Travel in New Zealand's early days always posed problems. Roads were few and far between and overland tracks were fraught with hazards. The rugged terrain meant important harbours were separated by impassable barriers, while the density of the bush made the formation of more and better roads something for the future.
Water travel came easily to the early pioneers. But sailing craft were slow and uncertain. During the early 1840s, passengers, mail and cargo were consistently delayed and lives were being lost. The advent of steam in the mid-1800s made water communication swift, regular, feasible and safe. The first truly successful application of mechanical power was the paddle wheel. The splash and patter of the paddles was soon to be seen and heard around New Zealand coasts, harbours, lakes and rivers. Progress has meant the paddle steamer has been superseded, both on the water and by land transport, except for the occasional preserved pleasure craft.
This striking issue recalls the contribution made by passenger ferries to the development of parts of New Zealand. Consisting of four stamps, the set features two ferries which served gold mining settlements and two commuter ferries which operated on city harbours.
Product listing for 1984 New Zealand Vintage Transport
Click on image to enlarge.
Single 24 'Mountaineer - Lake Wakatipu' gummed stamp.
The Mountaineer was built in Dunedin before being shipped in a knock-down state to Bluff, and then railed to Kingston for assembly. Launched in 1879 the Mountaineer connected the railhead at Kingston on Lake Wakatipu with Queenstown and its associated gold fields.
Single 40c 'Waikana - Otago Harbour' gummed stamp.
The Waikana was built in Dunedin and launched in 1909. She provided the link between the growing heart of Dunedin and its outlying harbour settlements and was used often for picnics and other excursions at weekends.
Single 58c 'Britannia - Waitemata Harbour' gummed stamp.
The Britannia was built in Auckland in 1885 and continued in service until 1927 when she was sold as a house boat and subsequently broken up for her timbers.
Single 70c 'Wakatere - Firth of Thames' gummed stamp.
The Wakatere was built in Scotland and arrived in Auckland in 1896. She was the link between the Thames gold fields and Auckland, steaming along the Firth of Thames and serving this run until 1926.
|First Day Cover||First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.||$2.00|
|Set of Maximum Cards||Set of four postcards featuring enlargements from the stamp issue on each postcard.||$1.00|
|Presentation Pack||Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products form the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps.||$2.80|
|Date of issue:||Stamps and postcards, 4 April 1984; Presentation pack, 18 April 1984|
|Denominations:||24c, 40c, 58c, 70c|
|Designer:||Michael J Wyatt, Queenstown|
|Printer and process:||Cambec Press Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia by offset lithography|
|Stamp size:||42mm x 30mm|
|Sheet size:||100 stamps per sheet|
|Perforation gauge:||13.6 x 13.2|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 30 April 1985.|