Among best cycle routes

Otago Peninsula is still considered one of the world's best places to cycle, featuring at No 8 on the Lonely Planet's list of the world's 10 best cycle routes.

The list, released at the start of this month, followed Otago Peninsula's international publicity as one of the top cycling destinations in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2010.

Described as comprising a laid-back first half and sweaty, scenery-filled second half, the route was one of the best one-day rides in New Zealand, Lonely Planet said.

"The serpentine route twists pleasantly along the shore, providing tremendous ocean views, and the terrain is made for cycling.

"Then suddenly there's a sharp turn to the right and you're gaining altitude like a climbing fighter-jet," the travel company's website said.

Steep climbs, fast descents and the odd albatross were factors in Otago Peninsula's attraction.

Rounding out this month's list of the top 10 cycling routes were the Isle of Wight in England, Tasmania's west coast, Luberon and Mount Ventoux in France, the San Juan Islands in the United States, County Clare, Ireland, La Farola in Cuba, Vietnam's national highway, Cape Breton Island in Canada and Italy's Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said endorsement by Lonely Planet, held in high regard by international and national travellers, was of great value.

A new "export ready" business offering cycle tours along Otago Peninsula was being promoted this week at the 2012 Trenz (Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand) conference in Queenstown, Mr Saxton said.

"Otago Peninsula is a great magnet for people to our region and our city," he said.


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