Wategos, Byron Bay: We mainly love it here because of the Northern; probably our all time favourite venue to play at. It’s weird because it’s the most relaxing town in history but still feels busy enough to feel like there’s an energy flooding the streets. But the people in Byron are just always legends and it’s just the best gee up going for a surf before a pumping gig there. With heaps of breaks in Byron, and Broken Head only a short drive away, you’re spoilt for choice. Watego’s is a personal favourite, with a beautiful view up at the lighthouse. Everyone says it’s shark central, but unlike George Greenough who’s had more encounters than he can count on one hand at this exact beach, we’ve never actually seen one. Yet.
Angourie: All time favourite, but forget we said that. A couple of years back during uni break we packed up all our gear, filled up the boot of our cars with slabs of beer and milo cereal and headed down to the creaky old Yamba town. We did this with a big convoy of our best mates and pumped our Jinja Safari CD on repeat. Driving that extra 10-minutes from Yamba to Angourie to charge the uncrowded paradise is always so worth it. It seems to fire every time it’s ridiculous. We don’t want to toot its old trumpet too hard cause its pretty low radar and we want the waves to ourselves (obviously), but it’s seriously a world class point, breaking on rocky boulders making for some long walls and heavy barrels on lower tide. Then there’s Backbeach which is super scenic and we actually filmed an acoustic, Whirlpool there one day on a separate roadtrip. Another personal favourite here is Spooky’s because it’s never crowded and on big swells you can paddle way out past the point and be riding monsters all to yourselves. How good’s a roadtrip.
Tea Trees, Noosa: This is the polar opposite of Angourie… huge crowds, small waves, but we still love it. As a band we’ve made the trek with our 9 footers many times all the way round the headland to Tea Trees. Even round to the lesser well known breaks over the headland when you’re really feeling like a bloody walk and a half. But it’s just a therapy session, cruising on small rollers for days, jumping back in the van and rolling on. It’s safe to say we’ll be stopping there on our way to Jungle Love festival to get our horrendous haircuts all salty wet.
South Straddie: If only there was enough civilisation here to be able to play a gig. There are no roads, nowhere to buy choccy milk for the boys, and everyone knows everyone cause there are basically no people either. It’s an island smack bang off the Gold Coast, so close that we once mooned the Schoolies boat party as they went past and shone their floodlight on our extremely pale butt cheeks (sorry not sorry). South Strad holds a pretty special place in the Shag Rock collective heart. It is reminiscent of easy summer days, jetty jumping and forgetting all the struggles. We actually filmed one of our favourite acoustics on the jetty there, called “Rosaline” in front of a screensaver-like sunset backdrop. The best spot for a surf though is further down the easterly-facing side, toward the Goldy, at The Spit. It’s pretty crowded on a good day, but still beats the entirety of any other crowded five-kook per wave spots on the GC. It’s always heavy though, and detonates onto the sand-pumped banks; which you can see in our video for Champagne where our mate Geoff snapped his board clean in half (worth it). Ripper break, ripper times, it’s the self-sufficient man’s dream, and there are plenty of spiders too.
Crescent Head: One of the best breaks in straya surely. With rights breaking down the point going for longer than one of our sub-par guitar solos, it’s a dream surf break. We’re yet to back this break as a whole band though, mainly because we’ve only just started doing the longer road trips way down the coast, following our three day Newcastle-and-back trip, and yet to cruise all the breaks along the way with time to spare. But rest assured, this will be a definite stop-off when we crank the huge Australian album tour, starting in February next year. I hope you’re as keen for it as we are.
Shag Rock play December 2 | Nightquarter | Helensvale, QLD, December 3 | Woolly Mammoth | Brisbane, QLD