Driving the Great Ocean Road as an International Tourist

Driving the Great Ocean Road as an International Tourist

The Great Ocean Road is one of the greatest coastal driving roads in the world, popular with both national and international tourists. If you’re thinking of coming to Australia to drive this iconic road, here are a few tips to make sure you have a smooth and enjoyable holiday.

Drive on the Left

In Australia, we drive on the left side of the road. And because the Great Ocean Road is such a popular tourist attraction for people from across the world, you will see signs all along the drive that remind you to drive on the left. If you’re used to driving on the right side of the road, your natural instincts of when to turn and how big of a gap you should leave may leave you in trouble – so be extra careful.

Allow sufficient time for the trip

The Great Ocean Road starts at Torquay, which is approximately 90 minutes south of Melbourne. If you’re staying in a Melbourne hotel, be sure to allow for this travel time before you reach the start of the road. It’s a beautiful seaside town and the perfect place to stop for a coffee or a snack. Torquay is also the home to famous surf brands including Quiksilver and Rip Curl.

Another thing that is often overlooked by many people is the large number of small towns, attractions and photo opportunities that present themselves along the Great Ocean Road – which makes for a rather slow pace of travel.

For most people, this will mean a night’s stay in somewhere like Apollo Bay before continuing to Warrnambool for a second overnight stay, assuming that you’re starting the Great Ocean Road from the Melbourne/Torquay end.

The worst thing you can do is not have enough time, and feel pressured to rush past all of the amazing natural attractions that you will find along the Great Ocean Road – or worse, miss them all because you’re driving late at night to reach a hotel that you have pre-booked.

You’ll need a driver’s license

If you’re in Australia on a short trip, then this can be done by obtaining an international drivers license. It’s a document that, in conjunction with your driver’s licence from your home country, will allow you to prove to law enforcement and rental car companies that you are allowed to drive a car in Australia.

Before you head off from your home country, if you think you’ll be doing any international driving, then you should order an international drivers license. They’re rather cheap, and it’s much easier to have obtained it before you leave then to arrive in a country and either finding out that you won’t be able to drive in the country, or that you’ll need to wait and deal with the uncertainty of a foreign mail system to get you that much needed piece of paper.

Most importantly, enjoy it!

The Great Ocean Road is one of the greatest driving roads in the world, and it is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip to Australia, leaving you with many fond memories that you will look back on for years to come.

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