To get your chosen wave, the one you REALLY want to get at its best, you need things to go your way.
Ideally, you can start booking your Indo strike around 5 days out. This is when the probability of the forecast is very much in your favour for what the expected swell height will be. If it is possible to leave it until the storm hits real time, 00 hours, this is no longer a forecast as the storm is generating swell but swell that is going to hit in 3 days or less! This gives you 3 days to book and travel to your destination. As you can imagine, a lot of places in Indo take two days to reach, so making the call on the forecast is often unavoidable.
For the Pacific, the time from REAL time to expected swell arrival is even less, often 2 days. The storms are closer and generally the swell more powerful. So we do rely heavily on the weather models to make the call, comparing different models and usually, if it is a big powerful storm, the models will match quiet closely.
East Coast to West Cost in Australia is also like night and day when it comes to forecasting. The West is quiet reliable and easy to forecast as the storms are heading toward the coast. As for the East Coast, it is much trickier. Cyclones, East Coast Lows, Long Range East Swells and South Swells provide our gold. These systems have much more variables and a lot of the time can shift, straighten and weaken in a day!
Depending how keen you are, it's a good idea to document your swells. Capture the maps and digits (height, period and degrees) - this way you can compare future swells at your favourite strike zone. Warning - it can become addictive !!