Thanks guys! We are currently staying in Melbourne at the moment trying to find a vehicle. As soon as we get one, and get it outfitted, we'll be heading to Adelaide to see one of my buddies I played baseball with back in college. We're planning on staying there for maybe a month or two and then working our way east all the way up to the NT. We don't have a firm plan as to where we're going to stay but we aren't big city people and want to see as much of the country as possible.
Here's our requirements:
1. Automatic, under 17k total, including basic accessories for extended touring.
2. Vehicle will be our daily driver and needs to be capable off road. We don't plan on doing any extreme off-roading but want to be able to get into some remote places. I plan on doing some bowhunting while I'm here and want to get up into the mountains of VIC for deer and the NT for buffalo.
3. Vehicle has to support a roof top tent as we plan on doing a lot of camping and potentially living out of our vehicle for extended length trips.
4. I like the idea of a wagon over a ute just for the fact that it's more enclosed for storing valuables. But I am very much open to a ute. It's more important to me that the vehicle is reliable and can be services and maintained throughout the country.
5. We only plan on keeping the vehicle for a year, maybe two if we extend our visa. But we will be doing a lot of driving, mostly highway and bush.
Based on my research so far it sound like the Toyota Landcruiser and Nissan Patrol are both highly recommended vehicles for off road touring. I've also heard good things about the Hilux, Ranger, and Colorado.
I sincerely appreciate any and all advice that you guys are willing to give. I know you get these questions quite a bit and I thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy post and providing your insight, it means a lot.