I too am a Canuck, but an easterner. I have yet to visit BC.
Still, I have resided in 4 provinces from Ontario east. For 24.5 years I was in Newfoundland. Last summer, because I want to travel and because I had just retired, I jumped across The Gulf (of St. Lawrence) and now live in what we call The Maritimes.
I too plan to travel to Australia. I am a member of more than one forum. One whom I know thought I might like to put my $0.02 in here.
A) Shipping to Oz has a bad track record. I know of a definite case where it took more than 2 weeks to get a truck camper rig off loaded.
B) I've only investigated rental in a general way, but it has advantages for me.
C) Buying using, then selling later means you must get there first, inspect the vehicle, make your commitment, etc. and stay around after to make your sale. Or pay someone to do these things for you. Often it is difficult to get insurance for non-residents. I had thought the CMCA might be a help in this. The one advantage is that you wouldn't be worrying about miles.
I really think it's a good idea to get your paws on some books about Australia in the general sense, especially a history of the country. & some books by those who have travelled around the country. I've read one by a soul who went around the paddock, by basic means, bicycle and thumb. He was a journalist, thus the book made good reading. I know I wish I could do a hop from the east to the mountains in the west. & I know I've been reading about Tasmania for years. There is something very appealing about Tassie. Somewhere I'm going to have to sort out priorities.
Watch your weather carefully. Some parts of the year are incredibly hot. Remember it went into the high 40s on the weekend of the big burns. & that was in February or late summer. & the burns were in Victoria, which is supposed to be one of the cooler places.
Are airmiles a part of your $ planning?
Now, Europe. I too have Europe among my goals. I have heard very successful stories re. shipping to EU, especially a truck or a campervan. Roads are very narrow in EU. I am thinking about this even though my rig is a truck camper and my truck is my one and only vehicle.
& I will be doing a trip to Alaska before I go overseas. No camping trip of mine has been more than 3 weeks.
Some stuff: http://albums.phanfare.com/5025821/2218065#imageID=33016381
Start of my 2006 Labrador Trip
Articles I've done on RVing in Canada (in process of update) http://www.rvingoutpost.com/articlespecs.php?jobnum=50