J&B you can sail a 14 ft Hobie cat
to Cairns no problem. I did when I was 18, many many years ago when I had all the time in the world.
Ho Hum Them were the days.
Any way back to your OP. I see from your profile that you are in the Med, hence the reason for the visa question I suppose. So, then do I presume you are not Australian citizens? If so what is your nationality. That has a huge bearing on your ability to get a visa. If you don't plan to work in OZ then it is a lot easier. You will need to show enough money
to support yourself for your proposed time of stay in OZ.
I know nothing about Manitou 32's but I see there are quite a few for sale
in OZ at the moment and that JFK once owned one. So he probably knew his boats.
They look like reasonable monos and could easily get you to Cairns. If you are new to sailing and don't want to do overnight sails
- you take your time and make sure you arrive at the next town's entrance bar in DAYLIGHT & have an INCOMING tide you should have little problem, day sailing
from Sydney to the Gold Coast. Importantly, don't rush or have timetables. That's what will kill even the most experienced sailor.
Once you get to the Gold Coast (our version of Florida
- theme parks, tack, high rises, bikinis etc etc), the coast starts to head
NW (actually happens after Byron Bay - the most easterly point in OZ). Hence most anchorages
are behind headlands & are protected from the prevailing SE's and you don't have to do bar crossings except for Moolalabah entrance & the Wicked Old Wide Bay Bar at the bottom of Fraser island (need to especially plan your crossings here.)
The best books
for the coast from Sydney to Cairns are the two written by Alan Lucas. He explains about bar crossings in the NSW Coastal Cruising book. Lucas writes a column in an online cruising magazine where you can also purchase
the latest edition of his books
. There are plenty of second hand editions rolling around book shops in OZ.
The mag is well worth reading free on line for heaps of info on Oz crusing.
The Coastal Passage Home Page
Other cruisers will be more than happy to give you up to date info when you arrive. Fair winds & good sailing