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

2019 Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008

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In 2019 New Zealand commemorated 100 years since the birth of Sir Edmund Hillary. These stamps celebrated key moments in the remarkable life of one of our greatest heroes.

Issue information

The enduring nature of Sir Ed’s legacy is that we see him as the embodiment of so many of the attributes that we like to see in ourselves. In our somewhat complicated and contradictory way, we saw him as both humble and successful, considerate and determined, accommodating and focussed, down-to-earth and highly talented.

In many ways Sir Ed’s greatest strength was his ability to reinvent himself. And he did this throughout his long and remarkable life; new expeditions, new projects, new responsibilities. Sir Ed wrote books, made films and became the New Zealand High Commissioner to India. But there was always something that stood out, and that was his commitment to New Zealand. He was an extremely generous man, and he derived great pleasure from the successes of others. Simply, he wanted the best for the country and people he loved.

Presentation Pack

You could find out more about Sir Ed’s legacy from the perspective of his son, Peter Hillary. The pack included a first day cover and the full set of five stamps.

Individually-numbered Souvenir Stamp Sheet

A unique product for your collection, these individually numbered stamp sheets featured a silver-foiled fern and were strictly limited to a run of 2,019.

Product Listing for 2019 Sir Edmund Hillary 1919-2008

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Hillary Ridge, Aoraki/Mount Cook' gummed stamp.

The ascent of Aoraki/Mount Cook’s South Ridge, now named Hillary Ridge, contributed to Sir Ed’s preparedness for the climb on Mount Everest four years later.

Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Mount Everest' gummed stamp.

Making the first ascent of the world’s highest mountain not only made Sir Edmund Hillary a famous name, but it helped to put New Zealand on the map in the minds of people around the world. 

Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'South Pole Expedition' gummed stamp.

As well as leading the Ross Sea party in 1957/1958 and conducting scientific research for the International Geophysical Year, Sir Ed led the first vehicular crossing to the South Pole. 

Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Himalayan Trust' gummed stamp.

Over half a century, Sir Ed built schools, hospitals, airstrips, water systems and bridges, and provided thousands of educational scholarships to the people of the villages around Mount Everest in Nepal. 

Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'Ocean to Sky, India' gummed stamp.

Led by Sir Ed, the Indo-New Zealand Ganges Expedition in 1977 took three New Zealand Hamilton Jet boats from the Bay of Bengal across the Gangetic Plains and ended with the ascent of a 6,000 metre Himalayan peak. 

First Day Cover First day cover with five gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.00
Stamp Sheet Sheet of 25 x $1.30 gummed stamps. Each sheet was individually numbered and featured a silver-foiled fern. Strictly limited to a run of 2,019. $50.00
Presentation Pack

You could find out more about Sir Ed’s legacy from his son, Peter Hillary. The pack included a first day cover and the full set of five stamps.

Still available to purchase. Click here.


Technical information

Date of issue: 23 July 2019
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Denominations: $1.30 x 5
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Helcia Berryman, Grange Park Creative, Raumati South, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 46mm x 35mm (horizontal)
Paper type:  Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet:  25
Perforation gauge: 14.286 x 14.47
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least ten stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A and B formats.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 22 July 2020. First day covers remained on sale until 17 September 2019.