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Terrigal Boardwalk, Terrigal, NSW

How do you connect communities and bring them closer to nature?

Located in the coastal suburb of Terrigal on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Terrigal Boardwalk & Rockpool is comprised of a 227-metre-long raised walking platform and a restored rockpool, with a new access ramp. The project was commissioned by Central Coast Council to enable equitable access to all visitors, linking two historically disconnected public spaces, Terrigal Beach promenade and the Haven.  

Arup’s multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers developed the design of the boardwalk which provides a multitude of social, health and economic benefits for the local community. The project provides a safe, accessible route around the rocky headland, encouraging outdoor activity and creating a new attraction for locals and tourists to enjoy. 

Project Summary

227m long raised walkway

50 year design life

© Ross Honeysett
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The Terrigal Boardwalk and upgraded rockpool will deliver a great visitor drawcard to boost the region’s economy while providing a safe and inclusive space for social connection and to encourage active lifestyles. This infrastructure provides a place where everyone can participate and enjoy this popular ocean front area. ” David Farmer CEO Central Coast Council

A new community destination

Terrigal, like many other popular coastal towns, has been acutely impacted by the pandemic. This project is an important catalyst in re-invigorating the local economy, encouraging people to return to the area and experience its stunning natural beauty.  


The boardwalk is an enabler, the solution to a fragmented section of coastline and a unique opportunity to connect all people with the natural environment and each other. Seamlessly integrated into the existing coastal path network, the boardwalk is smooth and gently inclined.

The generously sized walkway allows people to move freely in both directions, pausing to chat and take in the views from the elevated viewing platform. Blackbutt decking allows barefoot walkers to enjoy the walk, even on the hottest days. The walkway is flanked by oversized Spotted Gum balustrades, concealing integrated lighting design which provide subtle illumination to the surface of the deck, reminiscent of moonlight. An access ramp links the boardwalk into the rockpool, replacing the existing stairs and enabling equitable access to the water for everyone in need of an afternoon dip.

Terriga boardwalk Terriga boardwalk

Design inspired by nature

The built form is conceived as a tangential extension of the natural coastline, inspired by the many millennia of wave and wind action on the sandstone. Its ribbon-like form delicately traces the high-water line, meandering playfully towards the sandstone outcrop and briefly hovering over the water to form a viewing platform. Continuous linear LED lighting has been integrated seamlessly within the balustrade. The handrail fixing detail ensures the light source is entirely concealed and minimises any upward spill light, directing lighting onto the board walk.

© Ross Honeysett

At the viewing platform, the timber decking makes way for a perforated floor to allow refracted light and ocean spray to penetrate, and for views into the crystal-clear waters below. The boardwalk then returns to align with the natural arc of the neighbouring bay, linking seamlessly into the existing contours and pedestrian footpath.

© Ross Honeysett

Limiting the environmental impact

The realisation of the boardwalk was enabled by a truly collaborative effort from a diverse group of Arup’s technical specialists, resolving a series of complex design and engineering challenges.  

Environmental and sustainability considerations were central to the design from its inception. Structural optimisation of the boardwalk reduced steel and concrete elements, and the deliberately limited palette of materials, mitigates its impact on the delicate marine environment – whilst delivering a resilient, long-lasting solution.

Local resources, construction expertise and craftmanship shaped the design thinking at the outset in order to ensure that the boardwalk could be operated and maintained efficiently and economically for years to come.

Lighting design provides subtle illumination to the surface of the deck, reminiscent of moonlight. © Klayte McSweeney