• The Billabong Guide to Terrigal, NSW Australia

by Global Designer for Patterns and Prints, Luke Taaffe

Terrigal is a classic beachside town on the NSW Central Coast Australia, only an hour north of Sydney and one hour south of Newcastle. It’s a picturesque part of the world, with some amazing surf spots nearby and is the epicenter for the best restaurants & nightlife in the area. Although somewhat of a sleepy town back in the day, the proximity of the town to the big cities makes it a popular destination to tourists, locals and anyone travelling up or down the East Coast of the state.

Where to Eat: Depending on your budget and taste, Terrigal’s Esplanade will keep your belly full. From award winning Seafood & Thai restaurants, to the convenience of the many cafes by the water, the area is extremely popular for locals & tourists alike. If you want to keep it simple, grab some fresh fish & chips from ‘The Snapper Spot’ and take it down the sand. Keep in mind the seagulls will be watching every mouthful!

Where to Stay: The Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza is the biggest hotel in town and overlooks the beach, pools and a famous beer garden. If you are on a budget, there are plenty of Airbnb's in striking distance to all the nearby beaches and shops.

Where to Mingle: There are plenty of good places to mingle in and around Terrigal, but the pick of the spots is the relatively new addition, Rhonda's Bar. Local owner Ty Van Emden has built a unique space with an incredible design that draws a crowd who can appreciate good food and cocktails. The upstairs bar and lounge opens up a little later in the evening and if you're looking for Terrigal's finest women, this is the place to find them.

Where to get an ice-cold beverage: The beer garden or as its commonly know by locals as the ‘Beery’ is the only spot to go. It’s a massive outdoor bar area at the base of the Crowne Plaza and directly across the road from the beach. Bands commonly play right through the weekends and it can handle massive crowds!

Where to meet girls: With the best bars, clubs and restaurants on the Central Coast, it's only natural that Terrigal attracts the best looking girls in the area. Rhonda's Bar on the weekend is the pick of the crop for a smaller atmosphere and the Beer Garden across the road for the sheer numbers.

Where to surf: The Central Coast is famous for its sand, points, reef breaks and has bred some of the best riders in the world including Ace Buchan, Wilko, Shane Powell & Ross Clarke Jones. Depending on your skill level, you may end up getting the best pit of your life if you do you research & jag a good swell! Generally speaking, the majority of beaches next to Terrigal love a northeast swell. On a big south swell, look to the southern corners of the beaches or head out to ‘The Haven’ which is a right point about 200m off Terrigal Beach.

Where not to surf: The beach at Terrigal is somewhat protected from the southerly swells so its generally smaller than Wamberal which is the northern end of the beach. Unless there is a great northeast swell running down the coast, best not the surf here as there are plenty more nearby spots to choose from.

Final Tip: If you end up scoring one of the many reefs on a good day, have respect and don’t roll up with a party of five.