I'm going to be travelling East Coast Australia from October to early March, starting in Sydney and finishing in Cairns..
However, I'm not one to be restricted by a schedule so i'd quite like the freedom of going where I want when I want which may result in me leaving from somewhere else other than Cairns.
I do need to book my flights though. What is a good option for booking flights that won't be too damaging to the bank account?
I'm also wondering how far in advance should I be booking hostels.
I'm doing a month in Europe in 5 days time so would quite like to get Australia up and running before I set off to prevent any complications!
Would be good to know if anyone else is going to be in Sydney around middle of October.
Other than for NYE, I don't think you'd need to worry about booking hostels more than a few days in advance for that stretch in that direction during those months. Especially once you get up above Brisbane from December onward, you'll be entering the wet season which they have up north, which means low season for hostels, so I doubt you'd have any trouble finding somewhere to stay.
Oh, except I realize just now, for Schoolies! You'll want to be avoiding all the popular spots on the East Coast from 21 Nov through 5 (and in some places even 12) Dec, as hordes of party-happy just-out-of-high-school-ers will be descending upon them. Do your research and be somewhere else in those weeks!
Have a look at webjet and skyscanner. They are 2 of the best sites to compare flight prices on.
Hostels are fairly busy from October onwards as it's coming into Sydney summer. So I wouldn't delay too long.