New Zealand post issued a set of five stamps featuring Aramoana, Waka, Earnslaw, Dunedin and Rotomahana vessels as a part of Great Voyages of New Zealand.
As a small nation surrounded by water, New Zealand has relied on ships and vessels as a means of transport for as long as it’s been inhabited.
100 years have passed since the Earnslaw was successfully launched, and it’s been 130 years since the Dunedin completed the first successful shipment of frozen meat between New Zealand and England.
70c – Aramoana
The Aramoana’s big stern door transformed domestic transport in 1962. Prior to then, double-handling had made it too costly and slow for rail to compete with coastal ships, but roll-on, roll-off ships seamlessly connected the islands. In 2012 five such ships form a ‘floating bridge’. The 4,160-ton road/rail ferry Aramoana served until 1984.
$1.40 – Waka
Over time M?ori developed a range of distinctive dugout canoes ranging from the imposing waka taua (war canoes) to the humbler fishing canoes, river canoes and reed and flax craft. Usually paddled but sometimes assisted by mat sails, the bigger vessels could transport large quantities of people and trade goods across Cook Strait.
$1.90 – Earnslaw
Tourists walk the triple – expansion steamer Earnslaw’s decks these days, but 100 years ago the ‘Lady of the Lake’ was a hard-working passenger, freight and livestock carrier, one of several linking the isolated farms and settlements of Lake Wakatipu. Designed and built in Dunedin and reassembled at the lakeside in 1912, the Earnslaw still burns coal today.
$2.40 – Dunedin
In 1874 the Albion Line (later Shaw Savill & Albion) commissioned the 1,320-ton Dunedin for the immigrant trade, which it served until being converted in 1881 to carry frozen meat. A regular caller to Oamaru, the Dunedin vanished with all 35 crew after sailing from that port for London in March 1890; the ship probably hit an iceberg.
$2.90 – Rotomahana
With its rakish bow, masts and funnel, the Rotomahana looked like an elegant steam yacht. The first ocean-going ship built of mild steel, the 15.5- knot ‘Greyhound of the Pacific’ spearheaded the Union Steam Ship Company’s grab for the trans-Tasman trade in the late 1870s. The 1,727-ton ship later served on the Wellington-Lyttelton and Melbourne-Hobart runs before being discarded in 1925.
Title: Great Voyages of New Zealand
Date of Issue: 5 September 2012
Country: New Zealand
Denominations: 70c, $1.40, $1.90, $2.40 and $2.90