19 Aug 2008

Towns defend "tacky" tourist attractions

6:56 am on 19 August 2008

Small towns are leaping to the defence of their tourist attractions after one of the best known guidebooks in the world described them as "tacky".

A new edition of the Lonely Planet guide to New Zealand, released on Tuesday, names what it sees as the tackiest tourist attraction in each region.

The list includes Stonehenge Aotearoa in Wairarapa, the Pania of the Reef statue in Napier.

And the guide book describes Cromwell's big fruit bowl as "heinous" and "spectacularly ugly".

John Webb, of Cromwell's Stonehurst Orchard, says the sculpture is a popular symbol of a key local industry and is known worldwide.

And the founder of Stonehenge Aotearoa, Richard Hall, says he doubts Lonely Planet writers even visited before giving their opinion