So vast that you can’t even hear the city anymore: the Zuiderpark in Charlois is 430 football fields, adjacent to Ahoy, making it the largest park in the Netherlands. With the adventure playground, the beach, swamp, forests and lots of water, it is a wonderful place to spend free time.
In the middle of the Zuiderpark is the adventure island, a huge playground with slides, impressive climbing structures, clambering stones and in the pirate’s nest. The swimming water is clean and there is a poodle beach for the little ones. The ZAP Zuiderpark Avonturen Point rents out kayaks and canoes. They also have aqua bubbles, scooters and other outdoor game equipment to borrow.
You don’t see them walking, but traces of deer can often be seen on the wet earth. The deer live on the peninsula and swim from side to quay. A buzzard is breeding at the Zuiderbegraafplaats. Reeds have their nests in the reed beds and dozens of bats skim over the water in the twilight.
From the Kromme Zandweg you step into an old Dutch landscape, with the mansion De Olifant, mill and farmlands. The farm animals that belong to it live on the Molenwei children’s farm.
In the CultuurHistorisch Botanical Garden next to the petting zoo, the landscape before the great growth of the city has been imitated. There are dikes with frogs and salamanders, flowery verges along the field, a deciduous forest and even a pilot whale. Above the water is a long wooden platform between reeds and irises, water lilies grow in the water. This beautiful piece of urban nature is inhabited by owls, long-tailed tits and the kingfisher.
Art in the park
In 2014 the internationally renowned artist Kamiel Verschuren created the sculpture garden ‘Schouwplaats Rotterdam’ along the Zandweg. The sculptures have been reused and stood on the Zuidplein theater a long time ago. Rooms have been laid out in the landscape, surrounded by tall grasses. Each room is a tableau vivant of nature and art. Schouwplaats Rotterdam is located between the Zuiderparkweg and the Volkstuinvereniging De Zandweg.
The Blue Connection
The Zuiderpark is connected by water to the Zuidpolder in Barendrecht and the future landscape park Buijtenland van Rhoon. This is called The Blue Connection , a recreational navigable route that also provides clean water in the area, functions as a water storage facility and creates an ecological connection between the various green areas.