, you will be in excellent company. Road trips have always been very popular in Australia and in recent years, upon retirement, many retirees have taken to doing the leisurely ‘big trip’ around Australia that they have promised themselves for years. There are so many that they are collectively known as “Grey Nomads”. It’s far more a ‘lifestyle’ thing than a financial one – this is more about seeing Australia, rather than finding an inexpensive living option: many of these people buy the latest in caravans and tow vehicles before heading off into the distance.
Updated Jun 14, 2008
Well my trip from Adelaide to Darwin was a long one of nearly 3000 kilometers and I must add that it was a really enjoyable journey...being a person who loves train travel and whenever the opportunity arises will always opt for this type of travel..and as these tickets were on special I jumped at the chance...I decided to break the journey in Alice Springs as I wanted to visit ULURU National Park and Wartarkka National Park.( a most fantastic place to see).the five day break in the journey enabled me to do this...then I boarded the train once again for the rest of the trip to Darwin..such a long train ..so many carriages etc.must be nearly a kilometer long...The train trip I found to be most comfortable ..with dining car serving good fresh large portioned meals at a very reasonable price compared to other train journeys that I have been on..there is plenty of room to move about and there also was a lot of interaction between the so many different nationalities of travellers on board.I find train travel to be so good as one can get up and walk around on such a long journey with many parts of the train to utilise..unlike busses or Aircraft that can be so cramped for long periods...There is a lounge car that has outlets for PC's and also recharging points..and many choose to sit and chat also in the dining car which sells good food and all forms of drinks....so easy to sit and look out the windows at the vast changes in the landscape.. from the vast wheatfields of South Australia to the arid desert scenery of the centre and the beginning of the tropical vegetation in the north.The trip from Alice Springs to Darwin is one of about 26 hours and about 1500 kilometers.The train makes a stop at Katherine for around four hours for everybody to either visit Katherine Gorge (Nitmuluk National Park) tours are organised on train..or ..spend the time in Katherine..The difference in temperature upon arrival in tropical Darwin was really such a change from the minus temperature experienced in Adelaide's wet winter cold..Also some people decide to transport their car on the train and then drive back...I can only say that I recommend this trip to anyone wishing to travel to the Red Centre and then on to Darwin..one of the worlds great train journeys.
more on these train journeys on my Adelaide and Alice Springs pages..(see transport tips)
Tickets were purchased on special from Great Southern Rail.
Updated Jan 3, 2012
Phone: reserv.(aust) 1300 657 045
if your in darwin and wanting to get around by public transport try one of Darwinbus's local buses. Cheap and reliable although sometimes they seem to have a habbit of not picking up passengers. Passes for 10 trips or day passes can also be purchased.
Adult 1 day $5, 7 day $25
child $2.50, $12.50
no student concessions and all tickets can be purchased at interchanges, darwin, nightcliff newsagencys, winnellie 5 star supermarket, and tourism top end
Written Jul 13, 2004
Phone: 08 8924 7666
There is a good public bus service to get you around Darwin. Travel is cheap with a 3 hour ticket $2 or an all day ticket $5. Pensioners or Australian citizens holding a Seniors Card obtain Free Travel.
Updated Aug 28, 2009
Phone: 8924 7666
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