So here is my dilemma.
I came to Aus in Sept on WHV and was pretty lucky to land a job almost straight away, so I have stayed here for 5 months saving up as many pennies as possible so I can fund the rest of my travels. I leave my job in less than 2 weeks (24th Feb)
My mum & sister are now coming over for a holiday at the end of march which means I only have 4 weeks between now and then to do the east coast, and I have to meet them at Surfers and then come back to Sydney with them for the last 5 days (as we have family here to visit)
So my question is, do I fly from Sydney to Cairns and travel downwards from Cairns until I get to Surfers, OR should I try to head north from Sydney - Cairns and do it all in 4 weeks?
Firstly, I am worried I wont get to do everything I wanted to do in 4 weeks, as I had originally planned to spend a lot longer on the East Coast (maybe get a temp job etc), and secondly if I head South will I find that the majority of people are heading North?? CONFUSED! :/
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated
Can't you go north from Sydney after your family has left? Or go north together with them (and then fly to Sydney from however far up you've gone)? Early March is still very much part of the Wet season up north, and together with the short amount of time you'd have, I'd strongly advice thinking about alternatives. (Maybe fly to Adelaide and travel east from there instead? Or even go see the west coast?) That said, you can get an overview of the highlights in four weeks, so it's not completely impossible. Assuming you'll remain in Australia after your family has left, I'd still recommend taking your time, and only doing a short part of the east coast, flying down and back up from where you'd left just for your family's visit. Flights should be cheap enough that this shouldn't be too big a barrier.
I think most people who will be travelling the east coast would be doing that south to north, going very slowly, so as to only go above Brisbane from mid-March onward.
I agree with Sander. If possible travelling around Cairns is best done in the Australian winter after your family leaves in mid march. In the 4 weeks leading up to this you could fly to Adelaide or Melbourne and make your way up to Byron Bay.
If you have no choice and you're leaving soon after your family does, it would seem flying Sydney to Cairns and then travelling down the coast will fit better with your plans.
So far the wet in Cairns hasn't been very wet. But who knows with the weather right? So flying straight up to Cairns and working your way down sounds like the best plan. 4 weeks should give you plenty of time to hit the main spots. And like others said the south to north migrate doesn't really start until later in the year. That's such a well traveled route you'll always find people going in both directions.