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Oamaru has again proved it is hip to be square.
The functioning Victorian town, which embraces its traditions, is one of only two New Zealand attractions included in Cuisine magazine's global list of the 25 "hippest" holiday destinations for 2012.
The other, the Te Araroa trail, which opened on December 3, 2011, and stretches 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff, came in at No8.
Oamaru was No23.
The list, compiled by Amanda Hyde, was topped by Dartmoor in England, and features holiday hot spots in 23 countries spanning six continents.
Meroe in Sudan, Tadrai resort on Mana Island in Fiji, Kuri Bay in Broome, the Song Saa private resort which spans two islands in Cambodia's Koh Rong archipelago, Odzala National Park in Congo, Sri Lanka, Soho in New York and the Rota Vicentina - a 300km walking track in Portugal - completed the top 10.
Oamaru was described in glowing terms, with "spectacular scenery, good food, top wine and cute penguins" listed as key attractions, while Steampunk HQ on Humber St at the end of Itchen St also rated a mention.
Oamaru's historic stone buildings, Annie's Victorian Tea Rooms, Riverstone Kitchen, Fleur's Place and The Loan & Merc were also described as alluring reasons to visit the region.
Tourism Waitaki general manager Hugh Packer described the article as a coup for Oamaru and for the Waitaki district as a whole.
The magazine's staff had been in touch in mid-January asking for information for the article, Mr Packer said.
It was hard to put a dollar value on the worth of the publicity, but the magazine's readership fitted well with the ideal tourist who spent money freely in cafes, restaurants and wineries, he said.
An additional benefit was also expected, as the magazine's staff had expressed interest in writing a follow-up feature on the area to run in May.