Visitors to NSW

Are you visiting NSW? This section provides information you need to know about NSW roads and road rules.

The law in all Australian states is for motor vehicles to keep to the left of the centre line.

Driving on the left

Unlike many countries, the law in all Australian states is for motor vehicles to keep to the left of the centre line.

While in Australia, always remember to drive on the left.

Look to the right first when you are about to cross the road. After checking in both directions to make sure that it is safe, walk straight across


Crossing the road in Australia

Because cars are driven on the left throughout Australia, when you are about to cross a road, look first for cars coming from the right. Visitors can forget where they are and simply look for cars coming from the direction they are used to back home.

So remember to look to the right first when you are about to cross the road. Then, after checking in both directions to make sure that it is safe, walk straight across the road.

Walk across on the green walk signal once the traffic has stopped

Signalised crossings

Where possible, use the nearest marked signalised pedestrian crossing and walk across on the green walk signal once the traffic has stopped.

You should continue crossing if the red signal begins flashing when you are making your way across. Sufficient time remains for pedestrians to complete the crossing, however you shouldnot begin crossing the road when the signal is flashing red.

Drivers and pedestrians

Drivers must always give way to pedestrians if there is danger of colliding with them, however pedestrians should not rely on this and should take great care when crossing any road.

In particular, both drivers and pedestrians need to be careful and look out for one another around shopping centres, schools and parked cars, at night or in wet weather.

Sydney motorways

There are more than 160 km of connected motorways for motorists travelling in and around Sydney. Most of the motorways on Sydney’s orbital network are toll roads, meaning you have to pay a toll to use them. All tollroads are cashless, meaning that you’ll need to arrange a tag or pass before you travel. Find out more about Sydney's motorways.

Paying tolls

Most toll roads no longer accept cash. By setting up an electronic tag or casual travel pass you can drive through toll collection points without stopping and your toll will be automatically charged to your account. Find which tag or pass is right for you.

Interstate tags

Interstate tourists and visitors can use their Interstate electronic tags on NSW toll roads.All Australian tags are interoperable, meaning that you can pay for your tolls on NSW tollroads with an interstate tag.

Rental cars

If you’re hiring a car to get around the eastern states of Australia it’s likely you’re going to drive on one of the numerous motorways in Sydney, Brisbane and Victoria.

Roads and Maritime Services has developed partnerships with rental vehicle companies Avis, Budget, Europcar and Thrifty to provide a tolling solution in all their rental vehicles so that you can pay your tolls automatically. When you pick up your rental vehicle you will be ready to drive on any toll road in Australia. Find out more about rental cars.

International tourists and visitors

International tourists and visitors driving in NSW must observe the licence requirements for visitors. You must carry your licence with you when you are driving and there is an on-the-spot fine for not having your licence with you. Your licence must be written in English or, if the licence is not in English, carry an English translation or an International Driving Permit.

The following links provide more information on driving in NSW and Australia:

Licensing requirements for international visitors

If you are not an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia you are considered to be a temporary overseas visitor. Temporary overseas visitors include:

  • Tourists
  • Business people on limited duration visits
  • People studying or working temporarily (eg working visa holders) in NSW.

Note: Special arrangements apply for New Zealand citizens. 

If you are a temporary overseas visitor and hold a current overseas driver licence, you do not have to get a NSW driver licence. You can drive on your current overseas licence as long as:

  • You remain a visitor
  • You have not been disqualified from driving in NSW or elsewhere
  • You have not had your licence suspended or cancelled, or your visiting driver privileges withdrawn.

Find out more about international visitors' licensing requirements.

If you're moving permanently to NSW, see Moving to NSW.

Public transport

The Transport Infoline website provides up-to-date information on train, bus and ferry travel in an area spanning Port Stephens in the North, Scone and Dungog in the Hunter, Bathurst in the West, Goulburn in the Southern Highlands, Bomaderry in the South and Sydney in the East.

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