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Published: 2008-02-21 00:00:00

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Sports star Sarah Ulmer has nominated Lake Karapiro near her home town of Cambridge in Environment Waikato’s One Waikato Seven Wonders campaign.

“It’s just beautiful and I’ve done heaps of training rides with the lake as a backdrop,” she said.

“It’s one of the most beautiful rides to do in the morning when the sun’s coming up, the lake’s glass, there are hills all around it and there’s nobody else on the road. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.”

Environment Waikato’s campaign to find the top seven natural wonders of the Waikato region was launched on February 9. Due to the number of postal entries being received, the campaign has been extended and will now close a week later on February 29.

Council chairman Peter Buckley encouraged people to fly the flag for their areas and nominate their favourite places on the council’s website,

“We’d like to thank everyone who has voted so far and we hope the nominations keep flooding in,” he said.

Ulmer said she was living in the Waikato region because she is “really keen on environmental motivation and being in a place that inspires you to wake up and rip the day to bits”.

“It’s a magical place for a cyclist with the unpopulated roads, the lack of traffic and the variety of terrain,” she said.

“The older you get, the more appreciation you have of where you come from and where you’re living and your surrounds and wanting to protect them. The lakes, the forests, the rolling countryside, the beaches – that stuff’s motivational; it’s inspirational.”

Ulmer encouraged others to get behind the campaign because the Waikato region was such a beautiful part of our country and New Zealand was such a beautiful part of the world.

“If we take it for granted and think it’s always going to be that way, it’s a dangerous way to live,” she said.

“For the Waikato to be like it is in 20 or 30 years’ time, or even less, everyone has to be aware of the small things they can do and have to do to look after the wicked place that it is.”

Everyone who enters the One Waikato Seven Wonders campaign goes in the draw to win a scenic flight over the region or a pack of eco-friendly products from Earthwise.