Drive experiences eligibility

Australia offers a wide range of driving experiences that occur on many parts of the road network. They vary in driving time from several days to a few hours. Driving experiences are typically developed and promoted by local governments, regional or local tourism organisations or other tourism industry interests.

All driving experiences use self drive transport and utilise a combination of sign types, including existing “white on green” guide signs, “white on blue” service signs, tourist, warning and regulatory signs. These signs, in combination, form an essential part of guidance and information delivery to tourists.  The most critical in terms of guidance is the “white on green” guide signing system. The entire road network can be navigated using the directional signs currently installed.

Therefore, it is not always necessary or appropriate that all driving experiences need to be identified by extra tourist signing. Reliance on printed and electronic collateral material is considered to be a better way to communicate the route and the significance of a drive experience. This also permits changes to the route to be made from time to time.

Core criteria for touring routes

This section of the guidelines will outline the core criteria for Themed Touring Routes, Touring Routes (without a theme) and Themed Touring Routes of National Significance.

Core criteria

  • A management committee comprising members from local tourism industry organisations, local council/s, regional tourism associations and road authorities should be established. Evidence of consultation between these parties needs to be demonstrated through meeting minutes and relevant correspondence,
  • It must be recognised and supported by the State/Territory government tourism organisation and roads authority in each state or territory through which it passes,
  • It must use roads of a sufficient standard of construction and traffic safety on a year round basis to justify its promotion to the international travel and tourism industry,
  • Roads subject to seasonal closure (e.g. as a result of flooding) may be used, provided that the likely closure of the road conditions and the reasons for this are adequately referenced in support marketing material and information bays,
  • Navigation by users shall primarily be by maps or other promotional material provided by the relevant management committee and distributed along the route,
  • The theming, marketing and signing of the route shall not supplant the gazetted names of roads which comprise the route,
  • Information bays along the route, which may be denoted by the theme logo, shall be provided to support and enhance the theming of the way.

Themed touring route

An eligible themed tourist route is located within the boundaries of one state or territory and is recognised by the State/ Territory tourism organisation or roads authority of that state or territory as being of state importance. In some cases these routes may also cross state or territory borders.

Themed tourist routes have been historically promoted by the State/ Territory tourism organisations by means of maps and other descriptive literature. They may be identified on the ground by signs at significant entry points. Currently, themed touring routes are managed by industry management committees that have the support of relevant State/ Territory tourism organisations and are not within the hierarchy of tourist drives as set out in the Australian Standard.

Specific criteria

In addition to the core criteria outlined in 2.3.1, themed touring routes should meet the following specific criteria:

  • Where signs are provided, such signs shall be consistent with the policy and guidelines established by the relevant State/ Territory tourism organisation and roads authority,
  • It shall use roads of sufficient standard of construction and traffic safety on year-round basis.

Roads subject to seasonal closure (e.g. as a result of flooding) may be used, provided that the likely closure of the road and the reasons for this are adequately referenced in supporting marketing material and information bays.

Touring routes (without a theme)

This category was developed to accommodate routes that do not have a single demonstrable theme throughout the entire route. The development of touring routes without a theme may involve two or more states, in consultation with relevant State/ Territory tourism organisations, regional tourism associations, local governments and tourism industry bodies.

Applications for the development of tourist routes of national and state significance need to be supported by consumer research. They should include comprehensive plans outlining the road signage requirements and integration with visitor information services, as well as business, marketing and sustainable development/ management strategies (including financial) for the route.

Specific criteria

  • No additional specific criteria

Assessing authority

Applicants of a cross border route will be required to seek the endorsement and approval from the National Tourism Signing Reference Group, through its representative on the relevant State/ Territory tourism organisation.

Themed touring routes of national significance

A themed tourist route that is recognised by a State/ Territory tourism organization/s as being of genuine national or international interest may be designated as a themed tourist route. These routes generally cross state or territory borders, but in exceptional cases may be contained within one state or territory.

Specific criteria

  • No additional specific criteria

Assessing authority

Applicants of a themed touring route of national significance will be required to seek the endorsement and approval from the National Tourism Signing Reference Group, through its representative on the relevant State/ Territory tourism organisation

Tourist drive

The following has been adapted from AS 1742.6, Section 4

Tourist drives are selected by regional or local authorities for the particular scenic attractions and the like that they offer visitors. They may be in the form of a circuit leading visitors back to the vicinity from which they started, or they may offer an alternative scenic route to a section of the regular and more direct route.

Specific criteria

  • The route must have a high concentration of tourist product, which has  exceptional scenic appeal of reasonable frequency along the primary route,
  • The route must not be based on attractions that are strictly seasonal or  that are not a permanent feature of the route,
  • The route should be supported by collateral material, which is maintained by the management committee and available in various locations along the route, including visitor information centres,
  • It is expected that tourist drives will not occur on expressway type roads,
  • The road network and/ or local environment is suitable to accommodate the extra tourist traffic ,
  • There is an opportunity to effectively link the drive to major traffic corridors.