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

2000 Scenic Reflections

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New Zealand’s many lakes and waterways are renowned for their natural beauty often set against a spectacular backdrop of native forests or mountains. They are havens for a variety of birds, fish and other wildlife, and for visitors from New Zealand and around the world.

Issue information

This year's 2000 Scenic Reflections stamp issue featured six such lakes, chosen for the magnificent reflections to be seen in their waters - three in New Zealand's North Island and three in the South.

In the North Island, we visited Mount Ruapehu ($1.10), the spectacular 1995 eruption of which is captured in reflection in the lake below. In nearby Rotorua, the Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve ($1.20) overlooks a geothermal pond, a natural phenomenon to be found throughout the area. On the east of the Coromandel Peninsula, we find Tairua Harbour ($1.50) - dramatically photographed by Cam Feast, whose work also featured in the Scenic Skies stamp issue of 1999. The harbour is the base for numerous game-fishing boat charters catching marlin, tuna, snapper, kingfish and crayfish.

The South Island selection includes Lake Wakatipu ($0.80), New Zealand's third largest lake - and its longest at 84 kilometres (it is less than five kilometres wide). A popular location for bungy jumping and jetboat rides, Lake Wakatipu's waters also host leisurely cruises, such as those provided by the elegant Lion, which featured on this stamp. Built in 1908, the Lion was extensively restored in the 1990's, complete with a new colour scheme, polished brass fittings, teak and kauri woodwork and English wool carpet.

Other South Island lakeside destinations include Lake Lyndon ($0.40) near Arthur's Pass in inland Canterbury, a favourite spot for ice-skating in winter, and water-skiing and trout fishing in summer. Finally, the exquisite Lake Alexandrina ($1.80) is the natural habitat for the southern crested grebe and the threatened scaup, a small black duck with yellow eyes.

Product Listing for 2000 Scenic Reflections

Click on image to enlarge.

Image  Title  Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Lake Lyndon' gummed stamp.

Located near Arthur’s Pass, inland Canterbury, Lake Lyndon is a glacial lake shadowed by the towering and snow-covered Craigieburn, Torlesse and Big Ben ranges. The mountain of the same name, Mount Lyndon (1,475 metres) overlooks the small lake, with the larger Lake Coleridge further to the west.

Lake Lyndon is a popular spot for people takng a break on the trip between the east and west coasts of the South Island. The rugged road, State Highway 73, has an interesting history of supporting the trade in gold and greenstone in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

High country tussock grasslands, shrublands and mountain beech forest surround the lake, which is home to the threatened banded dotterel and crested gebe. One of the area's well-recognised inhabitants is the cheeky kea. These alpine parrots with their dark khaki body and bright orange under their wings are comical and inquisitive.

Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Lake Wakatipu' gummed stamp.

Wakatipu is New Zealand’s third largest lake – and its longest at 84 kilometres and less than five kilometres wide. At 291 square kilometres, Wakatipu is the third largest lake in New Zealand. The lake is subject to natural phenomena termed seiches were its level appears to pulsate, rising and falling by by up to as much as 12 centimetres every five minutes or so.

A popular location for bungy jumping and jetboat rides, Lake Wakatipu’s waters also hosted leisurely cruises, such as those provided by the elegant Lion, which featured on this stamp. Built in 1908, Lion was extensively restored in the 1990s, complete with a new colour scheme, polished brass fittings, teak and kauri woodwork and English wool carpet.

Set on the shores of the lake is one of New Zealand's most popular tourist resorts, Queenstown. Queenstown was first settled in the 1860's during the gold-mining era. Today, the area's gold-mining history is one of a huge variety of tourism attractions, from adrenalin-pumping bungy jumps to more leisurely trips cruising Lake Wakatipu. In winter Queenstown is incredibly busy, with five ski fields nearby, people head to the action town for skiing holidays.

Single Stamp

Single $1.10 'Mount Ruapehu' gummed stamp.

The highest mountain in New Zealand’s North Island at 2,797 metres, Ruapehu received international attention in 1995 and 1996 for its dramatic volcanic explosions. Huge clouds of ash and steam were expelled skyward, coating the surrounding snowfields and forest with a thick layer of dark grey ash. The stamp captured Ruapehu's spectacular 1995 eruption which was reflected in the lake below. The crater lake, covering the vent of Ruapehu, was drained of water by the explosions.

 In 1953, the crater lake was the cause of a much more tragic event. A blockage at the outlet of the crater lake collapsed, causing a massive lahar, or flood of water, mud and ash and other volcanic debris, that swept down the slopes of Ruapehu, destroying the rail bridge at Tangiwai. A train plunged into the river and 151 people died.

Ruapehu is the southernmost peak of the three mountains in the central plateau, south of Lake Taupō. Tongariro and Ngauruhoe, along with Ruapehu, are the heart of the Tongariro National Park.

Single Stamp

Single $1.20 ' Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve' gummed stamp.

Rainbow Mountain is a colourful part of Bay of Plenty’s volcanic landscape of boiling mud and steaming pools. Maungakākaramea, as it is also known, means mountain of coloured earth. The mountain has bare brown, orange and red steaming slopes, as the backdrop to two tiny crater lakes. The crater lakes are among five small lakes dotting the reserve. The area surrounding the lakes is covered in thriving native plants including cabbage trees, flax bushes and mānuka.

The summit track to the top of Rainbow Mountain provides dramatic views of the triple peaks of Tongariro National Park to the south and Mount Tarawera and Lakes Tarawera and Rotomahana to the north. Lake Rotomahana was once the home of the Pink and White Terraces that were made famous worldwide through a series of delicate coloured lithographs. However when Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886 the terraces were completely destroyed.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Tairua Harbour' gummed stamp.

On the east of the Coromandel Peninsula, famous for its beaches, bush and gold mining history, is Tairua Harbour. Opposite the resort township of Pāuanui, Tairua has historically been an area of farming and sawmilling, although tourism, especially eco-tourism, has grown in strength.

The Corondel is a haven for those looking for great beaches, fishing and scuba diving. The port at Tairua is a handy base for gamefishing charters out to the Aldermen and other islands, with marlin and tuna caught from time to time, along with snapper, kingfish and crayfish. As a variation to sea fishing, there are trout in the upper reaches of the Tairua River.

Te Whanganui-a-Hei (Catherdral Cove) Marine Reserve provides another option for those who enjoy marine life other than fishing. Snorkelling or scuba diving around the reefs and islands within the marine reserve gives a different view of the underwater life around the Coromandel.

Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'Lake Alexandrina' gummed stamp.

The Mackenzie Country’s Lake Alexandrina is small and delicate when compared to the mighty Lake Tekapo to its east, one of the South Island’s largest lakes. Its clear water contrasts with the opaque turquoise waters of the glacier-fed Tekapo and neighbouring Lake Pukaki.

Motorised boats are not allowed on Lake Alexandrina, making it an attractive option for those seeking peaceful picnicking or undisturbed fishing. Alexandrina is a favoured spot with trout anglers and a few quaint baches, or cribs as known in the South Island, dot the shoreline.

The dry flat grasslands surrounding the lake are home to native skinks and geckos. The lake holds one of the largest single populations of the threatened southern crested grebe and also the scaup, a small black duck with yellow eyes. One of New Zealand's most threatened native birds, the black stilt lives in the braided rivers of the Mackenzie Country nearby.

First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.30

Technical information

Date of issue: 7 July 2000
Number of stamps: Six
Denominations and designs: 40c Lake Lyndon, 80c Lake Wakatipu, $1.10 Mount Ruapehu, $1.20 Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve, $1.50 Tairua Harbour, and $1.80 Lake Alexandrina
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Donna McKenna, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand, by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 30mm horizontal
Paper type: 103gsm De la Rue red phosphor coated stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 100
Perforation gauge: 14
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six sheet stamps. Barcode and value blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two sheet stamps. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats for sheet stamps.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 6 July 2001.