Monday, November 8, 2010

New Zealand – Scenic Definitives

New Zealand is internationally renowned as an astonishingly beautiful place to visit – and you can see why in NZ Post’s new range of Scenic Definitive stamps. Featuring a selection of the country’s favourite visitor destinations, the stamps showcase the visual wonders of its natural environment.

$1.20 – Mitre Peak, Milford Sound
The $1.20 stamp features an iconic image of Mitre Peak, which rises almost 1700 metres above the waters of Milford Sound in the south-western South Island. The Maori name for Milford Sound is ‘Piopiotahi’ meaning ‘Place of the Singing Thrush’. The name ‘Mitre Peak’, probably given by a survey crew from the HMS Acheron in 1851, reflects its resemblance to a Christian bishop’s mitre or head-dress when viewed from the south.

$1.90 – Queenstown

Surrounded by the magnificent Southern Alps and sitting on the shores of crystal-clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown has cemented its place as New Zealand’s premier lake and alpine resort. Its tourist activities include a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw - a 98-year-old vintage twin-screw steamer that’s the only remaining passenger-carrying, coal-fired steamship in the Southern Hemisphere.

$2.40 – Lake Rotorua

At 79.8 square kilometres, Lake Rotorua is the second largest lake in the North Island. Close to its centre is Mokoia Island, a rhyolite dome that rises 180 metres above the lake’s surface. Privately owned by Maori and managed in association with the Department of Conservation, the island is a sanctuary for some of New Zealand’s rare bird species, including the kokako, the kiwi and a breeding population of the endangered saddleback.

$2.90 – Kaikoura

The town of Kaikoura is nestled between the majestic Seaward Kaikoura mountains and the vast Pacific Ocean, on the rugged east coast of the South Island. Its strikingly beautiful location and proximity to the offshore Hikurangi Trench have seen it develop as a popular ‘eco-tourist’ location, offering an extensive range of marine-related activities such as whale watching and dolphin swimming.

$3.40 – Christchurch

Christchurch (often called the ‘Garden City’) is the South Island’s largest city. As well as being a business hub, it offers a lively arts and entertainment scene and boutique shopping, as well as the gardens and wide open spaces for which it’s internationally famous. Many visitors enjoy a punt on the Avon River – named by John Deans in 1848 after the River Avon in Scotland.

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