I've done some research and it seems there is no passanger craft (other than luxury cruises) that you can use to leave or enter Australia.
Reason being is that I've just resigned from my job as a mechanical engineer (currently 27y.o and already up for something new!), and am taking a year off on an overland backpacking trip all through asia and europe where I'll be doing some freelance travel writting and travel photography.
Travel forums describe this first leg (or last leg if you're coming from Europe) as the "holy grail" of the journey, as you need to be very lucky or dedicated to find a legal way to do the crossing.
I've optimistically contacted a new shipping container service that runs between Cairns and Port Moresby in an attempt to hitch a ride.
I've asked them that if they don't accept casual passengers, if I could offer something that would benefit them, such as photography for their new service, or just lending a hand on board.
I'm yet to receive a response from that, but as I plan to leave in around 3 weeks time, I need to speed up research into alternatives.
What are my chances of finding a willing sailing boat to hitch a ride on?
Being honest, I don't have much boating experience.
Other than sleeping in a mates old sailing boat several times when we chug his old sailing boat (apparently the oldest fibreglass hull in the harbour he reckons) from the Spit to Manly, the only recent times I've "sailed" have been a couple times when I've joined a work mate where he races just north or Sydney in Pittwater. Just your typical sailing club competition. If I needed more knowledge before jumping on someones boat I'm sure I could aways get my mate to go over the ropes with me, so to speak.
If anyone could point me in the right direction, or suggest any alternatives to this leg, that'd be very much appreciated