September through April are the dry months with December through February being the preferred peak. Such is its awe-inspiring landscape that visitors prefer to absorb it slowly by taking a driving tour. The major cities are Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington, and Auckland. National parks, art galleries, museums, botanical gardens and aquatic life are among the main attractions. Fiordland, Abel Tasman, Wetland Tongariro and Marlboro Sounds are highly rated locations to visit. Efforts in preserving the Maori culture have panned out well with more and more Maori artists gaining prominence. Globalization has further helped to highlight their traditional crafts of weaving and carving.
|Resource||ISBN or ASIN||Best Price||Description|
|The Rough Guide to New Zealand||978-1848365230||$19||Almost 900 pages of travel information. Starts off with a 70-page traveler’s introduction in Part I. Part II covers Auckland and Around, Northland, Western North Island, The Central South Island, Dunedin to Stewart Island, The West Coast, Queenstown, Wanaka and the Gold Country, and Fiordland.|
|New Zealand Travel Map||978-0794605414||$9||Includes City Maps of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, and Rotorua City. Area maps of North Island, South Island, Queenstown Area, Rotorua Area, and Bay of Islands.|
|Univeral Plug Adapter for Australia New Zealand China Argentina||B00374I2T2||$6|
|Other Travel Needs||NA||Varies|
The first stamps of New Zealand were a set of three stamps released on July 18, 1855 in the Queen Victoria (QV) theme. The set (Scott #1 to #3) is extremely rare and catalogs for around $100K mint and around $18K used. The first set was London prints with a watermark. Later that year and through 1858, Auckland prints of the same set were issued. That set (Scott #4 to #6) is also very rare and catalogs for around $40K mint and around $6.5K used. In 1857, another print of the same design along with an additional denomination was released between 1857 and 1861. That set (Scott #7 to #10) catalogs for around $17.5K mint and around $3K used. The Auckland prints were on unwatermarked paper. Varieties of the same design were the primary stamp issues of New Zealand till 1872. Most of these sets are very valuable with many fetching into the thousands. The country gained independence from the United Kingdom on May 25, 1854. It is now a parliamentary democracy and constitution monarchy. Elizabeth II is the Queen of New Zealand and executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet of New Zealand.
New Zealand released a set of six stamps in 1874 in the QV theme. The set (Scott #51 to #56) catalogs for around $1000 mint and around $200 used. The set features six different designs of the QV theme. The QV theme formed the primary stamp issues of New Zealand until 1895. New Zealand released a set of fourteen stamps showing local scenes in 1898. The set (Scott #70 to #83) is valuable and sought after and catalogs for around $1300 mint and around $950 used.
Other issues of New Zealand enjoying good philatelic interest include:
- A set of thirteen stamps released on January 2, 1940 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #229 to #241) catalogs for around $75 MNH and around $25 used. The designs show Landing of the Maoris in 1350, Captain Cook, His Map of New Zealand from 1769 and H.M.S. Endeavour, Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, and George VI, Abel Tasman, Ship, and Chart of West Coast of New Zealand, Treaty of Waitangi, Pioneer Settlers Landing on Petone Beach in 1840, Allegory showing the progress of transport, H.M.S. Britomart at Akaroa, Route of Ship Carrying First Shipment of Frozen Mutton to England, Maori Council, Gold Mining in 1861 and Modern Gold Dredge, and Giant Kauri. The Maori population accounts for about 15% of the total population while people from European descent dominate with around 78%. Agriculture, diary products, and wine are still an important part of the economy accounting for over one-fifth of their GDP.
- A set of sixteen stamps released in 1953 showing Queen Elizabeth II (QEII). The set (Scott #288 to #301) catalogs for around $125 MNH and around $40 for used. The set was released to mark the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. The set features three different designs in many colors and denominations.
- A set of four stamps released on June 4, 1975 showing State Forest Parks. The set (Scott #577 to #580) catalogs for around $5 MNH or used. The designs show Lake Sumner, North West Nelson, Kaweka, and Coromandel. Human activity in the Islands is known to have started only by around 1250 AD. The isolation resulted in New Zealand having a distinctive fauna. A number of them became extinct following human activity.
- A set of six stamps released on November 2, 1988 in the Whales of the Southern Oceans theme. The set (Scott #936 to #941) catalogs for around $9 MNH or used. The designs show humpack, killer, Southern right, blue, and Southern bottle-nose whales.
- A set of seven stamps released on October 2, 1996 featuring Extinct Birds. The set (Scott #1393 to #1399) catalogs for around $10 MNH or used. The designs show adzebill, laughing owl, piopio, huia, giant eagle, and giant moa. A souvenir sheet of the Giant Moa issue (#1398a) is also considered part of the set and catalogs for around $3. Human activity along with their introduction of rats, ferrets, and other mammals led to the extinction of several bird species, some of which are represented in this set. Over fifty birds and several other animals and plant species are known to have become extinct since human arrival.
- A set of six stamps released on May 7, 2003 featuring Tourist Attractions. The set (Scott #1861 to #1866) catalogs for around $17 MNH and a little less for used. The designs show Aisla Mountains, Coromandel Peninsula, Arrowtown, Tongariro National Park, and Castlepoint. Tourism accounts for around 9% of New Zealand’s GDP.
The first coin of New Zealand was a Pound Sterling Coinage (4 Farthings = 1 Penny, 12 Pence = 1 Shilling, 20 Shillings = 1 Pound) 3 Pence Silver Coin issued in 1937. The issue has high mintage (6M) but still catalogs for around $20 in UNC. Proofs are rare and fetch well into the 100s. Before 1933, British coins were used as legal tender along with Australian coins for small transactions. Due to shortage of coins, several private tokens were issued starting around 1857. Decimal Coinage (100 Cents = 1 Dollar) debut in 1967 and since then New Zealand has issued a number of coins for the numismatic market in the form of proof sets and other uncirculated pieces. They have also issued a few gold proofs over the years.
Numismatic items of New Zealand include:
|Coins||$3 and up||Common UNCs from the 1970s onward starts around $3. First Issue Silver Shillings in VF, UNC sets from the 1980s onward etc start around $30. Recent low mintage silver proofs go into the 100s. Gold Proofs and Commemorative Silver Bullion Sets go well into the 100s and 1000s.|
|Paper Money||$4 and up||Common UNCs starts around $4. High Value Polymer Notes from the 2000s in UNC starts around $25. Poundage from the 1960s in XF, Recent Low Number Banknotes, etc starts around $50. Bundles, Rare Specimens, etc go well into the 100s.|
Māori cloaks, green-stone jewelry, health and skincare products, sheepskin rugs etc., are popular souvenirs from New Zealand.
|Art||$3 and up||Vintage Local Scenes postcards start around $3. Giant Poster Art Prints start around $25. Original works by P Joyce, Isabel Still, Lori Davis, Adele Earnshaw, Harry Smith, Mark Thomas etc go into the 100s.|
|Antiques||$15 and up||19th century maps start around $15. Rare older maps go well into the 100s.|
|Miscellaneous Collectibles||$5 and up||Souvenir collector spoons, patches, etc start around $5. Regiment officer badges start around $20. Maori Pounamu Greenstone ornaments start around $100.|
Last Updated: 12/2015.