(Image taken in December 2001. Author’s own collection.)
Sited at the southern end of Terrigal beach, an easy walk south from the beach along the Terrigal seawall leads to the rock pool and the boardwalk link to The Skillion.
Terrigal Esplanade, Terrigal, NSW, 2260, Australia
(Latitude South 33 degrees 26 minutes 52 seconds, Longitude East 151 degrees 26 minutes 48 seconds)
The district’s first white settler was John Gray, Deputy Harbour Master and Chief pilot at Port Jackson, who was granted 640 acres of land by Governor Brisbane in 1827. Gray named his property Tarrygal and his assigned convicts grew corn, onions and potatoes, fished, hunted and smoked fish for the Sydney markets.
The ‘beauty beach’ at Terrigal was 7.5 miles of ‘excellent tarred road’ from Gosford and about a two-hour drive from Sydney or Newcastle by the Great Northern Road. The road from Terrigal to the Entrance was just ‘trafficable’, while the road from Avoca to Terrigal was ‘practicable in good weather’. Terrigal had many boarding-houses, holiday cottages, a school, churches, a surf club and a progress association and was promoting itself as ‘the sunniest winter spot in New South Wales’.
While Terrigal beach was promoted as ‘absolutely safe for surfing’, there were plans to construct a ‘bathing pool right on the ocean’s edge among the rocks near the Skillion’.
The rock baths (children’s bathing pool) at the southern end of the beach appear to have opened around January 1957.
Gosford Council assessed the Terrigal rock pool as having high usage, though suitable only for paddling. The pool was flagged for retention.
The pool was still in use, though its walls were not intact. It was still seen as a visitor attraction.