I'm travelling solo from the UK to Australia (possibly to Sydney), hoping to got early October and so far only Visa is sorted.
I understand people booking hostels for Christmas and New Year early, but while travelling around the rest of the time, can you just turn up to a hostel and book in then or do you still need to book ahead?
The last time I went down the East Coast I started off in Cairns and you could just turn up and find somewhere no problems at first, but as I made my way down the coast it gradually got busier. And by the time I got to Noosa it was safer to book in advance.
I also had hassle finding somewhere to stay in Brisbane (the hostel I booked at overbooked) and Byron Bay was quite busy as well. So I'd say it depends where you're going but some places it's definitely best to book in advance.
You also have to watch out if there's any festivals or sporting events on, e.g. Melbourne Grand Prix, or Byron Bay has a festival.
I usually book my first couple of nights and then once you're there you can ask other backpackers how busy certain towns are and also for hostel tips on where is cool to stay.
I'll do a little google search on the events/festivals happening.
Everywhere is busy in Australia at CHristmas time! We spend Christmas in Byron Bay & it was so much fun. Very cruisey & lots of beach time (when it stopped raining), and partying (all the time! ).
I have heard that Sydney fireworks are unbelievable though. And some people I met spent christmas at bondi beach and loved it.
You will have a great time no matter what you do.
Found it very busy and crowded in March and April, would definitely make some reservations.