Car Hire in Australia
When driving your hire car in Australia you may be forgiven if you think you are still in the UK as it will be a very familiar experience for any one used to driving there. You drive on the left and rental car models are also similar to those on British roads. The main difference is that distances are in Km not miles and these can be huge as Australia is a vast country. In general the roads are good and well maintained.
Sydney, the first city many think of when planning a visit to Australia, is situated in New South Wales in the south east of Australia. In central Sydney public transport, trains, buses and of course ferries, are all reliable and frequent. We offer car hire in Sydney, Australia on this site. The ferries are very much a way of life here and you can use these to get from central Sydney to the south beaches, Tarronga zoo (the zoo with a view), up the river to Paramatta, across to Manley - a charming suburban town with a good beach, and also around to Darling harbour and the Fish Market - a great place to eat shellfish, fish and chips etc. fairly cheaply. If hiring a car, then this really is the most convenient form of transport. Sydney is based around the multi fingered harbour and you are never far from water or one of the many small, picturesque, tree lined bays full of moored yachts.
Although the central business area is very modern with the usual city skyscrapers, the leafy suburbs may remind you of Victorian Britain with many houses fronted with ornate wrought iron balustrades. The sounds of parakeets by day and opossums by night, will soon remind you that you are in Australia.
In order to explore outside the city centre a hire car is the best option. To the west of Sydney the Blue Mountains are about an hour's drive away and are a must for any one spending more than a day or two in Sydney. Here you will find spectacular mountain views, "old world" small towns and dense woodlands. This is an area very prone to forest fires and you will see signs along the road showing the fire risk for that day.
Melbourne, in the neighbouring State of Victoria is within a few comfortable days drive of Sydney and the coastal road is famed for beautiful beaches and wooded hills. If you keep your eyes open you may spot some local wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, multicoloured parrots and cockatoos. Philip Island is well worth a small diversion from your route via your hire car, into Melbourne in order to watch the nightly procession of penguins returning from fishing at sea, to their nests in the sand dunes. Remember to take a torch and note where you leave your hire car as you will be returning to it after dark!
Melbourne has a very different feel from modern Sydney with historic buildings such as the railway station. Once in Melbourne you might prefer to leave your hire car at the hotel and make use of the trams around the city or take a boat trip along the Yarra River to the beach area. Melbourne really comes to life during the Melbourne cup week (November) when it is packed with race goers dressed in the latest fashions and trying to out do each other with the size of their hats.
There is an alternative inland drive between Melbourne and Sydney that takes you through the scenic Snowy Mountains to Australia's capital, Canberra.
Like most Capital cities, Canberra is an interesting place to spend a day or two if your itinerary permits, with the parliament buildings and war memorials. Situated away from the heat of the coast, Canberra has a much cooler climate than Sydney and it was believed that this would create a more "cerebral atmosphere" for the leaders of the country by those who funded the capital.