The Legendary Landmarks stamp issue takes a look at just 18 of the many town icons across New Zealand, highlighting just how wonderful and unique these sculptures and the towns they represent really are. From the well-known landmarks like the Lemon & Paeroa bottle and the Ohakune carrot, to the lesser-known Mossburn deer and the truly kiwi Taihape gumboot, these landmarks can tell about the local history and the town’s identity without saying a word.
The 18 x 80c stamps in this issue are provided together as one gummed stamp sheet. Designed to look like postcards stuck to a classic kiwi fridge, the sheet is a nod to the tradition of collecting postcards from each town whilst on holiday.
Opononi – Opo the Friendly Dolphin
For 10 magical months between June 1955 and March 1956, Opo the friendly dolphin entertained crowds at Opononi Bay. She was a young bottlenose dolphin who loved spending time with the locals, particularly the children. Her favourite tricks were juggling balls or beer bottles on her snout. This bronze statue, a tribute to Opo, resides on the Opononi waterfront.
Rakiura – Chain Link
The chain found on Rakiura (Stewart Island) at the entrance to Rakiura National Park comes from the legend of Maui fishing up the North Island of New Zealand. According to the legend, Rakiura (known as Te Punga-O-Waka-A-Maui) was formed from the anchor of Maui’s canoe. There is a matching link sculpture on the South Island at the southern-most town in New Zealand, Bluff.
Taihape – Giant Gumboot
The iconic kiwi character Fred Dagg, created by comedian John Clarke, hailed from Taihape. The proud graduate of ‘Gumboot University’ was experiencing great success with the Gumboot Song, and so to encourage visitors to come to town, Taihape became the self proclaimed gumboot capital of the world.
Tirau – Big Sheep
When the local numbers of Tirau were dwindling in the 1980’s, entrepreneur Henry Clothier took advantage of Tirau’s location on State Highway 1 and opened an antiques store to get travellers to stop. His son Steven Clothier, now known as the Iron Man of Tirau, was tasked in the 1990′s with building the now iconic Big Sheep wool gallery and the Big Dog information centre, eventually turning Tirau into the corrugated iron capital it is today.
To add to this Legendary Landmarks collection, a set of three first day covers is available. The 18 stamps are spread across the three first day covers, and the set makes a perfect addition to any Kiwiana stamp collection.