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.

Current initiatives

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

 ActionsYearLeadSupportSafe System
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


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