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

2003 Scenic Definitives

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New Zealand's landscape is one of spectacular beauty, a place where nature is at its breathtaking best.

Issue information

This small country of only 270,000 square kilometres possesses a vast abundance of scenic delights, from majestic snow-capped mountains to lush rain forests, black sandy beaches to glorious white-sand beaches, from ancient glaciers to hissing geysers and boiling mud pools. In 2003 we celebrated this rich diversity with five stamps, depicting scenery from both the North and the South Island.

Five Stunning Locations

All five gummed stamps together with a self-adhesive version of the $1.50 stamp, featured on the 2003 Scenic Definitives first day cover.

Distinctly New Zealand

The five 2003 Scenic Definitives featured New Zealand Post's new stamp identifier, the fern image especially commissioned for use on our stamps. The fern was chosen as a recognised symbol of New Zealand - delicate yet strong, it was particularly appropriate when set agqainst these natural landscapes.

A New Era of Stamp Design

For most of its 160-year history, New Zealand Post (and its predecessor the New Zealand Post Office) had been the only organisation authorised to issue New Zealand stamps.

Today, however, we now operated in a fully competitive market, with several others vying for the share of the stamps business. That's why, in 2003, we developed the new 'stamp identifier', a stylised fern that you would see on most New Zealand Post stamps from now on. This elegant icon set our stamps apart from the rest for this and any furture issues.

To celebrate this event, we created a very special stamp sheet collector's item. The first 100 sheets of each of the $1.00, $1.50, $2.00 and $5.00 2003 Scenic Definitives stamps and the first 500 sheets of the 50c stamp were numbered and issued with the fern overprinted with silver foil.

Product Listing for 2003 Scenic Definitives

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 50c 'Ailsa Mountains' gummed stamp.

Towering over 3,500 metres above sea level, the Ailsa Mountains form a magnificent western backdrop to Lake Wakatipu, in the South Island's Fiordland region. The mountains are drained by the Greenstone and Caples Rivers, whose waters contain a rich resource of rainbow and brown trout and whose valleys and surrounding beech forests are popular choices for tramping and camping expeditions.

Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Coromandel' gummed stamp.

The Coromandel Peninsula - just two hours' drive from Auckland, New Zealand's largest city - is a haven of untouched beauty. An historic logging and gold-mining area, it offers a getaway destination of lush forests, deserted beaches and secluded bays. A marine reserve off the east coast shelters a wealth of fish, shellfish and marine plant species.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Arrowtown' gummed stamp.

When gold was discovered in central Otago's Arrow River in the 1860s, thousands of miners flocked to the district. 'Arrowtown', established in 1862, soon earned itself a reputation for lawlessness and constant squabbles over claims for gold. Arrowtown's original buildings have been restored and the 'living historic town' is a popular tourist destination.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Tongariro National Park' gummed stamp.

Located in the central North Island, Tongariro is New Zealand's oldest national park. It includes and protects three major active volcanoes - Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro - as well as forests, tranquil lakes and a desert-like plateau. In this strongly contrasting landscape you'll find hot springs and winter snowfields, alpine herbs and dense beech forests, as well as many native birds, animals and insects.

Single Stamp

Single $5.00 'Castlepoint' gummed stamp.

This small holiday settlement on the North Island's Wairarapa coast is dominated by a white-coloured headland named 'The Castle' by explorer Captain James Cook. With its fossil-rich reef, sheltered lagoon, extensive beach and undulating sand dunes, Castlepoint is a popular location for water-based recreational pursuits - and a visiting point for dolphins, fur seals, sea birds and the occasional small whale.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Arrowtown' self-adhesive stamp.

Foiled Sheet of Stamps

Sheet of 100 x 50c 'Ailsa Mountains' gummed stamps with silver foiled fern overprint. Limited to 500 sheets.

Set of Foiled Sheets of Stamps Set of sheets with silver foiled fern overprint. Limited to 100 sets. $575.00
First Day Cover First day cover with gummed and self-adhesive stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $12.00
Self-adhesive Booklet Booklet containing 5 x $1.50 self-adhesive stamps. $7.50

Technical information

Date of issue: 7 May 2003
Number of stamps: Five
Denominations and designs: 50c Alisa Mountains, $1.00 Coromandel, $1.50 Arrowtown (gummed and self-adhesive), $2.00 Tongariro National Park, $5.00 Castlepoint
Stamps and first day cover designed by: CommArts Design, Wellington
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 25mm (landscape)
Paper type: Gummed: De la Rue 103gsm red phosphor stamp paper; Self-adhesive: 210gsm PSA gloss back stamp paper
Perforation guage: Gummed: 13.50 x 13.25; Self-adhesive: diecut
Number of stamps per sheet: 50c and $1.00 sheets of 100; $1.50 in sheets of 50 and booklets of five; $2.00 and $5.00 in sheets of 50
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least four stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B format.
Period of sale: This issue remained on sale until 20 December 2014.