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 (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.
Auckland is renowned for its many beaches, safe for swimming and for 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?
Though Auckland is primarily known for its beautiful beaches, it does have many exciting attractions, including: Rainbow's End, a variety game park with rides and activities; Skatelands, an indoor ice-skating rink; the Museum of Transport and Technology; the Auckland Zoo; Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World, a world-renowned aquarium; the Sky Tower, the highest building in Auckland, with 360-degree views over the city; and the Viaduct Basin, an area where yachts berth, with lots of restaurants and activities.
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. 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. Rugby is the most popular sport in New Zealand followed by netball, soccer and cricket. The schools provide an array of clubs, from band and music to dance and drama plus sports.
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 some sort of team. Teenagers are involved in many groups through their school. The city provides a range of activities for teenagers from shopping to 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 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?
A visit to the Auckland Visitor and Information Center will give you a list of things to do and “What’s on” currently in Auckland. A visit to Auckland Museum will also provide a greater understanding of the local history and culture. Visitors are welcome to visit any Maori marae to learn more about our Maori culture.
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