In the last school holidays we took the kids on a mini getaway. We caught the car ferry early in the morning and headed straight for Waitomo Caves (link) before heading to Taupo for 3 nights. One of the major drawcards for our kids was knowing they could spend a day at De Bretts Waterpark (link). I have never been but I get the idea it is a NZ north island institution.
The kids had so much fun, “best day ever” according to Miss 7!
Here are 3 things you should know if you plan to go.
THE ORANGE SLIDE IS SCARY!
There are three waterslides. Two of them are tunnels (orange and blue) that sit side by side so kids can race against each other. The third is mostly open to the sky.
My youngest daughter (7 years) is terrified on rollercoasters and scary rides whereas her sisters quite like them. We decided to ride the racing tunnels first. As adults can’t go at the same time as children so my older girls lined up at the blue tunnel and my husband, 7 year old and I lined up at the orange. My husband went down first so he could be waiting at the bottom, then my 7 year old, with me going last.
I cannot describe the horror I felt as the blue tunnel went PITCH BLACK and I was thrown around at speed inside. All I could think about was how frightening that would have been for my 7 year old and hoped she was OK.
We regrouped at the bottom, Miss 7 very upset, her older sisters reporting the blue tunnel lets light in so not as scary. No chance of getting Miss 7 to go in the blue tunnel but thankfully we were able to talk her into being brave and going on the 3rd slide which is much more open – that became “her slide” for the rest of the day.
TAKE OLD TOGS/SWIMMERS
My two girls who rode the enclosed slides ended up ripping big holes in the bottoms of their togs (swimmers). Unfortunately these were quite new Speedos. The water park is pretty old and the joins in the slide are pretty rough (expect some bruises) and I suspect this is what caused the holes.
YOUR KIDS WILL NOT WANT TO GO HOME
Yep – seriously fun for the kids – even in the middle of winter! You can get an all day pass that allows you to come and go. We went for about 3 hours in the morning, home for lunch and a rest, then back for about 4 hours in the afternoon/evening. The kids did NOT want to go!
You can take your own food and drink in so pack plenty of snacks in with you.
It was a great day out and we would definitely go again!