Snow and ice bring winter fun

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The winter cold has arrived, but so has the winter fun.

Last week, the ice-skating pond at St Arnaud was frozen enough for locals to dust off their skates and this weekend Rainbow Ski Area will open for the winter.

The ice skating pond, located two minutes down the road from St Arnaud Village, has already proven popular with both professional ice skaters and families.

Hamish Simpson, operator of the Rotoiti Water Taxi, has been hiring out skates for the first time, after purchasing the business earlier this year to keep him busy in the off-season.

He says he has to check the pond each morning by making sure his foot won’t go through the ice if he stomps on it. “It can be a little bit fickle with the pond. Sometimes it’s skateable, sometimes it’s not. You’ve got to be onto it and check it every day,” he says.

Rainbow marketing and events coordinator, Georgie Tudor-Jones, says the ski field is looking in fantastic shape for opening day, this Saturday.

“We extended our snow making to the top, last year it was only up to tower six. Even if we don’t have enough natural snow we’re going to have man-made snow right from the top from day one,” she says.