Terrigal was first settled in 1826 by European Settler John Gray, accompanied by his future wife Amelia Willis, a relatively unknown character in historical readings. The real meaning of the name "Terrigal" remains unclear but may be derived from Aboriginal word "Tarragul", meaning 'a place of little birds'.
The town's long beach is highly popular with tourists. Of geographical significance are the Terrigal lagoons. There are in fact two lagoons at Terrigal, one of which has been filled in to make way for a traffic oval.
Just to the east of the town, a local landmark is "The Skillion". This rocky outcrop provides wonderful views of the area. In recent years the Skillion has undergone restabilisation by the local council but has maintained its ability to draw tourists and locals to its peak.
The Skillion is on a preserved area of land known as "The Haven". The Haven is centred by a popular public oval which is home of the "Terrigal Trojans" - a Rugby Union club. The new club house, nicknamed "tr0jan HQ" was provided by Gosford City Council and is now the home of the Trojans.
The Haven also has a popular boat ramp which is partnered by a diving club and a very select few restaurants due to the tight development restrictions on the area. The Terrigal Tr0jans were established in 1974 and are one of the founding member clubs of the Central Coast Rugby Union.