Visitors to the NT
It is estimated that around 800,000 people visit the Northern Territory on self-drive holidays each year. We want everyone to enjoy their stay and more importantly we want them to stay safe.
There are many unique challenges when driving in the Northern Territory. Over 70% of our 36,000km of roads are unsealed and our geography and extreme climate creates many challenges.
Visitors need to be aware of our different road rules (eg driving on the left hand side of the road), speed limits, driving conditions, including flooding roads and wandering animals, and long distances between rest or fuel stops.
Planning ahead is crucial for any driving trip. Road conditions can change quickly, particularly in the wet season during October to May.
Visitors represent 16% of road deaths and 17% of serious injuries. Road trauma involving visiting drivers largely occurs in rural areas.
- educational materials about safe driving in the NT is provided at Tourist Information Centres, roadhouses and car hire companies
- keep left and buckle up windscreen stickers are provided to car hire companies
- Road Safety promotion at community events and festivals
- ongoing investment in overtaking lanes and rest stops
- Check. Plan. Go. Campaign
- construction and maintenance of rest stops on NT highways
What you can do
Plan your stops and take rest breaks. Remember, this is a vast country. It can be hundreds of kilometres between water and petrol stops.
Across the Northern Territory, there are over 50 rest stops available to provide motorists a well needed break from driving. For more information go to the Northern Territory Government website.
When travelling long distances, stop every 2 hours to reduce the possibility of fatigue related crashes.
Check the road conditions. Is the road ahead clear or flooded? To check:
Always drive at or below the speed limit. The default speed limit in most major centres is 60km/h. The default speed limit on open roads is 110km/h unless otherwise sign posted.
In Australia, all vehicles drive on the left side of the road.
Trucks can be nearly 60m long. Give them plenty of room when you are overtaking them.
Don’t drive in convoys, especially if you are towing a caravan.
Relevant Towards Zero Road Safety Action Plan 2018-2022 actions
|11.1||Convert the multilingual travel planner into a user friendly mobile app||1-2||DIPL||Safe road use|
|11.2||Improve road safety information on major tourist routes, at rest stops and at points of hire.||1-5||DIPL||MACC/Tourism||
Safe road use|
Safe roads and roadsides
- National Road Safety Committee New Zealand - Visiting drivers project
- Tourism NT - information for visitors
- Road Safety Commission WA - information for visitors
- South Australia Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development - information for visitors
- Road Safety Advisory Council Tasmania - information for visitors
- Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland - information for visitors
- Transport for NSW - information for visitors
- Vic Roads - information for visitors