Sydney Harbour and the Great Barrier Reef have been voted as the second best places in the world to go running and swimming, according to a study by British Airways.
The airline polled 2,000 people, to find the best and worst places abroad for sporting pursuits. The results were unveiled for Sport Relief, the airline’s charity partner.
Manhattan’s Central Park in New York took top honours as the best place in the world to go running and is a well-established jogging spot for celebrities including Ricky Gervais , Madonna , and Jake Gyllenhaal . It beat Sydney Harbour and London’s Richmond Park for first place. Conversely, Death Valley, USA was named the worst place to run, due to its gruelling terrain and stifling heat.
With its turquoise waters the Maldives was voted the best place on the planet to swim, followed by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and Singapore’s dramatic Marina Bay Sands rooftop pool, towering 650 ft. above street level.
In cycling, England’s Yorkshire Dales triumphed over California’s sun-kissed Venice Beach and the country lanes of the Isle of Wight, as the best destination for two-wheel sport.
“There’s a number of customers that travel with us for sporting breaks – from competing in marathons to golf breaks and skiing holidays,” said British Airways’ regional commercial manager for South West Pacific, Nicole Backo.
“Overall, Australia is one of the most popular destinations, with Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef attracting visitors from all over the world.”
The least popular destinations to take part in sport were those with intense climates – from the chill of Antarctica and Alaska, to the intoxicating heat of Death Valley and Al’Azziyah in Libya – one of the hottest habitable places in the world.
With 3,274 miles of deadly waters, the Amazon in South America topped the worst place to go swimming, with a quarter of all votes. Additionally, the extreme conditions of Tibet’s altitude – 16,000ft above sea level, and Delhi – one of the busiest intersections in the world, were voted the worst places to run and cycle.
The top five best and worst places in run, cycle and swim from the British Airways poll are:
The best place in the world to go running…
1. Central Park, New York, USA (22%)
2. Sydney Harbour, Australia (12%)
3. Richmond Park, England (8%)
4. The Great Wall of China (7%)
5. Patagonia, Chile (5%)
The worst place in the world to go running…
1. Death Valley, USA (29%)
2. Vostok, Antartica (10%)
3. Ahvaz, Iran (7%)
4. Ladakh border, China/Tibet (7%)
5. Al’Azziyah, Libya (5%)
The best place in the world to go cycling…
1. Yorkshire Dales (17%)
2. Venice Beach, USA (11%)
3. Isle of Wight (10%)
4. The French Alps (9%)
5. Cape Breton Island, Canada (7%)
The worst place in the world to go cycling…
1. Delhi, India (21%)
2. Himalayas, India (17%)
3. Iditarod trial, Alaska (9%)
4. El Camino de la Muerte, Bolivia (9%)
5. Baldwin Street, New Zealand (6%)
The best place in the world to go swimming…
1. The Maldives (30%)
2. Great Barrier Reef, Australia (18%)
3. Rooftop infinity pool, Singapore (8%)
4. The Crystal Lagoon, Chile (4%)
5. Hamilton Pool, Texas (4%)
The worst place in the world to go swimming
1. The Amazon, Brazil (25%)
2. The River Nile, Egypt (15%)
3. The Citarum, Indonesia (9%)
4. The North Pole (8%)
5. Gansbaai, South Africa (8%)