An ice rink isnít the first thing that springs to mind when you think of the sweltering, dusty heart of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia, but more fool you, for thatís exactly what will be in the middle of the desert over ChristmasÖ
[ClickPress, Sat Aug 29 2009] An ice rink isnít the first thing that springs to mind when you think of the sweltering, dusty heart of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia, but more fool you, for thatís exactly what will be in the middle of the desert over ChristmasÖ
Even though half of my family live in Australia, Iíve never quite got my head around the idea of a hot Christmas.
No amount of white sandy beaches can compete with that glorious anticipation of a sparkly dusting of snow on Christmas morning.
(Letís gloss over the fact that the last time we had a white Christmas I was as old as my shoe size).
But, this coming Christmas, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, will have the best of both worlds - the hot temperatures and the winter wonderland.
Whilst the mercury will be topping a baking 40 degrees in one of the hottest towns in Australia, local residents and tourists will be enjoying gliding over the ice slap bang in the middle of the desert Ė a surreal experience if ever there was one.
The Convention Centre in the centre of Alice Springs will be transformed into a temporary rink, which local officials hope will attract not only locals desperate to cool off but also tourists to the area.
Northern Territory Sport and Recreation Minister Karl Hampton said, ďItíll be a first for the town.Ē
As youth crime is rife in the town due to the lack of entertainment and activities on offer, The Alice Springs Town Council has dedicated £5,000 to the ice project in the hope that it will provide students with a constructive way of spending their time off school.
Another £30,000 is also being injected into the project to help transport and build it.
The rink will be open for six weeks during the summer months, including the school holidays and, as the Convention Centre normally shuts from December to February, the new venture should also help to support many jobs.
Tourism Central Australia General Manager, Peter Grigg, says the rink will be a great drawcard for visitors during what is traditionally the quietest time of the year.
ďI think you would be beating them off with a stick. It's something that's just so out of the ordinary here in Alice Springs,Ē he added.
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