For such a small country, it often surprises visitors that New Zealand offers such a wide range of scenic attractions. Each year, New Zealand Post produces Scenic stamps which are popular both locally and internationally for their charm, beauty and variety.
In 1995 some of the country's urban highlights were selected to appear on the stamps, quite literally 'lights' - Night Lights. The magic of night lights transforms cities. By day, they are quite different, defined by location, size and their role in the nation's affairs. However, as the day fades and countless lights are switched on, their individuality becomes less pronounced. All are cloaked in a similar mantle and character.
Go to a point above any city and watch the change. Lights twinkle from a myriad of office blocks and homes; streetlights disclose the layout of the city's road system, layouts hidden by day; head and tail lights on thousands of vehicles create yellow and red trails; spotlights bathe buildings, monuments and parks in light; advertising signs flash; special purpose lights stab the darkness; city lights add a special colour to the sky on cloudy nights. Water reflects the glow, increasing the attractiveness of night lights in cities fortunate to have harbour or lake settings.
The six centres chosen each have a unique character. From bustling commercial high-rise cities to bubbling mud pools. At night, the lights transform these areas to give them their own dazzling charm. The photographic treatment given to these stamps clearly indicates how refreshingly different all of these centres are.
Night Lights 'Jumbo' Miniature sheet - $6.75
This special sheet was produced for the Jakarta and Singapore World Stamp Exhibitions held 19-25 August and 1-10 September respectively.
This sheet demonstrates the diversity New Zealand offers from city to city by way of the 1995 Scenic 'Night Lights'; stamps.
Product listing for Night Lights
Click on image to enlarge.
Single 40c 'Auckland' gummed stamp.
Spreading over a narrow isthmus in the north of the North Island, Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and its most important industrial and commercial centre. The heart of the city spills down to the edge of the Waitemata Harbour, a key element in the city's make-up. The harbour was made for yachting, a huge sport in Auckland that lends its name to the slogan by which Auckland is known - 'City of Sails'. Auckland's downtown centre has the country's greatest number of tall office blocks and this stamp shows them in their night splendour, rising behind the central city waterfront area.
Single 80c 'Wellington' gummed stamp.
The nation's capital, located at the southern tip of the North Island is famed for a windy climate and a spectacular setting. The city's downtown area is clustered on a narrow strip of land, much of it reclaimed from the magnificent bowl-shaped harbour. Houses crowd the steep hills circling the city. Wellington is even more spectacular at night, a panoramic blaze of concentrated light. The scene on this stamp is familiar to all Wellingtonians, being taken from Mount Victoria and looks down on the city and its harbour.
Single $1.00 'Christchurch' gummed stamp.
The contrast between Wellington and Christchurch is dramatic. Christchurch lies on the Canterbury Plains on the mid-east coast of the South Island, a little inland from its port of Lyttelton. Most of the 'Garden City' is flat and it is recognised as 'the most English' of New Zealand cities, a town of parks and gardens. The city centre is dominated by the Anglican cathedral and its soaring 65-metre spire. The church and the abutting square form a vital heart. The cathedral, floodlit and framed by leafless winter trees is shown in this night scene.
Single $1.20 'Dunedin' gummed stamp.
Gracious and Victorian, Dunedin was settled by waves of Scottish migrants from the late 1840s. Today Dunedin is still known as the 'Edinburgh of the South'. It was built at the head of Otago Harbour, a long inlet running from the sea on the southeast coast of the South Island. Gold, discovered in hinterland areas in the 1860s, made Dunedin the wealthiest city in early New Zealand and underpinned its economy. There was money for many handsome, made-to-last Victorian buildings and most of them have survived. Together with a carefully laid out city centre they give Dunedin a charming feel. The building featured here is the Town Hall.
Single $1.50 'Rotorua' gummed stamp.
Rotorua is a tourist town, pure and simple. It grew where it did, in the centre of the North Island's inland thermal and lake area, because of nature's wonders. Few areas in the world have such a concentration of thermal attractions as Rotorua and its environs. The famed pink and white silica terraces on the shores of Lake Rotomahana drew the first overseas tourists but even after the terraces were tragically destroyed by the enormous eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886, visitors continue to flock to Rotorua, lured by spouting geysers, hot springs and pools, boiling mud, steaming vents and coloured terraces. The famous old bathhouse building shown here was built at the turn of the century.
Single $1.80 'Queenstown' gummed stamp.
Queenstown is spectacularly sited, nestled on the eastern shore of beautiful Lake Wakatipu in the shadow of The Remarkables mountain range. It is the South Island's major tourist resort, for both New Zealanders and overseas visitors, and has developed rapidly in recent years. It is just as popular with holidaymakers in summer as in winter when ski fields are packed. It is the hub for countless tourist attractions - old gold diggings, tramping, hunting, fishing, daring bungy jumping, jet boating, white water rafting, heli skiing, scenic flights over the Southern Alps and to Milford Sound, lake excursions and many more. The photograph on this stamp looks over Queenstown toward The Remarkables.
|First Day Cover||First day cover with six gummed stamps affixed.||$7.20|
|Maximum Card||Pre-paid six souvenir cards featuring a stamp on the front and artwork from the stamp issue. $9.75||$9.75|
|Post Card||Post Cards||$8.10|
|Presentation Pack||Presentation pack containing a selection of stamp products from the issue and further information on the theme of the stamps.||$8.50|
|Date of issue:||22 February 1995|
|Designer:||Red Cactus Design, Wellington, New Zealand; Miniature Sheet Designer:New Zealand Post, Stamps Business|
|Printer:||Southern Colour Print, New Zealand|
|Stamp sizes:||40mm x 35mm; Miniature Sheet Size:148mm x 210mm|
|Sheet sizes:||50 stamps per sheet; Jumbo Sheet of six stamps|
|Paper type:||Coated Papers, red phosphor coated, unwatermarked|
|Period of sale:||These stamps are on sale until 22 February 1996.|