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The Wallabies Share Their Top Travel Tips

The Wallabies Share Their Top Travel Tips

We caught up with Scott Higginbotham, Luke Jones, Sean McMahon and Tom English from the Wallabies over a round of bagels and smashed avo at Melbourne’s Thousand £ Bend. Billy Joel hummed from the speakers overhead. Tom English was really digging ‘The Longest Time’. They were kind enough to share their favourite hometown and travel tips with AWOL.


Favourite suburb in your home city?

Sean: (Brisbane) I like the area I live in, Clayfield. It’s pretty chill, it’s close to the city where you go out
Tom: (Sydney) For me, it’ll have to be Cronulla. It’s close to the beach, a nice little area.
Scott: (Brisbane) I like the West End, sort of New Farm area.
Luke: (Sydney) Probably where I grew up, Wahroonga. They call it God’s Country. I’m not sure why, that’s just what it is.

Favourite breakfast place in Melbourne?

Sean: Probably the best place I’ve had breakfast is Cafe Azul (Richmond), the corn fritters.
Tom: For me, it’ll have to be the Roller Door Café in West Melbourne. It’s a nice little establishment with really nice sandwiches.
Scott: Breakfast Thieves, over in Fitzroy. That’s a good place, they do thick cut ham instead of bacon.
Luke: I’d say Top Paddock in South Yarra. It’s pretty hard to get in though, you always have to line up.

Favourite place to go out and celebrate a win? On and off season?

Sean: That’s a tough one, do I just name them all?
Luke: Leave some for us.
Sean: Jeez, where’s it been lately? Probably Richmond Club after a game, it’s nice and close. And for off season if I’m in Brissy, I’d say Fridays, in Melbourne I’ll stick to Richmond Club or CQ or something with a bit of music.
Tom: Richmond Club, or the Prince Alfred. That’s pretty cool. On our time off, maybe the College Lawn on a Sunday with live music.
Scott: I like the Bridge Hotel, it’s quite a decent pub. A bit different.
Sean: That’s that open air one?
Scott: Yeah.
Luke: Definitely Prince Alfred. They look after us there at the start of the year. I live around the corner, I always go there for Stone & Wood on tap and pork sliders. They’ve got plenty of good options there.

All time favourite place to swim?


Sean: Probably just the Gold Coast. Anywhere along the beach there – it’s always sunny.
Tom: If I’m back home I’d have to say North Cronulla beach. They’ve also got some nice cafés there.
Scott: In the summer months in Melbourne I like Middle Pier in Brighton, near the dog beach. That’s a great place to go swimming.
Luke: I’ll say my pool. Get the right temperature and the speakers out. Living the dream.
Tom: What address is that?
Luke: [Laughs]

Your hidden gem of a place?

Sean: Dandenong Ranges.
Tom: I’d say Roller Door Cafe again, it’s tucked away with around ten seats in the joint.
Scott: There’s a place I like to go on Brunswick Street (New Farm) called Ponycat. It’s a good spot, great honey baked ham.
Luke: That does sound good. There’s a cafe on Como Park where you go through the park into this big house and there’s a café, it’s a bit random, I go there during the week when it’s quiet.

Favourite place to treat yourself with an expensive meal?


Sean: Probably just a big rack of ribs and chips to treat myself. Meat & Wine Co. does a good ribs, and Lido in Brisbane.
Tom: I’d have to say ribs as well. Either at the Beaufort on Rathdowne Street in Carlton, or the Leveson in North Melbourne.
Scott: I go to a place for a pre-game meal on gameday called Thirty Eight Chairs on Chapel Street – a bit of pasta and authentic Italian. It’s a good place.
Luke: If I’m back in Sydney my mates and I go to Manly Grill, they do good ribs. We make a night of it – it’s cheap and fun.

Thinking more overseas now, what’s your favourite hotel gym?

Sean: Probably Dubai, the Crowne Plaza there. They just do everything bigger and better in Dubai. They’re always trying to beat someone.
Tom: What was that one we stayed at in London?
Scott: The Kensington?
Tom: Yeah the Royal Garden Hotel, in Kensington. It’s pretty special, it backs onto the park there.
Scott: I’d probably say Royal Garden as well.

Favourite country to play rugby in?

Sean: Probably now, I’d say Twickenham in England, and also Millenium Stadium in Wales.
Tom: I’m going to say Argentina. I went there in 2010 and it was really cool. The lifestyle was great and the people were nice.
Scott: It’s pretty hard to go past playing in Australia at Suncorp Stadium. I like playing in Italy too, that’s probably my favourite place.
Luke: If the weather’s really good, Twickenham. I love it.

What are your best tips for long haul travel?

Sean: Big one – being comfortable, get some nice PJs or some trackies, throw those on straight away, don’t hesitate. Make sure you have your own headphones, you don’t want the dodgy ones.
Tom: When you’re getting your headphones, make sure you get the jack adapter, otherwise you’re working off one headphone. And for long flights, sleeping tablets. Eat first, then have one.
Scott: Sleeping tablets, and staying up the night before is a good one, as long as you get sleeping tablets.
Luke: Come prepared with an iPad or laptop in case you’ve seen everything on the flight. If you have a few flights in a row you end up seeing everything, so come with some backup. Get super comfy, always put on the Qantas pyjamas, and bring some Bose noise cancelling headphones, and like Tom said, get the jack adapter. Nothing better than putting that straight into the system. Also be awake for the meals, especially if you’re flying business. Make the most of the luxury of the food and the seat.

 (All photos: Kristoffer Paulsen)

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