Terrigal

Terrigal Central Coast

Terrigal is a popular coastal town in New South Wales, Australia.

It's located 90 minutes north of Sydney, making it a favourite holiday spot for Sydneysiders.

We love Terrigal for its beautiful beach, calm lagoon, cute shops, lively nightlife and trendy cafes.

Enjoy swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing, snorkelling or scuba diving.

The beachfront is lined with majestic Norfolk pines, and there's a walkway leading to the Haven and the famous rock formation called 'The Skillion.'

The name 'Terrigal' comes from the Aboriginal words Tarriga or Tarragal, meaning 'where one can find wild figs' and 'place of little birds,' respectively.

Check out our guide below to make the most of your time in this stunning part of the Central Coast!

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Things to Do in Terrigal

1. Swim at the Beach

Terrigal Beach Swimming

Terrigal Beach is at the southern end of a 4 km long stretch of sand. Wamberal Beach is in the middle and Spoon Bay is up north.

Lifeguards are there to keep you safe between September and April.

Have a great time swimming and riding the gentle waves.

If you've got little ones, they can also take a dip in the small rock pool at the southern end of the shore.

Also, if you prefer calm water, you can swim at Terrigal Haven opposite the main beach. The sheltered cove is perfect for small children. But it's unpatrolled. 

2. Go Surfing

Surfing is popular here.

Experienced surfers venture off the point or head to Wamberal Beach, while  beginners prefer the smaller waves closer to the shore.

If you're interested in taking surfing lessons, consider checking out:

3. Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

The area offers some cool spots for scuba diving and snorkelling.

Places like the Haven and Skillion are worth exploring. The sand flats and seagrass there provide a home for various species, including fish, seahorses and crabs.

And you can also dive into the Ex-HMAS Adelaide. It used to be an Australian warship. Now, it's sunk off Avoca Beach to create an artificial reef, making it another fantastic dive site.

4. Cast Your Line

You can reel in snapper, flathead, jewfish, kingfish and certain tuna types in offshore waters. A boat ramp is located at the Haven.

You can snag bream, tailor, salmon, jewfish, flathead and blackfish from the shore.

The sheltered area of the Haven can be good for catching squid, bream, tailors, blackfish and frigate mackerel.

The lagoon is another fishing spot. 

For an adventure-packed experience, book a trip with one of the fishing charters:

5. Boat on the Lagoon

The Lagoon offers a scenic setting for boating activities.

Bring or rent a paddleboard to explore the lagoon's tranquil waters. SUP is an excellent way to relish the peaceful surroundings. You can hire stand-up paddleboards at Terrigal Paddle Boats

Kayaking around the lagoon is another great way to connect with nature and spot wildlife.

And in case you're wondering, it's safe to swim in the lagoon if the weather has been dry for the past three days.

6. Walk to Terrigal Haven

Terrigal Boardwalk

Take a short and scenic coastal walk from the beach to Terrigal Haven.

Follow the boardwalk starting from the Esplanade then head to the lookouts on Broken Bay for uninterrupted sea views. From one of these lookouts, you'll have a clear sight of the town and the coastline right in front of you.

If you have a pet, feel free to bring them along. There's a designated off-leash area for dogs.

Keep walking and be prepared to climb to the summit of The Skillion...

7. Climb the Skillion

The Skillion is an iconic landmark in this town. It's a prominent cliff with a scenic lookout at the top.

Walk to the summit and bask in the spectacular views. The stairs and the handrail make the ascent easy.

From the top, you'll see Wamberal and Terrigal on the left and Avoca Beach on the right.

Watch for humpback whales during their migration from May to November.

8. Shop at a Local Markets

Explore local markets to find one-of-a-kind handmade crafts, fresh local produce, and unique items.

Terrigal Beach Markets occur on the first Saturday of the month at the beachfront. You'll find fashion clothes, candles, jewellery, soaps, relishes, chutneys and more.

The market is in a great spot right beside the beach.

Additionally, The Car Boot Sales occurs on the first Sunday of the month at Lions Park from 6:30am to 12:30pm.

9. Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre 

The Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre is an educational hub that celebrates the marine life and ecosystems of the region.

Through interactive displays, you'll learn about the local aquatic environment.

It's an excellent place to visit with children.

Little ones love seeing sea animals, touching some creatures in one of the basins and learning about the local marine life.

11 Terrigal Dr.

10. Go Whale Watching

Enjoy whale watching in Terrigal.

On the east coast of Australia, Humpback Whales migrate from May to early November.

It's incredible to see the whales travelling from the Antarctic to warmer waters and the mothers heading south with their new babies.

Terrigal Ocean Tours gets you up close to the migration route, where you can watch the whales as they slap their tails.

Read more: Best attractions on the Central Coast 

Read more: North Avoca (next beach south)

Read more: Wamberal (next beach north)

Terrigal's Best Dining and Bars

There are many outstanding cafes, restaurants and bars in town.

It’s the place to go on the Central Coast for fine dining. Below are some locals’ favourites.

The Cowrie Terrigal

Bellyfish cafe ($) is a beachside cafe where you can savour local, organic food and espresso. 112 Terrigal Esplanade. 

Freestate cafe ($) serves ONA specialty coffee and uses local, organic ingredients. 42-44 Terrigal Esplanade. 

Mumbo Jumbo’s ($) is a Caribbean rum shack hidden on a rooftop. 92 Terrigal Esplanade.

Bar Terrys ($) puts on the menu delicious burgers and a range of cocktails, beers, wines and milkshakes. 78 Terrigal Esplanade.

Four Hands Pizza ($$) serves excellent pizza & tapas. They also have tap beers from Six String Brewing Company. 6/17 Church St.

Rhondas ($$) features fantastic Italian dishes and woodfired pizzas in a stylish setting. 5 Kurrawyba Ave.

Rajdhani Indian Restaurant ($$) is a fantastic Indian restaurants. 82 Ocean View Dr. 

Shahi Mahal Terrigal ($$) offers a mix of fresh Indian ingredients for an authentic Indian flavour. Shop 4 & 5, Crowne Plaza Terrigal. 

Hoi An Terrigal ($$) provides a South East Asian menu with a special emphasis on modern Vietnamese and Thai dishes. 18 Church St. 

Il Toscano Pasta bar ($$) specialises in authentic Italian cuisine and artisan fresh pasta. 1 Campbell Cres.

CoCo Bar and Dining Terrigal ($$) showcases flavours from Japan, Korea China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Vietnam combined with matching cocktails and wines. 88 Terrigal Esplanade. 

Swells Terrigal ($$) offers modern Australian cuisine where you can admire the sea views with a drink on the terrace. 112 Terrigal Esplanade. 

Arc. Est ($$$) is a Modern Australian restaurant that features a range of dishes from oysters to steak, with a unique 'Bali meets Byron' atmosphere. 18 Church St. 

The Cowrie ($$$) is a multi-award-winning seafood restaurant. It sits on top of a hill overlooking the beach – 109 Scenic Hwy. It’s a bit tricky to park, but you can organise for their shuttle bus to pick you up.

Reef Restaurant ($$$) offers Seafood platters and Modern Australian dishes in a stylish restaurant with large windows showcasing ocean views. The Haven.

L’isle de France ($$$) is first-rate French restaurant. 1 Ena St.

Yellowtail Restaurant ($$$) is a fine dining restaurant that blends Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Asian flavours. 1 Campbell Cres. 

Void Bar is a great bar with cocktails, craft beer and dark vibes. 18 Church St. 

Pocket Bar Terrigal is a well-liked cocktail bar with a relaxed atmosphere, and they also serve food. 74 Terrigal Esplanade.

Where to Stay in Terrigal 

If you'd like to marvel at panoramic ocean views from your room, the Crowne Plaza in Terrigal is a superb choice.

For those seeking a more homely experience, Terrigal Sails Serviced Apartments offer fully-equipped units.

If you prefer coastal elegance in a tranquil atmosphere, complete with an inviting pool and spa, consider Terrigal Pacific Coastal Retreat.

Prefer the comfort of a home away from home? The place offers a variety of holiday rentals, from cozy beachside apartments to spacious family-friendly houses.

Crowne Plaza Terrigal

Getting There

Located 1 hr 30 min from Sydney and 1 hr 20 min from Newcastle via the M1.

There's a lot of traffic here, so better find parking as soon as you arrive and walk the rest of the day (it's a small town).

Free parking is available at the multi-storey carpark on Wilson Road and at Terrigal Haven. And there's two-hour parking beside the Surf Life Saving Club. 


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