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 - Mawson's Place

Mawson Skate, Franklin Wharf Hobart

Ice Skating: Both Ways

There’s no denying, the Glenorchy Ice Skating Rink is icy cold. Some kids may have a spectacular crash or two. But we saw plenty of skating fans having endless fun and would return again in a flash. In fact, we’ll be returning for another stint during the school holidays. It’s good value and really wears the kids out.

Update 15 January 2014 ~ we noticed by chance 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).

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

Hit the hut for a snow cone!

Ice Skating - Penguin

Penguin: 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

Seafood: Constitution Dock

Ice Skating - Elizabeth Street Pier

Elizabeth Street Pier near Franklin Wharf

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

Lark Distillery near the ice skating rink

Map: Ice Skating, Hobart Tasmania…

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