The scenic Terrigal Beach, on the NSW Central Coast, Australia is just over an hour drive from from Sydney and is missed by most travellers, generally because the main north/south freeway bypasses this beautiful area that has plenty of stunning beaches, natural bushland, and happening surf.
Terrigal Beach was a favourite hang out of mine when I was finishing up school and into college. We spent a day out there last Sunday and had a fantastic time re-exploring this gorgeous Aussie beach town. If you are taking the East coast travel route swing your car down Kariong mountain and make Terrigal Beach your first travel destination.
Terrigal Beach, NSW
Terrigal Beach is a small cove that generally has very calm surf conditions. The boardwalk wraps around the beach to Terrigal Lagoon and Wamberal Beach and in the opposite direction to Terrigal Haven.
The beach is lined many boutique shops, cafes and restaurants which get extremely busy during the weekend and summer days and of an evening.
Terrigal surf club is a great spot to sit and have a coffee. For lunch we recommend grabbing some fish and chips and finding a patch of grass or sand to sit and enjoy them. There may even be a surf carnival for you to watch while you do.
Terrigal Beach Lagoon
Where Terrigal and Wamberal Beach meet, the calm and gentle waters of The Lagoon lies just behind a small strip of sand. The Lagoon is a good spot to hire paddle boats or even the latest craze – stand up paddle surfboards. You don’t just have to paddle surf in the lagoon, you can carry your board over the sand to take it out on the ocean as well.
Apart from being a great spot for jumping into the lagoon, the bridge that connects Wamby to Terrigal also gives you great views out to the Haven. Just across from the lagoon is Terrigal Pub -a local’s favourite.
Just a short 5 min walk up and around the corner from Terrigal Beach is the Haven, a much quieter spot for a picnic, a play with the pelicans or a swim (although I don’t like to swim here with the moored boats and pelican itch). The Haven is also a popular spot to learn how to dive. There is a fish and chip shop here and one fancy restaurant/cafe.
A small walking path takes you around the small hills beside the Skillion and offer fantastic viewing points out to the Pacific Ocean and back to the Haven. The Skillion is a very steep bluff and famous landmark you can walk or run up for views of North Avoca beach- the surfing beach around the headland.
As a child, I loved to roll all the way back down the Skillion and so of course I just had to encourage my own child to roll on down the Skillion this time. There are beautiful views of the Haven and the perfectly placed rugby field on the roll back down.
Crowne Plaza Terrigal
Or as an old local like myself still likes to call it, Peppers. Crowne Plaza Terrigal is the place to hang out and who can’t see why. It’s location opposite the beach gives you gorgeous views, the beer garden is huge and gets completely packed out, music often plays outside and the atmosphere is buzzing. It is an expensive place to drink but there are plenty of good looking men you may be able to convince to buy you a couple. This was the place for us to hang out in our last year of school and why we were at Uni- Thursday night was Peppers night. Ahh to be young again!
Travel Destination: Terrigal Beach NSW Australia: The facts
Where: Just north of Sydney on the NSW’s Central Coast
Getting There: If driving take the Gosford exit from the F1 and follow the signs to Terrigal Beach. It is about an hour and a half drive. You can also catch the train from Sydney to Gosford and then a bus- 10 km from Gosford
Getting around: Your feet! Terrigal is a small town and everything you need is in walking distance.
Where to stay: You are not going to find many budget options in Terrigal.There is a YHA backpackers just back from the beach, and although it looked a little run down it may be your only option for affordable accommodation right near where all the action is. Dorms start as $25pp
Budget Tips: Look for happy hour specials in some of the small bars that can be found in the side streets. The Pub often has $12 lunch specials or specials on certain evenings.