Terrigal Boardwalk & Rockpool is located in the coastal suburb of Terrigal on the Central Coast of New South Wales. The boardwalk is comprised of a 227-metre-long raised walking platform, a restored rockpool and a new access ramp. The project was commissioned by Central Coast Council to enable fair access to all and linking two historically disconnected public spaces, Terrigal Beach and the Haven, by seamlessly integrating into the existing coastal path network with a gentle and smooth incline. 

Arup’s multidisciplinary team of architects and engineers developed the boardwalk design to provide social, health and economic benefits for the local community. The project provides a safe and inclusive route around the rocky headland and acted as a catalyst in re-invigorating the local economy, encouraging outdoor activity by creating a new local and tourist attraction for people to experience the stunning natural beauty. 

Terrigal Boardwalk
Learn more about the Terrigal Boardwalk and Arup's work. © Ross Honeysett

Architecture inspired by people

The generously sized walkway allows people to move freely in both directions, with Blackbutt decking inviting walkers to enjoy the walk barefoot even on the hottest days. The walkway is flanked by oversized Spotted Gum balustrades, concealing the integrated lighting design which provide subtle illumination to the deck, and minimises any upward spill light. An access ramp links the boardwalk to the rockpool, replacing the existing stairs and allowing fair access to the water for everyone who wants a dip in the refreshing water. 

Inspired by the wave and wind action on the sandstone, the walkway’s ribbon-like form delicately traces the high-water line, meandering playfully and briefly hovering over the water to form a viewing platform. At the viewing platform, the timber decking makes way for a perforated floor, allowing refracted light and ocean spray to be visible, and for views into the crystal-clear waters below. The boardwalk then returns to align with natural arc of the adjacent bay and seamlessly links into the existing contours. 

Bringing the boardwalk to life

The realisation of the boardwalk was enabled by a 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 the beginning. Structural optimisation of the boardwalk reduced steel and concrete elements, and reduced its impact on the delicate marine environment, all whilst delivering a resilient, long-lasting solution. 

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