Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail’s beauty has been double-tapped across the world.
The trail was named the 26th most Instagrammed cycle trail in the world last week on global adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide’s list of 30 ‘‘most picture›perfect bike trails according to Instagram data’’.
It is parked between two other New Zealand trails on the list — Hauraki Rail Trail (18) and Otago Central Rail Trail (30). America’s Blue Ridge Parkway took the top spot.
Alps 2 Ocean manager Robyn Hyde said she was ‘‘super stoked’’ the 310km trail had been recognised globally.
‘‘It reaffirms that we have an amazing trail that traverses diverse and stunning scenery and trail users just love it,’’ Ms Hyde said.
She was not aware the trail, which begins from Mt Cook and finishes in Oamaru, had made the list before, but put its stand›out year down to more New Zealanders being able to travel and discover the ‘‘beauty of this area by bike’’ for the first time, with Covid-19 restrictions easing.
‘‘Cycling holidays and being out in nature creates a real sense of wellbeing that we are compelled to share and celebrate.
‘‘The A2O cycle trail also continues to attract more and more people to it, so the increase in cyclists that also love Instagram may also have something to do with it.’’
The scenery was the most celebrated part of the Alps 2 Ocean, as people could explore Mt Cook, the Waitaki Lakes, rural areas, braided rivers and local communities.
‘‘We are fortunate to have such amazing diverse landscapes and a trail that ignites a journey of discovery and achievement for those that embark on the whole trail.
‘‘There isn’t any one section that attracts a greater number of photos rather than another — the entire trail is stunning.’’
The recognition for New Zealand cycle trails was important and affirmed Ms Hyde’s — and the Alps 2 Ocean team’s — vision to be a world› class cycle trail. She believed the nod could help attract more riders to the trail in the coming year and help generate more tourism.
‘‘Especially with a younger generation of riders. Instagram is a great marketing tool, and the sharing and endorsement of positive experiences by other trail users is fantastic for encouraging people to give it a go and come and have some fun.’’
Some sections of Alps 2 Ocean were badly damaged during Waitaki’s July and August floods. Ms Hyde said initial remedial repairs were almost completed and one section remained closed as of Tuesday.
‘‘We are hoping this too will be able to be opened this week.’’