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Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

Luck, WI
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Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

Per my last post, we are traveling from Cairns to Sydney over a 22 day stretch.

I am a little worried about the driving rules (being from the US). Besides driving on the other side of the road, is there anything else that is very different that I should know about? We have already decided to avoid night driving all together. Are there any restrictions or special applications that I would need to drive a rental car in AU?

Also, does anyone have recommendations regarding which rental car companies are best for picking up on one end of the continent and dropping off on the other?

What is the condition of the roads on this trip? Do I need to rent 4WD? Are gas prices insane?

South Pole
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1. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

a few different rules:

we have lots of roundabouts. first on the roundabout has right of way.

we dont have many four way stop signs. the minor road usually has a give way sign. this means give way to everyone.

where there are no signs at intersections give way to the right.

u cant usually turn left at a red light after stopping unless there is a sign to say u can.

no need to pull over if emergency vehicles are coming in the opposite direction unless they need the room.

watch out for school zones during the week. there are speed restrictions at certain times of the day. they are signed.

be sure u stick to speed limits (random radar traps, camera cars, fixed radar cameras). and we have random breath tests. u can be pulled over anywhere for no reason. so watch the alcohol intake.

rental cars usually have restrictions on traveling on unmade roads and ferries. u have to check with the local rental branch to make sure.

almost all the major car rental companies are represented here.

u may be hit with a hefty one way relocation fee so check out who may not charge that.

road will vary on that trip from narrow two lane to freeway type conditions.

no need for a 4wd.

petrol (gas) prices should be around $a1.50L ($us6+ a gallon) but u will see daily fluctuations and prices considerably higher in remoter areas.

Edited: 30 March 2012, 22:19
Sydney, Australia
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for Penang
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2. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

in addition to the above which I think covers it well ..would suggest your travel be via the coastal highway ...have a look at Europcar they have excellent cars with office in sydney etc and you maybe lucky enough to pick up a car that some else has dropped off in Cairns and it needs to get back to Sydney etc...enjoy your trip..what time of the year will you be travelling

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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3. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

Hi,

As mentioned you don't need a 4WD just a normal sedan car. The roads are in good condition & well sign posted.

For additional information about the coastal route from Sydney to Cairns click on the links below they are full of helpful tips.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i18251-Brisbane…

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255060-c133769/Sydne…

Cairns, Australia
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4. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

The above answers have covered most of what you need to know, however I must tell you, when there's a STOP sign. STOP! Don't just slow down. You must stop altogether, the wheels must be stationary. Too many people think they can slow down, look then proceed. This is not the case, and you may find the police sitting just around the corner ready to nab you. Happens all the time in Cairns.

Also, for more info, go to

what-about-cairns-australia.com/travel-to-ca…

the page also has a iink to a trip planner

Penang Island...
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5. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

Hi schaffersm,

The roads from Cairns to Sydney are all sealed. I wouldn´t rule out driving at night. It´s generally much cooler and you will find fuel consumption more economical. Only draw back, it can be harder finding accommodation after 10pm.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

you could also look for relocation rental.. that way you wud be able to rent a vehicle for say $5/day including insurance and if your lucky that will include fuel too..

just a thought. just google relocation rental..

Nanaimo, Canada
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7. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

Another warning for NOT speeding. There have been some threads on here, one from a fellow from Portugal, another from the States, who received a huge fine in the mail a couple of months after getting back home. The rental car companies are very good at tracking their customers!

The fellow from Portugal was going 107 KM an hour in a 100KM zone. He was still "dinged" over $100.00 for this.

DO NOT SPEED!! And start converting to km while you are driving at home, just to get used to it! There are cameras all over the place! And they work!

Edited: 10 April 2012, 23:12
Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

I also agree with the above post - don't Speed... there are camera's & police on the roads & the fine is expensive !

Cradle...
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9. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

All very good advice above, but I would NOT drive at night, whether it's cooler or not. On some of the more remote long stretches of road you could encounter the wildlife. Hitting a large roo at 100kilometres per hour is not fun, could cause insurance issues, and of course it could be bad for your health.

I would say the only real car rental option you have would be to go with one of the big renters, Avis, Hertz, Budget and so on. For a 3+ week rental you should get a good deal.

You have 22 days, which is a great amount of time to drive the distance at a relaxing pace.

Safe travels - Robert

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Cairns to Sydney Road Trip -- rental car and driving advice

yes..me ol mates ..roos..are well known for hopping along side you as you drive down the road and then make a sudden turn across in front of you and BANG...they also will just dart out from the side of the road and again BANG

Sunset and sunrise is when they are mostly on the move ..BUT you can meet up with them during the dark of night..with thousands of Ks I have travelled on outback road and higways ..have never drove after dark ..better to be safe than sorry..enjoy your trip

Edited: 11 April 2012, 01:48