De Kiekkaaste is a bird hide in the far northeast of the province of Groningen, on the border with Germany. It is the only bird hide in the Netherlands located outside the dykes, giving you a unique view of the Wadden area from here.
How to get to the Kiekkaaste
The Kiekkaaste is in Nieuw Statenzijl, about a 50-minute drive from Groningen. You can park your car for free at the Nieuw Statenzijl lock complex. From here, it is about a 15-minute walk to the bird hide.
The bird hide, a unique vantage point over the Dollard’s salt marshes, is only accessible via a plank path that winds its way through the undulating reeds. The reeds, which are fresh green in spring and golden yellow in summer, provide a changing sight.
In winter, when the reeds are low, you can see the hut from afar. You then walk through an open landscape with a wide view of the Wadden Sea. In summer, when the reeds are high, it looks like walking through a green tunnel. You then only see the hut when you are almost there.
What can you see at the Kiekkaaste?
From the Kiekkaaste you have a beautiful view of the salt marshes, the Wadden area and the nitrogen area. You can spot numerous bird species here, such as dunlin, herring gulls, spoonbills and even seals.
What is the best time to visit the Kiekkaaste
The best time to visit the Kiekkaaste is in spring or autumn, when the birds are in season. In the summer season, the place can be very crowded with tourists.
- Bring binoculars to get a better view of the birds.
- Wear waterproof shoes as the path to the bird hide can be muddy at high tide.
- Be mindful of the weather as it can be very windy here.
Other attractions near Kiekkaaste
Besides Kiekkaaste, there are several other sights worth visiting in the area around Nieuw Statenzijl. Nice to make a day out of it in Groningen. For instance, you can visit the Punt van Reide, where you can spot seals. There are also some great hiking trails in the area.