New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

1999 Scenic Walks

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Contained within New Zealand’s shores is an extraordinary diversity of landscapes: golden, black and white sands; lush rain forests; glaciers; mountains – in fact, everything but a substantial desert!

Issue information

New Zealand’s network of walks and river trips open up the country. They take visitors to isolated wilderness areas where there may be few, or no other, people (as found in southern Stewart Island); to foreign landscapes such as the volcanic Central Plateau; and to popular world-famous tracks like the Milford, Routeburn and Abel Tasman. The variety of walks on offer provide a full spectrum of challenges.

Those looking for golden sands and sculptured cliffs can join roughly 27,000 others per year on the very popular Abel Tasman Coast Track. If walking in the shadow of a landmark mountail is more to their taste, then Mount Tranaki/Egmont, the dormant volcano in the middle of the North Island, is not to be missed.

Visitors can explore the Round the Mountain Track or the Summit Track, part of more than 300 kilometres of walking tracks that make this National Park one of the most accessible in the world.

Elsewhere, the character of the land is less compromissing. Ice, stuned shrubs and weathered grassed greet those who venture to the small, glacial Ice Lake in Westland, with its deep gorges, surging rivers and jutting land.

Move offshore, away from the main islands, and the landscape changes again. Great Barrier Island may now be largely stripped of the huge kauri expanses that once covered it, but it is still a place of great beauty. White sand, mangroves, wetlands, palms and fernsflourishing in a semi-subtriical climate, all await those prepared to seek them out.

The six stamps in this issue were a glimpse of the stunning and challenge-filled experiences waiting for those who cared to face them. Those choosing to do so should prepare for journeys that lift the spirit and stir the soul.

Miniature Sheets

Seven miniature sheets, six incorporating one of the stamps from this issue and one incoroprating all six stamps were produced as part of a special miniature sheet booklet.

Product Listing for 1999 Scenic Walks

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'West Ruggedy Beach, Stewart Island' gummed stamp.

Stewart Island is the least disturbed of the three main islands that make up New Zealand. The Ruggedy Mountains in the north west of the island, so named for their dramatic jagged appearance, are one of the most remote parts of New Zealand. Frequented mainly by trampers and hunters, this area of the island receives only around 600 visitors per year. Attracted by the rugged wilderness of the north west circuit, visitors need a high level of fitness and experience to walk the tracks.

Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Ice Lake, Butler Valley, Westland' gummed stamp.

Ice Lake is one of many small glacial lakes scattered throughout the South Island's Main Divide. Lying north east of Aoraki/Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, Butler Valley is a remote wilderness area, attracting mountain climbers and hunters tempted by thar and chamois, introduced species of mountain goat. Butler Valley in the Whataroa catchment and neighbouring Perth River area are suitable for experienced mountaineers only, due to its deep gorges, turbulent rivers and rough terrain.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Tonga Bay, Abel Tasman National Park' gummed stamp.

Abel Tasman National Park, with its golden sands, safe beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and family camping ground, is very popular with New Zealanders and overseas visitors. The Abel Tasman Coast Track, which takes three to four days, is the most popular walk in New Zealand with 27,000 overnight visitors per year. About halfway along the track is Tonga Bay. Here, on Onetahuti Beach, also known as Big Tonga, visitors can look out to Tonga Island Marine Reserve and its central feature, Tonga Island. The island is home to fur seals and little blue penguins.

Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'East Matakitaki Valley, Nelson Lakes National Park' gummed stamp.

Inland from Nelson, south of Murchison, lies Mātakitaki Valley, the largest valley in Nelson Lakes National Park. Its long but easy tracks traverse wide grassy clearings and sphagnum bogs giving views up and down the valley. The glacial history of the area can be seen in some of these side valleys with their deeply cut U-shape, smooth bedrock and alpine tarns and bogs, left behind when the glaciers melted and disappeared.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Great Barrier Island' gummed stamp.

Once extensively clothed in kauri, Great Barrier Island’s vegetation is still stunning, thanks to the absence of the possums, a major threat on the mainland. Rare North Island kākā, brown teal, kōkako and the chevron skink also benefit from the lack of pests. Biologically and geologically, the island resembles the Coromandel Peninsula, which it once joined. Now part of the Hauraki Gulf, it is the largest island off the North Island coast, with more than 60 per cent of the island under formal protection.

Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'Mount Taranaki/Egmont' gummed stamp.

A significant landmark in the central North Island, the dormant volcanic cone of Mount Taranaki/Egmont stands guard over Egmont National Park and the lush dairy pasture and coastline that surrounds it. Formed of lava, the steep-sided mountain seems to have an almost perfect conical shape from some viewpoints. The forest on the slopes of Taranaki/Egmont is rich with epiphytes dangling from branches and spongy mosses blanket the ground and the gnarled tree trunks. Alpine herbfields and subalpine tussocks grow on the slopes further up the mountain, but are buried by snow in winter.

Miniature Sheet Booklet Collectable booklet containing a range of miniature sheets and further information on the stamp issue. $13.40
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.20
Set of Maximum Cards Set of six pre-paid postcards featuring a stamp on the front and artwork from the stamp issue. $7.95
Limited Edition Limited edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 28 July 1999
Number of stamps: Six
Denominations and designs: 40c West Ruggedy Beach, Stewart Island; 80c Ice Lake, Butler Valley, Westland; $1.00 Tonga Bay, Abel TAsman N.P; $1.20 East Matakitaki Vally, Nelson lake N.P; $1.50 Great Barrier island; $1.80 Mount Taranaki/Egmont
Stamps designed by: Ocean Design, Wellington
First day cover designed by: Stephen Fuller, Wellington
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, by lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours and one special colour
Stamp size and format: 44mm x 30mm (horizontal)
Number of stamps per sheet: 100 
Perforation gauge: 14
Paper type: 103gsm gummed red phosphor coated stamp paper
Cost of unaddressed first day cover: $7.20
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Colour blocks ('traffic lights') were included in plate blocks for sheet stamps. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats for sheet stamps.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 27 July 2000.