Me and my boyfriend are gonna travel around AUS for about 5 weeks in dec/jan. We're having Melbourne as a base and wants to go to Ayers Rock, then from Uluru to Brisbane and Byron Bay, from there to Sydney and finish up in Melbourne again. Or is it better to take it the other way around?
Do you have any suggestions on cheap flights or bus?
Cheap accomodation in Sydney, Brisbane and Byron Bay?
Can't give specifics on hostels personally, but there are loads.
Obviously you are going in the busiest period, so I would say that if there are any specific days you must have somewhere to sleep (i.e. night before a flight or similar) then try to book in advance. Sydney is one of the most favourite spots for New Year. Mind you, you could probably sleep on a beach!
Check out www.travellersautobarn.com.au
i drove almost that exact route with my family (but we went as far as Darwin) in 1998. And we also took 5 weeks to do it. its an awesome trip.
i would recommend doing it in the order that you are - the beaches second.
make sure you book uluru though because when we arrived most of it was booked out (in September)- they have camping places and hotels but everything is limited. and there is no bush for you to just camp because it is in the middle of nowhere so if they run out of space you are in trouble.
is there no way you can buy a car for the trip so you can do it at your own pace and then sell it again at the end?
that way you are not bound by buses/planes and you can sleep in the car if you want...
and you can see all the things that are slightly off-route cause it would be annoying to go that far and then not be able to travel at your whim. there are some awesome places to stop if you are in a car.
Use the BUG Australia guide, great for fining hostels, which all have ratings by back packers themselves.
In terms of cheap air fares for Australian Domestic you could try:
Virgin blue: http://www.virginblue.com.au/
Jet star: http://www.jetstar.com.au/
Or for a comparison:
Seriously though - I would certianly look into buying/renting a car and travelling that way - you'll see sooo much more of the awesome countryside and you won't have to pay for accommodation in the middle of cities just to ensure you are near airports etc. Plus, by the time you pay for a bus or taxi fromt he airport to the city - you are quickly jacking up the price anyway... (most major city airports don't have trains which run to the centre of the city)
sounds like a fantastic trip and i'm sure you'll have an extremely enjoyable trip. just another suggestion for a website that compares flights and has some good general information is www.travel.com.au. have a great time, i've travelled part of the route you're suggesting and i've enjoyed it immensley. it's all personal opinion but i thought the drive i did from brisbane to byron bay was extremely scenic and interesting, as is most of that part of australia.