driving touring map

3 Useful maps for touring Australia

So, you’re taking a road trip? You’ve got your bags packed, a route planned and the petrol tank filled up …. Before you go, take a look at this list of maps. These will be handy to take with you, and – what’s more – they don’t take up any space in the car.

1. The National Toilet Map

toilet map

What a useful resource this is, especially if you’re travelling with young children. The map outlines all of the public toilets in Australia, which can not only help you plan your ‘driver-reviver’ stops, but means you won’t get caught out when a little person announces from the back seat “Ummm, I need to go to the toilet.”.

More than 16,000 toilets across Australia are listed, so just about every destination is covered. It is available here and as a smart phone app.

2. Google Sky Map

This map/app makes sure your drives into remote areas unspoiled by city lights are a really wonderful experience, because you can be your own astronomy guide. It helps you view constellations by name or see them on your screen, and get more information about what you’re looking at.

You’ll be seeing – and naming – stars in no time, and the kids will love it too. They might even learn a thing or two about our solar system. This is a free app, available for iOS and Android.

3. Google Crisis Map

When you’re on the road, you’ve got the music turned up and the wind in your air (or maybe the air-conditioning) … the thing is you might not really be paying attention to the news. This is why the Google Crisis Map is definitely worth having, particularly if travelling during summer, because it shows all the current fire hazards around Australia.

If you’re not sure where a fire may be in relation to where you are, then this map will tell you. It also shows road traffic, which can be helpful if there’s a major delay en route. Also look for live traffic feeds in the state where you’re driving, such as the RMS’s in NSW. Some update on Facebook, which can be worth signing up for to keep clear of danger and avoid delays.

We’ll add to this list as more practical maps and apps catch our eye. In the meantime, enjoy your trip, and don’t forget to buckle up and drive safely.

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published October 22, 2014

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