Are you planning an Australian road trip? Australia basically screams for long drives and road trips. But even so, it’s not as easy as pie in such a vast and dangerous country as Australia. While keeping in mind the essentials, such as having enough fuel, supplies and staying on the roads, there is a little thing called road etiquette that needs to be considered. It helps the overall driving experience and you will realise how drivers out there form a community, warning each other or jsut saying hi when they happen to see another face after hours of loneliness. Here are the ultimate basics in Australian road etiquette.
Help Your Fellow Souls
]The outback is harsh and merciless, so if you encounter anyone that looks remotely as if they might need help, stop and offer your assistance. It might be a lone wanderer by the road or a car that has broken down. It might not even seem like such a big deal and that the person seems very capable and on top of the situation. But it is called road etiquette for a reason and unless you are a mind reader, you might want to double check.
Save the Roadkill
Every so often you will see roadkill lying on the street, which is bad in so many ways. Number 1: It’s sad that it happened. Number 2: It should have been taken off the road so as to prevent accidents and feeding animals from getting killed as well. Number 3: If it is a marsupial, always check for the pouch since kangaroos always have a joey and it could have survived and needs attention.
Say Hello during Your Australian Road Trip
It is lonely out there. Driving for hours or even days, the cars you will encounter can be counted on one hand and thus a happy wave to fellow travellers is a nice gesture and might brighten someone’s day. Also, in case you see the odd biker on the road, pedalling in the heat, give them a cheerful thumbs up for their efforts.
Give a Heads Up
You are mostly alone out there, but that does not mean that the road is completely deserted. Many truck drivers race down the Stuart Highway and sometimes it can even be a house. Yes, a house. On wheels. You never know who might pass by, so be wary of flashing lights and signs pointing out oversized load and drive to the far left or, better yet, come to a halt on the sideline and wait for it to pass. It would also be a nice gesture to warn others through the radio.
Stick to the Rules
A no brainer, but stick to the road rules. No racing on the straight Stuart Highway no matter how tempting. Especially no racing at night on a bike without lights (stupid dares!). If you think you are safe and that nothing would happen to you (others maybe, but not you), you should know that you are in the outback and literally miles away from any hospital. It might take 6 hours for an ambulance to arrive and take care of you since helicopters are only used in extreme cases. Don’t push your luck.
Australian Road Trip Packing Inspiration
This article on Australian road trip etiquette also appeared on Kiss from the World.