Without a doubt, the main reason you will stay at Duinrell is the Tikibad. Aside from the fact that it is a genius addition to a park where the weather isn’t always of the beach variety, it is quite simply the most fun you will ever have in a soggy swimsuit. I’m not the biggest fan of water parks since passing the hedonistic age of 21, preferring to stay dry and warm, and to keep all my belongings where I can see them. But I was the first to beg for another day at the Tikibad, once I’d sampled the steep racing plunges and neon-lit tunnels.

Travel: What we loved about the Tikibad water park in Duinrell!

Love the Tikibad

Here’s how to rekindle your love of water-parks and get the most out of your day here:

  • Get there early. The Tikibad opens at 10am, and it’s worth getting in line around 15 minutes beforehand. Just so you don’t stand in the queue for too long. Don’t panic about the queue though – it’s not indicative of the number of people inside, more the number of people they won’t allow in until someone comes out. It’s never truly crowded, and the maximum time we queued for a slide was around 15 minutes. It’s often a lot less.
  • You’ll probably stay around 2 hours on your first visit, so pay for that. If you do decide to stay longer, you can pay the extra on your way out, but be aware that it’s slightly more than if you’d paid it on your way in. The entry cost is 4 Euros per person, with 2 Euros for every extra hour.
  • Don’t worry about shivering in a manky puddle while you queue either; the Tikibad is warm, and you never feel cold out of the water – unless you’ve been in there for 5 hours, which is actually a distinct possibility.
  • Changing rooms are also warm, and even more important, clean. There are plenty of family-sized cubicles too.

What to take with you

  • Make sure you have your park ID card with you – you can get these in the main reception. It’s helpful to take some passport photos with you to avoid the hassle of getting them on site.
  • A pen and paper. The lockers here work on a pin code – choose one that you’ll remember easily. Personally I find getting the children to remember our locker number very effective! However, it’s easy to forget, so scribble it down somewhere and stick it in your poolside bag.
  • A bottle of water, you’d be surprised by how dehydrated you can get in a warm pool.
  • Your camera. Pool staff don’t mind you photographing, and the lockers feel very safe when you’re ready to set aside your lens and have fun.

Navigating the slides

  • Observe the height restrictions, but don’t panic about the kids. I was nervous that the Bug might not cope with the two large family chutes, but he LOVED it! If in doubt, go down yourself first to check it out. The more full-on slides – well, wear a one-piece!
  • Go on Moonlight and Starfright first thing in the morning, and over lunch. These are the longest queues, and there’s a very good reason. They are serious fun! You slide down these dark tunnels of neon as a twosome, in a figure eight inflated ring, and my kids wanted to do it again, and again, and again. So did Actually Daddy.
  • Older children will enjoy Cycloon. It looks very very scary, but it’s perfectly safe, incredibly fast, and such a buzz. The Bug, at eight, could have done it, but was nervous. GG, aged ten, loved it. Like all these things, once you’ve done it once you conquer your fear and relax into your second go.
  • Small children will love the Tikibad too; there is plenty for them to do, with toddler pools and slides, a lazy river, and a gentle wave pool.

Useful to know

  • Plan to go in the morning, and you won’t need to stay there for lunch. The food at the Tikibad is basic and fried, and there are much better options on the park.
  • The café does sell fresh juices and smoothies though, which are good for a quick boost if you’re flagging.
  • Sometimes the evenings are quiet too, around the time that most people are back in their mobile homes and tents eating dinner.
  • Don’t plan your week out too far in advance. You will want to visit the Tikibad again, even when it’s NOT raining!

Check out some of the fun in our short video:

We were guests of Canvas Holidays at the fabulous Duinrell Holiday park, where we stayed in a Select Plus mobile home. There are also ‘Duingalow’ lodges, and camping pitches at the park. The Tikibad swimming complex is open to the public, as well as the holiday-makers, but it never feels crowded. See more on our Duinrell holiday here.

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