A Tiki Tour of New Zealand

In other countries they might call it the ‘roundabout way’ to get somewhere or the ‘scenic route’. But in New Zealand it’s a ‘Tiki tour’, and it’s the only way to go. It involves getting from A to B via L&P®.

Issue information

Your classic Tiki tour is all about enjoying the journey as much as the destination, and checking out as many 'choice' national icons as you can along the way.

This stunning edition of 24 stamps was designed to capture the ‘get up and go’ spirit of the classic Kiwi Tiki tour, celebrating so many of the home-grown fascinations across the land.

Our unique wildlife, landscapes, buildings, statues and industries are all here.

Enjoy the Tour

Starting our Tiki tour at the northern tip, Cape Reinga, you’ll see the signposts that point out how we couldn’t be much further from the rest of the world. The famous lighthouse at the tip and great fishing.

Then heading down towards Auckland, the City of Sails, and travelling past Tāne Mahuta, the biggest kauri tree in the country and thousands of years old.

Through the ‘Mooloo’ country of Waikato, the home of cowbells and check out the rowing.

Next stop, the big game fishing and surfing on the East Coast, and that rumble you can hear is the volcano of White Island. No Tiki tour is complete without seeing Paeroa’s giant L&P® bottle.

On to Hawke’s Bay, the bountiful produce, and don’t forget the beautiful Pania (she’s so iconic she’s been stolen once you know!).

Coming up next, the giant gumboot of Taihape. The thermal wonderland of the volcanic plateau and, next door, the Māori cultural HQ that is Rotorua.

Taranaki, or ‘the Naki', beckons to the west, and Len Lye’s Wind Wand is must-see territory.

Then to the lush green plains of Manawatu followed by the wind farms of Palmy (Palmerston North).

The Golden Shears await in Wairarapa, then on to the capital and the Cake Tin, where the Hurricanes cook.

So it’s the South Island next. Take the ferry stamp to wine country, past the whales that like to be watched.

Or slip down the West Coast past Westport, to the giant Greymouth tribute statue (to those who help in times of need) and pancake rocks.

Swing back into the Alps and Mackenzie country. Check out the Church of the Good Shepherd and statue of Mackenzie’s dog.

To Christchurch, and the giant Neil Dawson sculpture in Cathedral Square. Then allez vite to the French township of Akaroa.

Whipping on down the stamps, past the Moeraki Boulders to Dunedin, Larnach Castle and winter curling.

Inland, the stamps cover the adventure heaven of Queenstown, then the beauty of Fiordland.

The large sculptural links on the shores of Stewart Island are your last stop, before you take a sweeping turn to the Chatham Islands. Home to some of the world’s rarest birds and largest crayfish.

Take Your Eyes on a Quick Tiki Tour of Our Stamping Ground

Here's a selection of what you could see and do as you travelled from the top, down.

  • Signpost (Cape Reinga).
  • Lighthouse (Cape Reinga).
  • Red snapper (fish).
  • Surfcasting.
  • Tāne Mahuta (our oldest kauri).
  • Quill pen (Waitangi).
  • Stone Store (Kerikeri).
  • Hole in the rock tour (Cape Brett).
  • Dolphins.
  • Maui snaring the sun (Māori legend).
  • White heron (kōtuku).
  • Yachting (a popular pastime for Kiwis).
  • Aeroplane (carrying people to Aotearoa).
  • Rangitoto Island (volcano).
  • Sky Tower (tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere).
  • Surf boat.
  • L&P® bottle (Paeroa).
  • Car towing caravan.
  • Hibiscus flower.
  • Marlin fishing (where the big ones are caught).
  • Waikato rugby (home of the Mooloos).
  • Balloon festival.
  • Waka (canoe).
  • Mud pools (Rotorua).
  • Rowing (Lake Karapiro).
  • Statue of shearer (Te Kuiti).
  • Trout (Taupo).
  • Kiwifruit (Te Puke).
  • Māori carving.
  • Pōhutukawa tree.
  • East Coast-style whare (meeting house).
  • Surfing.
  • Horse riding.
  • Māui gas rig.
  • Mt Taranaki.
  • Wind Wand (designed by Len Lye).
  • Hang gliding.
  • Gumboot (Taihape – gumboot capital of the world).
  • Fruit basket of NZ.
  • Wind turbines.
  • Vikings (Dannevirke).
  • Waimarie river cruise (Whanganui).
  • Giant kiwi (Eketahuna).
  • State highway 1 sign.
  • Tractor tour (Cape Kidnappers).
  • Gannet colony (Cape Kidnappers).
  • Pania of the Reef (Napier).
  • Tribute statue (Greymouth).
  • Pancake Rocks (Punakaiki).
  • Municipal building (Westport).
  • Mussel beds.
  • Fly fishing.
  • Glass blowing.
  • Wine growing.
  • Richard Seddon statue (Parliament).
  • Westpac Stadium (Wellington).
  • Daffodil capital of the world (Carterton).
  • Golden Shears (Masterton).
  • Windsurfing.
  • Cook Strait ferry.
  • Mount Cook lily.
  • Coal mining.
  • Statue of Mackenzie’s dog (Lake Tekapo).
  • Red deer.
  • Roadside crayfish caravan (Kaikoura).
  • Punting on the Avon (Christchurch).
  • French settlement (Akaroa).
  • Neil Dawson’s Chalice sculpture (Christchurch).
  • Whale watching.
  • Crayfish (Chatham Islands).
  • Black robin.
  • Fishing boat.
  • Milford Sound.
  • Kayaking.
  • Skiing.
  • Jetboat (Shotover River).
  • Kea.
  • Wings over Wanaka.
  • Clock (Alexandra).
  • Museum building (Ōamaru).
  • New Zealand cockle (clam).
  • Kākāpō.
  • Country and western festival (Gore).
  • Museum building (Invercargill).
  • Burt Munro bike (Oreti Beach where he raced).
  • Larnach Castle (Dunedin).
  • Moeraki Boulders.
  • Curling (Central Otago).
  • Seal colony.
  • Stewart Island shag.
  • Chain sculpture (Rakiura track, Oban).
  • Blue cod (fish).

First Day Covers

This collection of 24 stamps spaned three first day covers. And we made sure that if you wanted to present them together, when they sit one above another, they made themselves into a map too.

Free Poster

This went the whole hog. There was a free A1 Tiki tour poster included with every sheet of stamps, and with the first day cover set.

The ideal poster to whack on any wall. You could throw darts at it, to work out where your next real-life Tiki tour destination would be.

Or you could take it on the road with you and tick off the places as you went. And naturally, send a postcard from every destination.

Product Listing for A Tiki Tour of New Zealand

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Set of Stamps Mint, used or cancelled sheet of 24 x 50c stamps. $12.00
Set of First Day Covers Set of three first day covers with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $13.50
A1 Poster A1 poster featuring artwork from the stamp issue. $5.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 5 August 2009
Number of stamps: 24 gummed stamps
Denominations: 50c x 24
Stamps and first day covers designed by: Assignment Group, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours:  Four process colours plus clear overgloss
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 35mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 24
Perforation gauge: 14.285 x 14.285
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until close of business 4 August 2011.