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

Classic Travel Posters

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Take a journey back to a time when New Zealand relied on its iconic graphic art to entice tourists from near and far. These classic travel posters helped build the tourism industry that now makes New Zealand world famous.

Issue information

Before the internet, colour television and colour photography New Zealand relied on the charm of its tourism posters to entice travellers from near and far. Showcasing New Zealand’s scenery and culture, this iconic graphic art helped to build the tourism industry that now makes New Zealand world famous.

Up until the 1960s these iconic travel posters played a key role in enticing tourists to make the lengthy journey to visit Aotearoa, and encouraging ‘Kiwis’ to see more of their own countryside. Decorating railway stations and public buildings, these posters reflected New Zealand’s unique landscape, and created a sense of national identity and pride that remains today.

The Classic Travel Posters stamp issue featured a selection of these posters – each rich in colour and a beautifully crafted work of art in its own right. The 20 posters selected showcase New Zealand’s diverse scenery, from the snow-covered Southern Alps in the south to the sun-drenched beaches of Tauranga in the north. New Zealand’s love of the outdoors is apparent through activities such as fishing, skiing and even sheep droving. Our distinctive plant and bird life makes an appearance, as do the attractions of Mäori culture, an important part of New Zealand’s identity.

One Stamp Sheet, 20 Posters

The 20 x 70c stamps in this issue were combined into one eyecatching gummed stamp sheet that evoked a sense of nostalgia for the early years of New Zealand tourism. 

First Day Covers

To complement the stamp sheet, a set of four first day covers was available. Each first day cover had five of the gummed stamps affixed, and made an iconic addition to any collection.

Free Poster!

Such graphic New Zealand works of art deserve to be seen on a large scale, so we created a poster (measuring 535mm x 705mm) featuring all 20 'classic travel posters'. You received the poster free with each stamp sheet or set of first day covers ordered.

Product Listing for Classic Travel Posters

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Set of Stamps

Mint, used or cancelled set of 20 x 70c stamps.

We chose a few posters featured on the stamps from this issue to tell you more about, so read on to find out more!


Railways Studios produced a large number of tourism posters featuring town destinations for outdoor holidays. This Napier poster was produced in 1933, and the Art Deco design reflects the style of the buildings being constructed at the time to replace those destroyed in the 1931 earthquake.

Tasman Empire Airways Ltd (TEAL)

In the 1940s TEAL (now Air New Zealand) introduced flights between New Zealand and Australia, making New Zealand more accessible to international visitors. This poster, designed by Arthur Thompson in the 1950s, shows a carved Māori figure with the TEAL logo flying through its mouth.

Blue Baths, Rotorua

Leonard Mitchell has been referred to as the ‘father’ of New Zealand poster art, and the Blue Baths, Rotorua poster was one of many that he designed. His work for the Tourist and Publicity Department in the 1930s captured distinctively New Zealand scenes for the overseas tourist, such as the ‘thermal wonderland’ of Rotorua.

Sheep Droving

This Sheep Droving poster was designed by Marcus King in the 1930s and contrasts the delights of rural New Zealand with modernity by showing a mounted drover with a mob of sheep against snowcapped mountains in a valley of electricity pylons. Posters of this style used the silkscreen printing process.

Set of First Day Covers Set of four first day covers, each containing five of the different gummed stamps. $16.00
Poster Poster measuring 535mm x 705mm featuring all 20 'classic travel posters'. $9.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 7 August 2013
Number of stamps: 20 gummed stamps
Denomination: 20 x 70c
Stamps and first day covers designed by: Hamish Thompson, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours plus Synseal spot overgloss
Stamp size and format: 32.86mm x 50mm (vertical)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 20
Perforation gauge: 14.40 x 14.00
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks, A and B barcode blocks, and logo and value blocks were supplied as one sheet of 20 stamps.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 6 August 2015.