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Barnegat gets its name from nearby Barnegat Bay and Barnegat Inlet. The inlet was originally "Barendegat," or "Inlet of the Breakers," and was named by Dutch settlers in 1609 for the waterway's turbulent channel.
In addition to easy access to and from the Garden State Parkway, Barnegat is a hub of major state and county highways. Route 72, which runs east to west, provides access to Burlington County and Philadelphia. County Route 539, which intersects Route 72, links the Township with Trenton. U.S. Route 9 and the Garden State Parkway split the Township east-west.
New Jersey Transit provides bus service to Atlantic City on the 559 bus route which runs along the Jersey Shore in Ocean County.