Hi. In case anyone was wondering about riding in Australia, I have been doing so for a while and I have a few facts and figures.
1. Licensing. Australian states honour Canadian licenses, including motorcycle licenses. If you have a learners it is not recognized. If you have passed your skills test but not your road test, you will be limited to either 250 ccs or a LAMS approved bike, depending on the state in australia you go to. LAMS bikes follow a power to weight ratio, so a Kawasaki KLR 650 is ok, but a Suzuki SV650 is not.
How long you can ride on your Canadian License varies by state, in Tasmania its unlimited, unless you become a permanent resident of Australia, others, such as here in WA, it's 3 months.
2. Riding. They drive/ride on the left here. While driving on the left has been a learning curve for me, riding never has given me any problems. People have been killed here forgetting (esp. after a bunch of fast curves) so I attached a sticker to my instrument panel to prevent me forgetting. The controls on a bike are universal. Just remember throttle hand to traffic and don't wave at other bikers.
3. Roads. Roads in Australia are not as well built as Canadian or especially American roads, but they don't have frost here so generally the roads end up the same condition. Loose gravel is common, and many rural paved roads are actually chipsealed, not really paved. The roads tend to be engineered better than Canadian roads with constant radius curves, etc. Tasmania is considered the best motorcycle state, followed by Victoria and New South Wales. Western Australia, NT and South Australia have straight roads and no hills.
4. Laws. No left turn on red lights is the biggest one. I have caught myself accidently violating this one here and in England. Lane splitting is legal but only if traffic has stopped. In the year I have been here, I haven't seen anyone lanesplit, but it's apparently common around Sydney.
Roundabouts are also common, the rules being slightly different to the rules in the UK. Here, you yield to anyone right of you in the roundabout or about to enter the roundabout. Roundabouts don't tend to work nearly as smoothly here as they do in the UK.
No passing is allowed on the left (you can't pass someone hogging the fast lane by using the slow lane). Again, wide variation here. People get rather irate about this in Victoria and NSW but don't seem to care here in WA.
All pavement markings are white, making the marks dividing a two lane road the same as those dividing the lanes on an expressway. Be damned sure what kind of road you are on, especially since highways go from 2 to 4 lanes frequently.
Motorcycles. There is a much larger selection of sport and naked bikes here, but few cruisers or heavy tourers. Generally if a bike is available in Europe, it's available here.
For example, Honda still sells the VTR1000 and RC51, Blackbird, Transalp, Deauville, 919 and 599, and the CB1100 (a naked musclebike) here as well as the CBR's and VFR's we get in Canada. For cruisers, however, Honda only sells the 750, 1300 and Goldwing. The other Jap brands have similar strategies. Many Japanese bikes have different names here.
Aprillia, BMW and Ducati as well as Triumph have a stronger presence here than in Canada. Harleys are rare and very expensive.
Law Enforcement. Generally, if you get pulled over for anything, expect a massive ticket. Speed cameras are common, especially around cities, and also incur massive fines. Example, 45 km/h over the limit = $1000 fine, 3 month vehicle impound, 1 year loss of license (for car too) and a new road test. This occurs even if you got caught by photo radar.
The good news is that speed limits are much higher. Rural speed limits in most of Australia is 110 km/h on 2 lane sealed or gravel roads. In Tasmania I rarely broke the speed limit as almost all roads are too curvy to maintain even 80 km/h. Also, Australia is sparesly settled, so get out of town and you are lucky to see another vehicle, much less a policeman. Finally, I have rarely seen the police actually pull someone over, they usually let photo radar take care of speeders. That means outside major cities you would have to be extremely stupid to get a ticket.
Costs. The Australian dollar is about 0.85 or so of the Canadian Dollar. Motorcycles are relatively expensive, however, oddly, European Motorcycles are comparatively less expensive. Expect to pay $19,990 for a brand new CBR1000RR and about $16000 for a CBR600RR. Budget and naked bikes are considerably less. I paid $4000 for my used 1998 GSXF750 Katana with 55,000 Kms, so prices are higher. Ducati monsters used are not much more than an equivalent Jap bike and Aprilias are quite cheap used. YMMV. 250's are quite cheap and there is a much larger selection.
Petrol (don't call is gas, that's what they call propane) is about $1.39.9 /L. Diesel is about $1.59.9 /L and propane (gas) is about 0.55 /L.
Insurance works differently here. The number plate stays with the vehicle for its life. You need to register a bike or car to make it legal for the road. Registration (rego) is about $700 / year in Tasmania and higher in other states. You are legal with just rego, as it pays all medical costs for all accidents. Additional insurance is relatively cheap. Liability and theft cost me $350 / year for my Katana. Note I didn't have collision.
You can't get rego back, so when you buy a vehicle the amount of rego left on it can affect the price. A vehicle with 11 months rego on it transfers to you as the buyer, i.e. you won't have to pay rego for 11 months.
Transfering a vehicle into your name is incredibly easy. All you need is ID and an address, you don't even need a valid license.
So, if you are planning of moving to Australia or visiting long term, I hope that information is useful. If not, sue me for what you paid for it.