Gunnedah’s Griffiths Pavilion has this week been transformed into a “winter wonderland”.
It is the creation of Michael Lalic, who takes ice skating and tobogganing to remote and rural centres throughout NSW.
“People in the country don’t get the opportunity to ice skate, especially in the hot, summer months,” Mr Lalic said.
“We set up in a town and usually stay as long as the people keep coming through the doors.
“It really surprises me that kids in the country show much more balance and ability on ice than their city counterparts.”
The facility opened in Gunnedah last Friday night and Mr Lalic said he was “pleased” with the response.
It takes about four days to set up the 30m x 14m skating rink, with a series of compressor-generated pipes sprinkled with water to create the dry ice.
The dry ice is kept about minus-8 degrees with the eight-speed compressor kicking in only when needed.
“We employ local people to help set up and so far this week we have had visitors to the rink from Moree, Narrabri and Tamworth,” Mr Lalic said.
“There are more than 250 pairs of ice skating boots available so youngsters, right through to the elderly, are catered for.
“The more people who turn up at each session, the longer we will stay in town.”
The rink is open from 4pm-5.30pm Tuesday to Friday,
7pm-8.30pm Wednesday and Thursday, and on the weekend from 9.30am-11am, noon-1.30pm, 2pm-3.30pm and 4pm-5.30pm.
A disco is run in conjunction with skating on Friday and Saturday from 6.30pm-8pm and 8.30pm-10pm.