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Train reservations-Perth to Melbourne

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We plan to take the Indian Pacific train from Perth to Adelaide and then on to Melbourne somewhere around end of January / beginning of February 09. How important is it to book the Indian -Pacific train (traveling Red Service-Day/night seat) far in advance? I would like to keep our plan flexible in case we want to stay in WA longer. Does it usually fill up this time of year? Also, any must do's in Adelaide, Melbourne or Tasmania? ( We like to hike, bike, beaches/water sports, enjoy history and animals.) Also, haven't researched much about how to get to Tasmania from Melbourne, but the ferry sounds fun for one way. We plan to rent a camper and travel around Tasmania for about 3 weeks. Anyone had any experiences to share? Thanks for any insight.

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