I was going to write a brief summary, but i got into it so i though 'bugger it.. i'll write an essay ;)
I was only there for 10 month... nowhere near long enough...
If there is one tip i could give you, its buy your own transport. car, station wagon, van.. anything... although you take a risk if you dont know anything about fixing cars like i did... but you do learn.... and if you get a good car... you have no worries. we had a van from 1984 and only had one problem with it. we spent 5000 bucks between 3 of us for 10 months use, then sold it for 3000! so got more than half our money back! well worth it. you pay triple that for buses, planes etc and dont see anything. there is so much freedom with your own car. you can go anywhere without planning or thinking about times and booking transport.. if you feel like leaving some place, you do it there and then... or if you want to stay longer the or stop some place to take pics - its the best.
I arrived in cairns in november and went as far north as we could with the van... to cape tribulation. Then we travelled down the east coast to sydney for christmas and new year... if your there for christmas.. i recommend byron bay. the best place for me on the east coast... surfing, music, party and relaxing. look it up in the net :) go to sydney for new year. after sydney we went to the blue mountains, canberra then back out to the coast and down around the corner all the way to melbourne. THE BEST city in australia. stayed there for about 3 weeks then i went back to sydney for 2 month to work as a graphic designer which was amazing... got to know some great places to go on a night out.
i traveled back to melbourne to meet my friend and his mate who we travelled along the great ocean road to adelaide. there we met two girls that wanted to come with us to darwin, straight up the trough the middle camping all the way. it took us 5 weeks to get to darwin... stopping at all the places along the highway.... uluru (ayers rock), kata tjuta, ***Kings Canyon***, mataranka, devils marbles, daily waters, katherine gorge and litchfield. we missed out kakadu because it was the wrong season to be going without a four wheel drive... but i think this place is a must!! even if you have to rent a 4x4 for a few days.
after darwin it was time to work, so we took two days to drive to Kununurra a very small outback town in western australia. most of the movie 'Australia' was filmed here... thats so so weird because its so out of the way.. nobody goes there. we stayed here for about 14 weeks in all... picking melons and pumpkins on a farm... probably the best time of my trip. its the most stunning and typically 'australian scenery' around here (the kimberly area). highlight around here are the sunsets in whyndam, the grotto, el questro and the **gibb river road** you need a 4 wheel drive for this too, so we rented one for two days... didnt see much of it at all but was totally worth it for what we saw. you need to check this out on the internet - gibb river road.
after kununurra all my friends had left and i was with the van on my own... i advertised a lift offer to darwin and lucky me; 3 girls said they would come with me to share gas, food etc. i aimed to get to perth in 5 weeks and saw everything on the west coast we needed to... karijini national park, broome, exmouth, ningaloo reef, monkey mia, kalbarri national park, the pinnacles and a shit load of other things.
so after 5 month of living in a tent i got to perth and sold our van... sad times. i wanted to go on a bus tour of the south west but time was running out and i had to fly back to melbourne to catch a plane to new zealand.
parts i didnt see which i wished i had are; flinders ranges, snowy mountains, the blue lake, Wilson's Promontory, nullabor crossing, esperance and wave rock, south east australia, gibb river road, bungle bungles, wolf creek, kakadu national park, arnhem land, mount isa, table mountains, cook town, cape york, a great white shark dive near Adelaide, and so much more i dont know about. :( oh and tasmania ;) - i cant really comment on those because i aint been, but you should look them all up.
the best places i went:
east coast & Queensland:
port douglas*** - a small holiday town for rich aussies - do great barrier reef tour from here if you can... one of the cheapest and one of the best.... the further north you are the better the reef is.
cape tribulation - an amazing beach with rainforests, cassowaries and crocs
daintree - a crocodile river trip here is a must - its cheap and its probably the closest you will get to wild saltwater crocs.
airlie beach - a young party town
Whitsunday's*** - you can hire a yacht with a skipper and travel around the islands or take a skydive... see my vid for that;)
noosa - a small rich holiday town
town if 1770 - a small village on the beach with a bar, a shop and a campsite
New South Wales
byron bay*** - a true aussie place
nimbin - look it up :) i cant explain in words
blue mountains*** - like the grand canyon but green and blue ;)
jenolan caves - some amazing caves and light-shows
batemans bay - fishing village where you can rent a bbq boat for a day - music, sun, beer, bbq and fishing...
merimbula - LOTS of wild kangaroos
malacoota - one of the best beaches ive seen - blue waters white sands and colorful fish in just a few inches of water.
philip island - surfing and penguins
melbourne*** - the best city BY FAR... my fave place in melbourne is fed square
torquay - the original surf beach... they have the world pro here every year - try to see that if your around.
great ocean road*** - one of the best drives in the world
Adelaide - the most relaxing city i went to.. what i thought australia was going to be like before i went.
coober pedy - a place where they filmed mad max, pitch black and some other movies... everybody live underground becasue its so hot and they are very weird.
the breakaways - an amazing place to see the sunset near coober pedy
uluru (ayers rock)
kata tjuta - equally as impressive as ayers rock and in the smae park
kings canyon*** - one of the best places in oz for me... lots of dingos and more sunsets over never ending valleys. beautiful.
alice springs - if you want to buy proper aboriginal stuff
daily waters - an amazing outback pub, campsite and guesthouse
devils marbles - rock formation
mataranka - natural hot pools and free!
katherine gorge*** - an amazing campsite with wild kangaroos and campfires- and one f the best canoe trip on oz is here.
litchfield national park*** - waterfalls, termite mounds and swimming pools
Darwin - you Must go to Mindil Beach nigh market for the sunset and the market is also amazing. plus an outdoor cinema on the beach
Kununurra*** - a prober outback town - you can get a plane or helicopter ride over the bungle bungle from here - or stay here to visit lots of places around.
Lake Argyle*** - the quietest place ive been.. the largest man made lake in thew world.
Broome - young surfing party town
Karijini national park - older then the grand canyon and the best gorges ive ever seen in my life.
Ningaloo reef national park******* - My fave place in australia over everything. We stayed here only 3 nights & camped on the beach. we watched the sunset every night with red wine and everybody else on our camp site... about 20 people. as the sun goes down you can see whales jumping up out of the water with dolphins most nights. we also saw over 200 kangaroos here in the space of a 40 mins car ride - impossible to go over 15k an hour. the reef here is 10 times better than the barrier reef so if you can only see one - this is it. It costs 8 bucks a night to camp and probably about 10 bucks to rent some snorkeling gear. the reef is about 2 to 3 meters from the beach and you can snorkel over the top among the fish. very shallow. it compares with a 250 buck tour and a 2 hour boat journey to the barrier reef only for 2-3 hours of diving. at ningaloo with the reef being so close to the surface the colors of the coral are so much better than the great barrier reef you also see and get closer to more types of fish.
monkey mia - see wild dolphins up close - you do have to pay as its a national park though. not the best but you do see some amazing dolphins and if your lucky a baby one like we did.
Kalbarri national park - probably one of the best walks i did in australia. and check out 'natures window'
Pinnacles*** - some amazing rock formations
Perth - a rich aussi city - the most isolated city in the world.
freemantle*** - surfing, music, young people, bbqs and pot ;)
if you have any q's let me know... more than happy to help.