Get a Taste of Terrigal With These Tips From a Local

things to do in terrigal

Though Terrigal sits a cruisey 90-minute drive north of Sydney, many think it’s hard to get to. It’s the most common misconception about the coastal town, says Mark Roth, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific, and a longtime Terrigal local.

“There’s also a belief Terrigal is strictly a beach holiday destination,” Roth says. “That may once have been the case but certainly isn’t today. We now have a thriving food scene, boutique shops, galleries, nearby breweries and a growing network of artisans and craftsmen producing all sorts of wonderful local products.”

Terrigal has three hatted restaurants (L’Isle de France, Yellowtail and The Cowrie), while the Central Coast has six total. Gosford RSL put $50 million into a two-year development of a three-story clubhouse, featuring five culinary offerings, a brewery and a sports bar.

things to do in terrigal
Image: Getty Images

“Among all this movement, Terrigal has retained a lovely local village feel,” says Roth. “That’s a major part of its charm. There’s a real ‘coast style’, which is hard to put a finger on, but the result of a relaxed beachside lifestyle with easy access to everything you need.”

Ahead, Roth shares his recommendations for where to eat and drink and things to do in Terrigal.

Stroll the Terrigal Boardwalk

“The Terrigal Boardwalk opened in 2021 along a picturesque route between Terrigal Beach and the Haven. It’s equally stunning at night when it’s completely lit up.“

Terrigal Boardwalk
Image: Getty Images

View the Lookout from the Skillion

“When you reach the Haven, it would be a missed opportunity not to make your way up the iconic Skillion, arguably the best ocean lookout on the Central Coast. Between May to November, it’s also the perfect spot to see migrating whales.“

Shop at Terrigal Beach Markets

The Terrigal Beach Markets take over the esplanade on the first Saturday of every month. The markets are a great place to connect with local makers, artists, designers and foodies, not to mention the perfect opportunity for a meaningful souvenir or gift.“

Book a Whale Watch Tour

“If you feel like braving the waves, a trip with Terrigal Ocean Tours is an amazing way to get up close and personal with these gentle giants. Tours depart from the Terrigal Haven boat ramp, just a short walk from the hotel.“

Terrigal Ocean Tours
Image: Terrigal Ocean Tours

Swim at Terrigal Beach

“The bay between Terrigal Beach and the Haven is an ideal spot for ocean swimmers, with protection from southerly winds and swell. Keep your eyes peeled for rays, turtles, grouper and many other species of marine life.“

Try the Tasting Menu at Meribella

“It would be remiss of me not to mention Meribella, Crowne Plaza’s new Mediterranean restaurant, which we opened in late 2023. It overlooks Terrigal Beach so is a great spot to watch the sun go down while enjoying our tasting menu with matching wines. Head Chef Joshua Mason grew up in the Central Coast and returned for this restaurant, bringing a wealth of experience working in Michelin-star institutions overseas.“

things to do in terrigal
Image: Meribella, Kitti Gould

Have a Drink at Terrigal Beach House

“There are some fantastic spots for casual dining in Terrigal, too, including Terrigal Beach House, part of Crowne Plaza. It’s a hive of activity on weekends, with visitors of all ages coming for a variety of reasons: generous seafood platters, cocktails, a huge tap beer selection and live music from talented local acts.“

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