Unless you’re keen on cruise ships, you’re going to have to fly to Australia. The main international airport is in Sydney, but Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Cairns also receive a lot of international flights.
Getting between some cities takes days rather than hours. Buses are a cheap and popular way of getting around and most areas are well covered. Greyhound (www.greyhound.com.au) buses operate all over Australia.
There are some legendary train journeys, like the Ghan (from Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin), however journeys like this are for novelty value rather than time efficiency, and are costly. CountryLink, in the eastern states, is much better value for money. The other interstate railway service is run by Great Southern Railways.
It can be affordable hiring a car or van with friends or pitching in to buy your own wheels. Private transport, hired or purchased, is the ultimate way to go, but make sure a vehicle is roadworthy before putting the foot down on a never-ending road.
Flying in Australia can be very cost effective and brilliant for saving time on the road (Sydney to Cairns in four hours rather than four days). For domestic flights, see Qantas and their budget airline Jetstar. Virgin Blue, Qantas’ main rival, is also worth checking out, as is Regional Express.
If you’re travelling to Tasmania, it is also worth considering The Spirit of Tasmania, which sails between Sydney and Devonport, and Melbourne and Devonport.