How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
All major shopping malls are equipped with mother and babies rooms that offer facilities for feeding and changing. Most large restaurants have highchairs for babies to use while parents are dining.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
The local Plunket group, Citizens Advice Bureau or the local telephone book
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Dunedin is renowned for its many beaches, safe for swimming and surfing. Parents need to be aware of the dangers of swimming outside patrolled areas at surf beaches. If in doubt and a beach is not patrolled, ask at the local store regarding the safety of any beach.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Below is a list of some very popular places for kids:
- Moana Pool - a swimming complex featuring a host of water activities and numerous slides
- Skate Park and Laser Force Tag Center - a wonderful skating rink
- St Clair Salt Water Pool - open during the summer season and heated to a pleasantly warm 23 degrees Celsius
- The Sports Institute of Otago - a national center for developing excellence in the sporting youth of New Zealand
- Sports Hall of Fame - hosts a collection of the country's sports memorabilia
- Baldwin Street - the world's steepest street; kids love it!
- Larnach Castle – the castle was completed in 1883 and is known for its spectacular views out to sea and of the city.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Sports play a huge part in the lives of most New Zealanders and most children are involved in some sporting activity, either with their school or individual clubs. Games and practices often take place after school. During the summer, going to the beach with friends and family is the most popular past time.
Brownies, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and Boys' Brigade are also popular clubs for children. The most popular activity for children after school or on weekends is sport. Rugby is the most popular sport in
New Zealand followed by netball, soccer and cricket.
There are a wide range of cultural opportunities, such as music and dance lessons, available for children and teenagers.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Most teenagers with access to vehicles have the freedom of the city to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. Sports play a big part in young people's lives and most are on some sort of team. The legal drinking age is 18 years. At 15 years, teenagers can obtain a learner's driver's license, which they need to have for 6 months before they obtain a restricted license. After 18 months as a restricted driver, they will be granted a full driver's license. There are several skateboarding parks, as well as many school-related activities and clubs to keep them busy as well.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
There are many clubs for teenagers to join including a variety of sporting clubs, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Church groups, theatrical and dance, to name a few. Lists are available from the local Citizens Advice bureau, your school or telephone book.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Visitors are welcome to visit any Maori marae or join the local Kapa Haka group, which provides an understanding of our Maori culture. The educational facilities in Dunedin offer cultural activities for children of all ages
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