Terrigal, 90km north of Sydney, has been a coveted holiday destination along the Central Coast since the early 1800s. A waterfront location ensures travellers can spend plenty of time honing their beach fishing and surfing skills, unless they simply prefer to walk along the shore towards the town’s landmark headlands. But modern enjoyment hasn’t been forgotten, for Terrigal is also home to fine dining establishments and a series of boutiques. Holiday rentals around Terrigal come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s definitely something for your family or group.
You’ll find Terrigal on the southern side of a 4km-long beach, the end of which, closest to town, is lined by tall, swaying pine trees. Terrigal boasts a Mediterranean feel, but the swell of the waves is distinctly Australian! Terrigal’s main beach is a great place to learn to surf, with Central Coast Surf School on shore. Experienced surfers may prefer to head slightly out of town, to Wamberal or Terrigal Haven. Terrigal Beach is patrolled year-round, ensuring safe swimming conditions for the whole family. On one end, a small rock pool adds something for children to do. Locals and visitors may wish to catch their own dinner by fishing from the beach.
If you wish to venture further from shore, why not go for a dive 1.4km from the coast, where you’ll find the remains of the Ex-HMAS Adelaide? Terrigal Dive runs tours out to the wreck 5 times a day and offers the option of discovering a number of additional diving sites amidst the Central Coast reefs. This is a great group, couple or family activity.
Alternately, discover some of the area’s lagoons. Terrigal Lagoon is situated right behind the main beach, an easy walk for a change of scenery. In fact, at high tide, sea water fills the sandy lagoon afresh. Bring the kids for a walk around the lagoon and stop to feed the ducks. Wamberal Lagoon is situated to the North of Terrigal and is surrounded by a nature reserve of the same name. This lagoon is much larger than Terrigal’s and is home to various endangered bird species. Here, visitors can take in a stunning fusion of coastal and bush scenery.
Terrigal is best experienced outdoors and discovered on foot. Visitors may enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Foreshore Reserve, a leafy stretch with views of Terrigal Beach. More ambitious walkers prefer the 4.5km walk from Kincumber back into Terrigal via Glasson’s Trail, which takes you through a variety of native forests. This trail gives visitors a good idea of what the hinterland is like around Terrigal. The path leads through the Kincumber Mountain Reserve and offers a number of points of interest, including Honeman’s Rock and Collin Watters Lookout. Finally, a short hike up to The Skillion, a protruding headland adjacent the main beach (and definitely Terrigal’s most recognised feature) will provide walkers with panoramic views over Terrigal and the ocean.
Take a break from your activities and indulge in a hearty meal at one of Terrigal’s 26 cafes and restaurants. The town harbours several award winning establishments, including The Cowrie, often described as one of the best seafood restaurants in New South Wales. Not only can patrons enjoy a variety of seafood dishes, but the restaurant’s location, in the hills, ensures sweeping views of the coast and ocean beyond. If you seek to dine out more affordably while still benefiting from water vistas, take a stroll along the Esplanade, where you can find any type of cuisine you crave.
When it comes to shopping of all sorts, the Crowne Plaza is the place to go. The ground floor of the hotel harbours over 10 boutiques and several art galleries. A number of shops are individually owned, providing a delightful alternative to big labels for the fashion-conscious. You’ll find ladies’ and children’s clothing as well as toys, jewellery and home artefacts.
Art connoisseurs will want to check out either KAB Gallery, which focuses on collectible art, or the Neal Joseph Galleries, considered the best on the Central Coast, which showcase everything from impressionist paintings to traditional works. Even if you’re simply looking to window shop, both galleries provide a great opportunity to get a feel for Terrigal’s artistic side.
If you’re a surfer, an avid bushwalker or simply appreciate beautiful scenery, you’ll understand why Terrigal is the ultimate beach holiday haven- and has been since the first Europeans settled in the area. Soon you’ll see that when it comes to quiet holidays close to nature with all the amenities of a big city, you can’t do better than Terrigal.