MC’s Guide to Essential East Coast Travel

We’ve all seen the news headlines—put your passports back under the mattress because international travel won’t be happening any time soon.

But as Australians, we’re pretty lucky to live on a giant island littered with amazing waves, food and booze hotspots, and isolated pockets of paradise. While the rest of the population was dealing with the hangover of isolation, our good friends over at McTavish decided to get a headstart on escaping the postcode, stacking up their troopy full of boards and hitting the Pacific Motorway south from Byron. With a stacked quiver and an entire week to kill, they hit the best spots up and down the East Coast and captured the results on their edit, Essential Travel.

Inspired by McTavish’s domestic surfing escape, we’ve put together our own East Coast hitlist (complete with where you should go for a feed, post-surf) which you can check out below. But wait! There’s more. To surf the best spots that the East Coast has to offer (in our humble opinion), you’re going to need a decent board, and that’s why the lovely folk at McTavish are giving us a brand new Phantom Limb to give to one you lucky readers. The Phantom Limb—which you can see in all its glory in the edit above—is a stringer-less keel fin design that can comfortably get you in the tube and float across dead sections in the junky stuff, and it could be yours!

To win your new Phantom Limb valued at $1,145, simply tell us what spot on the East Coast of Australia you’d take it to, followed by where you would go for a meal afterwards. Most creative answer (as judged by the editor of Monster Children, Mr Jason Crombie) wins. Enter at the bottom—but don’t bypass MC’s guide to East Coast surfing first, ya nitwit.

McTavish Store, Byron Bay

Pick up your new shooter and grab a coffee at the McTavish store in Byron Bay.

Eltham Hotel

After your first surf on your new shooter, wash it down with a schooner and a pie at the Eltham pub. The iconic West Byron venue was recently purchased by MC friends Matt Rabbidge and Luke Sullivan, and it’s the perfect place to finish up the day.

The Pacific Hotel, Yamba

We’re not going to tell you where to surf but if you can’t find waves in this zone, then you’ve got lead in your head. Again, wash the salt and sand out of your throat with a couple off the wood at the famous Pacific Hotel. Insider tip: hit the seafood stores near the harbour where the trawlers come in for some of the freshest prawns available, get some fresh bread and butter and yes, you died and went to heaven.

Crescent Head Bakery 

Surfed all morning and retired back to the car covered in fresh pastry flakes? We’ve all been there, thanks to Crescent Head Bakery. It’s an absolute must for your post-surf food coma. You’re welcome.

Coolongalook Caltex

The word ‘restaurant’ is thrown around very fucking lightly here. But hey, the Coolongalook Caltex is a known to any East Coast road tripper because there’s nowhere else that’s worth stopping for a few hours, and you need fuel and, well, you could probably call what’s on the menu ‘food’. Eat at your own risk—devil wings and chiko rolls are a prominent feature in this bain-marie.

Pacific Palms Recreation Club

I guess by now you’ve cottoned on to the fact that we enjoy a cold schooner at the end of the day. The Pacific Palms Recreation Club (also known as ‘The Reccy’) is a hot contender for one of the best post-surf schooner spots on the planet. Lay on the grass overlooking Wallis Lake and watch the sun dip below the horizon. Again, without wanting to be killed by onshore karma and flat spells during the next visit, if you can’t find rideable waves around here you must be looking at the lake.


Bypass the big wire coat hanger and opera joint and head south straight to Ulladulla. There are endless options for wind and swell directions, places to camp and of course, places to eat. Hayden’s Pies is one of those places, order two. Trust us, you’ll be going back after one anyway.


Sign up for the Monster Children Newsletter