Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
Call: 06 262 7262

Captain Cook Bicentenary

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In 1769, Captain James Cook sailed from England for Tahiti on board the 'Endeavour' to observe for the Royal Society the transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun. He then went on to make the first recorded landing by Europeans in New Zealand at what is now Gisborne, in Poverty Bay. The leader of the scientific party was Sir Joseph Banks and Dr David Solander was the botanist.

Issue information

These stamps were issued to commemorate the bi-centenary of Captain Cook's first voyage to New Zealand.

Captain James Cook - 4c
This stamp depicts a side portrait of Captain Cook with the planet Venus crossing the sun together with an old navigational instrument, the octant.
Sir Joseph Banks - 6c
This stamp includes a portrait of the noted naturalist Sir Joseph Banks with an outline of the 'Endeavour'.
Dr Daniel Solander - 18c
Solander was the botanist aboard the 'Endeavour' and is illustrated together with a native plant bearing his name and locally know as matata.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - 28c
This stamp depicts a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Captain Cook's 1769 chart of New Zealand.
Miniature sheet - 56c
Incorporating each of the four stamps from this issue.

Stamp Bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 2 in June 1969.

Acknowledgments: Bulletin scanned and provided by John Biddlecombe of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link:

Technical information

Date of issue: 9 October 1969
Designers: E Mayo, Christchurch
Printers: Harrison and Sons, England
Stamp size: 41mm x 25mm
Sheet size: 100 stamps per sheet
Process: Photogravure
Performance gauge: 14.5 x 14
Paper type: Chalk surfaced, unwatermarked
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