An unexpected place

The Oostvaardersplassen prove that the loveliest nature can spring up spontaneously in unexpected places. Originally, on the drawing board, this area was marked as an industrial terrain, but now it is a place where tens of thousands of birds rest and recover or build a nest. You can come face to face with wild cattle, horses and red deer. 


Unusual origin

The history of the Oostvaardersplassen goes back 'only' to 1968, when large ponds of water remained standing in the newly laid out Flevopolder. It was supposed to be an industrial terrain. There was not an immediate need for one, though, so the marshy ground was sowed with reeds and left in peace. Nature took over the new land and developed it into a new wilderness. 

Edelherten in de mist in de Oostvaardersplassen

Bird migration

Large area

Tens of thousands of birds come here to rest and recuperate during their migrations or to build a nest. You can come face to face with wild cattle, horses and red deer that often cross these fields. Foxes outsmart their prey in broad daylight. The peace and quiet, spaciousness and richness of food act like a magnet to attract increasing numbers of different animals. 

Zilverreiger in de Oostvaardersplassen

Bird spotting


Nieuw Land National Park is a paradise for bird-watchers. At Waarneming.nl you can see where and which species of birds have been spotted in our park. And if you take pictures of them, you can place them on this website. 




On an adventure

Five tips on how to really discover the natural area, the Oostvaardersplassen - not always publicly accessible everywhere:

  • Look around yourself by following one of the walking-cycling or ATB routes
  • Follow a nature guide through the Oostvaardersplassen
  • Go 'on safari' with the forest ranger
  • Explore the environment from one of the many lookouts
  • Enjoy something to eat and drink in one of the two visitors’ centres

With children

For children


Heading out with groups

Organising a meeting in the De Oostvaarders outdoor centre, on safari with a forestry guide or an excursion with an eco-cart are just a couple of the possible options. For a full list of the possibilities, contact one of the two outdoor centres.

More information
Hertenroedel in de Oostvaardersplassen met gele lucht vanwege de ondergaande zon. Bezoekers in de Oostvaardersplassen.

Gateways to the Oostvaardersplassen