A mobile artificial ice skating rink is being set up today at Fraser Cove.

The rink is made of a material similar to kitchen chopping boards and is put together like a jigsaw to create a 10m by 16m skating area surrounded by an inflatable border.

This will be the first time the rink has come to Tauranga.

Robin de Goeij of Ice Skate Tours said the business was in the process of relocating to Matamata from Auckland and would soon be seen more regularly in the Bay. He and his family were moving to the small town for the lifestyle offered in the regions and because the town was central to Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua.


"We're keen to bring this to the township and communities. It's so mobile, set up takes three hours. We're aiming to set up in school halls and community halls.

"It's like a jigsaw puzzle, each panel is 2m by 1m, we just connect them all together. We don't use any power to keep it cold, it's a green ice rink. It's not like real ice, but it's pretty close. It's made of a similar material to a chopping board in a kitchen, but it's specifically made for ice skating. It has 97 per cent same gliding capacity as natural ice."

The material meant the rink was a little easier for beginner skaters as it was not as slippery or fast as real ice.

"Skating is quite a unique thing for a lot of people in New Zealand who have never been ice skating. It's such a cool family activity, we always try to get parents on the ice as well to have a bit of family fun together with their kids."

Mr de Goeij said most of last year, the ice rink was at Auckland schools as a fundraiser. Twenty per cent of entry fees are given to schools hosting the rink.

The ice rink opens today and will run from 9.30am to 5.30pm each day until Wednesday.

A skate at the rink costs $7 for children under 16, $13 for adults and $35 for a family of two adults and two children. Prices include the use of skates.

A 50 per cent discount will be given to people who spend $20 or more at one of the Fraser Cove shops.