Hobart has a traditional ice skating rink on Main Road in Glenorchy. We’ve been there! Not to skate (gee, there’s a shock) but as parent-helpers supervising a school class on their end-of-year outing. Coats and gloves are required, and possibly even a scarf and thermal underwear. But the canteen has hot coffee, so don’t panic too much about the temperature!

Ice Skating - Tasmania, Glenorchy
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Ice Skating Tasmania, based at 327 Main Road Glenorchy

Please note: we don’t have our own photos to share from the Glenorchy outing… unbelievable, but true! We were obviously transfixed and super dedicated to the task at hand. The above is a website screenshot, just to show what the rink looks like. Please forgive our photographic failure. It’s a once-off, we promise!

Ice Skating… We Like it Both Ways!

There’s no denying the Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink is cold and wet, and I saw many kids have spectacular crashes. They also had endless fun and would return again in a flash. In fact, we will be returning for another stint during the school holidays. At $14 per child for a two-hour session (including skate hire), it’s good value and really wears the kids out. That’s assuming no-one breaks any bones and ends up in the emergency department of the Royal Hobart Hospital. The cost per session might be rather extravagant in that instance!


 

Update 15 January 2014 ~ Oh dear… we noticed by chance (since this article was originally published) that the location of the former Mawson’s Skate on Hobart’s waterfront is no longer dedicated to ice-skating. The whole kit and kaboodle has disappeared. Sorry about that.

If you’re not so keen on the “cold and wet” idea, or you prefer the outdoor environment, there is another option. Mawson’s Skate is a comparatively new attraction on the Hobart waterfront. It’s been open for business since Christmas 2012 (compared to Ice Skating Tasmania, operating from the Glenorchy venue for more than 30 years now).

Ice Skating - Mawson's Place
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Mawson Skate, Franklin Wharf Hobart… a new style of ice skating

So two vastly different options, which is great to see. There’s probably little point in the duplication of a successful business idea. That would just dilute the efforts of the old and the new venture. Hopefully the two can co-exist in Hobart and both turn a profit for their owners.

Get Your Skates On

Unfortunately, we can’t share a first-hand comparison of the actual ice skating experience. We’ve tried and so far failed to convince the crash-test-dummies to attempt a few pirouettes and figure eights at Mason’s Skate. But we did go along as spectators, and the skaters all seemed happy.

Ice Skating - Hobart
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Hit the hut after your ice skating session for a snow cone!

Ice Skating - Penguin
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The penguin is used by youngsters while learning to ice skate

We’ve actually made two visits to the Hobart Wharf location of Mawson’s Skate. The first time was back in January just after the grand opening, and there was an amount of action. Our most recent visit revealed just a solitary penguin, waiting patiently for a friend to skate with. That did give us a chance to touch the ice though… and it’s not really ice at all. It’s not even cold.


 

The surface of Mawson’s Skate looks like a big, plastic jigsaw puzzle. It’s smooth to touch and from a distance does actually look like the real thing. An ABC Hobart article about the ice skating venture revealed the project took “two years and $450,000 to bring to fruition.” That’s a substantial investment, so here’s hoping it pays off. We’re guessing it would cost less to maintain, compared to refrigerating a big chunk of ice.

Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink or Mawson’s Skate

So that’s our wrap: choose your weapon! We’ll take note of the surroundings on our next visit to the Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink and report back about other options in the vicinity. If you’re travelling any distance, you may want to combine the activity with something to eat and drink, for example.

Ice Skating - Franklin Wharf
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Seafood from Mures Tasmania or the punts on Constitution Dock

Ice Skating - Elizabeth Street Pier
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Mawson’s Skate is on Franklin Wharf near Elizabeth Street Pier

The trip to Mawson’s Skate on Franklin Wharf could be combined with a feed of fish and chips: Mures, Elizabeth Street Pier and the seafood punts on the dock are all within sight. And if you need some Dutch courage (adults only, of course!) you can nip into Lark Distillery for a nip of whisky. All in moderation, naturally.

Ice Skating - Lark Distillery
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Lark Distillery near the ice skating rink at Mawson’s Place

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Map: Ice Skating, Hobart Tasmania…