Dolfinarium Harderwijk

Yesterday I was looking through my photos of my time in Holland so far and realised I haven’t posted anything about the beautiful Dolfinarium in Harderwijk yet! AKA the largest marine mammal park in the Netherlands! It’s open from 28th March until 26th October, so if you want to go there this year you’d better make it snappy!

Harderwijk – almost at the geographical centre of the Netherlands – is in the province of Gelderland and is around an hour drive from Amsterdam. It’s a really fun place to take the kids… and since we don’t have any, we “borrowed” the Dutchie’s three nephews for the weekend…

Dolfinarium, Harderwijk

Up close and personal at the Dolfinarium, Harderwijk

Entrance to the Dolfinarium, Harderwijk,

Entrance to the Dolfinarium, Harderwijk

I’ve always been a big fan of dolphins since I was a little kid, so it was a real treat when I found out we had such a place in the Netherlands! There are three main shows and eight other “performances” so you can plan your day around the showtimes and it’s a great way to make sure you see all of the animals. The boys are at that age where almost everything (except computer games!!) is “saai” (boring) so the shows were a great way to keep them entertained!

De Snor(rrr)show

De Snor(rrr)show

Snor = moustache! This show was all about the largest mammal in the park: The Walrus!


Walrus take 2

There were also some zeeleeuwen (sealions) on hand for extra tricks… and noise!!

Walrus show

After the Snor show it was time to head to het dolfijntheater (the dolphin theatre) for Aqua Bella 

Het dolfijntheater

Het dolfijntheater


In this show the dolphins take you on a trip around the world and let you “discover the world through their eyes”. It was awarded best (dolphin) show in the world in November 2013.

In addition to the shows, there’s also loads to walk around and explore. My favourite photo from the day: a very smiley ray!

Dolfinarium ray

Het Roggenrif 

Het Roggenrif


Het Roggenrif  (Ray Reef) is where the sharks and rays live… you can even touch them! If you’re brave enough!


A great day out for the kids, even though it is rather expensive in my humble opinion. (€25 euros for kids, €27.50 for adults.) Parking is also extra (around €7) but you can bring in food and drinks if you don’t want to purchase them at the park. If you have time to explore Harderwijk, there is more than just the Dolfinarium. We had time for a quick walk around before dinner and enough time to see the moody looking Harderwijk Harbour…

Harderwijk Harbour

… and a WWII monument for the 117 fallen airmen, designed by Arend Kleinpaste. (The man is not part of the monument, I just happened to capture him standing there.)

Harderwijk monument

This coming weekend we’re off to Efteling which is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world.


Hayley x


  1. Beautiful pics! I love Dofinarium! My fave place to go is Efteling (of course! who’s isn’t?!) We always wait until winter Efteling – only so I can get snaps of my OH on skiis, much to his annoyance, but his families delight!

    Enjoy your trip to Efteling at the weekend – I’m jealous! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Charlotte! I’m looking forward to it… but with a bit of trepidation! I’m much more of a scaredy cat these days, but I’m sure I’ll be dragged onto the majority of the rides!

      Did you look at the Dutch courses, by the way? Not sure whereabouts in Hilversum you are, but this is the college I go to: (It’s also in English if you scroll down.) 🙂


  2. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place!!! Sadly I don’t think I’ll be able to get out there until next year 😦 But definitely bookmarked in my mind now.
    Enjoy the Efteling, it’s so much fun!! For a really fun and totally non-scary or stomach churning ride, you should try the Droom Vlucht – it’ll make you ooh and aah 😀


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