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 parent and baby rooms with adequate 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 (which is a free advisory group for young mothers, with qualified Plunket nurses), Citizens Advice Bureau or the local telephone book.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Tauranga is renowned for its many beaches, safe for both 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?
Tauranga and its surrounding areas are best known for their extensive waterways, including beaches, rivers and lakes. Highlights for children include the Waimarino Adventure Park, where novices can experience kayaking on the Wairoa River. There are two animal parks, with interactive activities available, a class car museum and Kiwifruit Country, a theme park devoted to the kiwifruit industry. A climb to the top of Mt. Maunganui is also recommended.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Tauranga is a real beachside resort and the Mount is a very popular surf beach for young people. 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 activity.
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 still sport. Rugby is the most popular sport in New Zealand followed by netball, soccer and cricket.
There is 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?
Sports play a big part in young people's lives and most are on a team. Teenagers are involved in many groups through their school. The city provides a range of activities for teenagers, including shopping, museums, etc. Central Auckland is a safe place for teenagers to visit.
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 and theatrical and dance organizations, to name a few. Lists are available from the local Citizens Advice Bureau, your school or local 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?
Many of the local Maori marae can be visited and workshops in traditional weaving and carving are often open to the public. An ethnic festival celebrating different cultures and diversity is held annually.
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