My parents (non-hunters) are living there (Melbourne) and have the mount. They say there are a bunch of rules and customs issues with shipping "animal parts".
Any tips or advice where to start in getting it shipped back? can it be checked in luggage?
I got a buffalo shipped back about a year ago. Wasn't a big deal, but there was some vet paperwork certifying that it was clean, then I had to do the paperwork on the US side - I used a broker and got about $700 in clearing charges that I probably could have avoided if I had the time to get a port exemption permit (not needed if you live near a wildlife port) and meet the customs agent for inspection. Not as bad as getting stuff back from Africa, but wasn't like bringing something back from Canada.
Customs have no idea of what you need. Talk to the top!!
I do not have any contacts with local outfitter/taxidermist. I went on a free range hunt with a local, son of one of my parents friends there. We spot and stalked a couple days and ran dogs with his club one day. I got this medium sized 24" stag stalking. Its an amazing place! He boiled the skull for me and my parents picked it up.
Is there a way to take it in checked luggage and personally clear it through customs?
You should be able to get both of these from South Pacific Taxidermy for a reasonable cost. Website is on previous post. You should definitely check requirements with your Fish and Wildlife department as the rules do change from time to time and they are liable to confiscate or ship the antlers back to Australia if paperwork is not in order.
If you get stuck PM me and I will see what I can sort out for you from this end.