Many travelers from all across the globe travel to Australia each year in order to experience the joys and adventures of the open road. Motorhome travel has a long and storied tradition in the country, with thousands of native Australians and many more thousands of visitors heading out in their caravans and motorhomes each year. If you are planning on taking a road pilgrimage in Australia then you are definitely in for the adventure of a lifetime, but before hitting the caravan sales dealership you should make sure that you’re covered in terms of licenses and permits. Below you can find the most pertinent information that you need to know before you set out on your trip when it comes to regulations, licenses, and permits.
The most important requirement for operating, renting, or purchasing a motorhome in Australia is a valid personal driver’s license. The good news here is that this license can be issued in any country. It does not have to specifically be an Australian driver’s license. So as long as your current license in your home country is valid, you are good to go.
One thing to keep in mind is that the license must be in the English language. If you are traveling on a license that isn’t in English, however, there is an easy way to make it legal and this doesn’t require getting a new license in English. Just print out an English translation of the card and keep it with the card. This way whoever is reading and verifying your license will be able to understand the text. This is written into the laws in Australia, so you shouldn’t run into any problems as long as you have the translation with you.
Anyone operating, renting, or purchasing a motorhome in Australia must be between the ages of 21 and 75. For license holders in other countries under the age of 21, this is certainly a setback. Keep in mind, however, that in many countries this age range is even older. For example, in American one must be 25 years of age to even rent a car. So even though this law may seem harsh, it isn’t as bad as in many other countries.
Load and Vehicle Size
For anyone who will be looking to rent a large scale motorhome for their trip, you will want to check with your dealer to make sure that the dimensions of the rig do not exceed the standard vehicle regulation size. The laws for this vary from state to state and municipality to municipality, so you will need to be careful here.
Working with your dealership is key. No matter the size of the vehicle, make absolutely certain with the dealership that it will not be considered truck size in the municipalities you will be traveling in. The reason you need to tread a thin line here is that if the vehicle exceeds the dimensions for a regular motorhome it will be considered a truck and you will then be required to have an Australian trucker’s license.
Also check in with your dealership about weight amount. Of course you will already be doing this in order to make sure that the vehicle you are purchasing or renting can hold your gear, but also make sure that the vehicle and gear won’t push your operation into the truck category. The police in Australia will fine you if it does, and may even stop you from travelling any further.
Parking And Camping Permits
Much like with size and load limits, this will vary from state to state. The best thing to do is to research ahead of time. Look up the places you will be traveling and check to see what the parking and camping situations are in those areas. Of course if you will be staying in a motorhome park you will be covered since you will be paying the park’s fee.
Many areas within Australia do have free camping where you can simply park your vehicle and set up camp. Again, you will want to look up the specific area you will be traveling in to see the free camping regulations including time limits. Some areas do make you move on after a night or two, so be careful to know this information so that you don’t get a ticket.
Since many areas in Australia are very rural and remote, there is a plethora of free camping possibilities in certain regions. Just make sure you understand the specific rules in order to avoid running into any trouble. Since a caravan is considered a normal road vehicle across the country, there is no need for any special parking permits.
Like in any country, there are a variety of rules and regulations when it comes to operating a motorhome in Australia. Fortunately, the rules are relatively easy to understand and as long as you do your research carefully you should have no troubles on the roadways of this great country.