Tekapo Springs outdoor skating rink offers stunning views over Lake Tekapo and is one of our main attractions. The skating rink operates year round. Over summer the rink is used for inline and roller blading, but over winter the rink is transformed for ice-skating! Being outdoors the skating rink gets a considerable amount of sun exposure on the hot summer days in Tekapo. As winter draws closer the rink receives less sun exposure day by day until late April where the sun does not even reach the rink thanks to the shadow of Mt John.
Tekapo Springs artificial outdoor ice surface is powered by a five hundred kilowatt Hall Screw Compressor manufactured by J & E Hall International. The refrigeration plant will provide plenty of cooling capacity to freeze the ice surface. As a by-product of the freezing process, the refrigeration plant produces a lot of heat. In Fact at full operating capacity, the refrigeration plant will produce in excess of six hundred kilowatts of heating capacity. Instead of letting this heat energy escape into the air unused, we will use this energy, by way of heat exchangers, to heat our hot pools and associated buildings.
Each year the team at Tekapo Springs prepares the skating rink for the Easter holidays to transform it from an inline and roller blading surface to an ice skating surface. The process is actually very simple. The refrigeration plant is used to cool the surface area of the skating rink, when the surface of the rink becomes cold enough we spray water over the rink. The freezing process generally takes about 3 days to get a layer of ice 4 inches thick. Each night over these three days some of the team at Tekapo Springs work late into the night adding layers of ice to the rink. Spraying the water on, letting it freeze, then repeating the process until we have a nice thick layer of solid ice.
Once the ice is set and thick enough the team then grooms the ice with our Olympia Ice Resurfacer to get a nice smooth skating surface all ready for you.