New Zealand Surf Breaks

New Zealand’s tiny land mass with vast stretches of epic coastline has made it somewhat of a surfer’s paradise - minus the constant warm weather and coconut trees! The New Zealand Surf Breaks stamp issue takes a look at some of New Zealand’s most popular surf breaks - from the long peeling waves at Piha to the frigid waters along the Dunedin coast.  

Issue information

New Zealand sits right in the cross hairs of the Roaring Forties, leaving it exposed to the rolling swell that boils up from turbulent Antarctic storms. New Zealand’s minute size means that surfers are able to chase swells from north to south in a matter of hours.

Each of the five stamps in this issue featured one of New Zealand’s prime surfing spots, with dramatic images captured by some of New Zealand’s top surf photographers. The North Island was represented by two of New Zealand’s most well-known surf spots, Piha Bar in Piha and Manu Bay in Raglan, as well as the Waiwhakaiho River mouth in Taranaki along Surf Highway 45. The South Island was represented by Mangamaunu in Kaikoura and Aramoana Spit in Dunedin, both producing world-class breaks in the cooler southern waters. 

First Day Covers and Miniature Sheet 

The five gummed stamps were available on the first day cover, which featured a breaking ‘Piha thumper’ in the background. The ferocity and power of some of the surf along New Zealand’s coast was clearly evident in this close-up shot. 

The uniquely shaped miniature sheet was adhered to a miniature sheet first day cover – both featuring a wave peaking on the East Coast. The surfers dotted in the water prepare to take on these immense forces with little more than a fibre glass board – hoping to catch the perfect ride.

Presentation Pack 

Each of the surf breaks featured on the stamps was explored further in the presentation pack, along with a look at New Zealand’s unique surfing culture. With incredible imagery of New Zealand’s amazing coastline, a complete set of stamps, a first day cover and a miniature sheet, the presentation pack was the ultimate collector’s item for stamp and surf enthusiasts alike. Written by Craig Levers, an international award-winning photographer-come-author in recent years, this presentation pack offered a unique insight into the surfing world of New Zealand.

Product Listing for New Zealand Surf Breaks

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Piha Bar, Piha' gumemd stamp.

Piha Bar is at the south end of South Piha Beach west of Auckland. Piha is the birthplace of modern New Zealand surfing. The infamous Piha [sand] Bar is a fickle beast. Sand will build up in the southern lee of the bay along Taitomo island, this can create long peeling waves.

Photo credit to Craig Levers.  

$1.00
Single Stamp

Single $2.20 'Manu Bay, Raglan' gummed stamp.

Raglan is New Zealand’s international surf mecca. Being the closest west coast settlement to Hamilton the discovery of its three rocky left hand point breaks was inevitable. Manu Bay is arguably the nation's most consistent surf break, on any given day of the year there will be a rideable wave. If the swell is too small, Wainui beach just to the north or Ruapuke Beach to the south will have a wave.

Photo credit to Jwan Maliek. 

$2.20
Single Stamp

Single $2.30 'Surf Highway 45, Taranaki' gummed stamp.

Surfing is so engrained in Taranaki they named their main regional road The Surf Highway. And it is no exaggeration; there are surf breaks everywhere. The Waiwhakaiho river mouth is just to the north of Fitzroy beach, known as Waiseys by the locals. As a general rule, it's a fun A frame shaped peak. The right-hander peels back into the river mouth and is more consistent than the left-hander.

Photo credit to Daisy Day. 

$2.30
Single Stamp

Single $2.70 'Mangamaunu, Kaikoura' gummed stamp.

Situated on State Highway 1, just 15 minutes up the road from the Kaikoura township, Manga’s is perhaps New Zealand's most iconic right hand point breaks. It is on every Kiwi surfer's bucket list. After the 2016 Kaikoura earthquakes the sea bottom at Manga's raised 2.5 metres. Many feared an icon of the coast was lost. But waves still peel down the point for over 300 metres, and new surf breaks have been formed.

Photo credit to Warren Hawke. 

$2.70
Single Stamp

Single $3.30 'Aramoana Spit, Dunedin' gummed stamp.

The Otago coastline is New Zealand's most surf drenched. With world-class surf breaks at every turn. Aramoana Spit is one of Otago's prime jewels. Its beach produces world class waves due to the off shore outer sand banks. These break up incoming walls of swell into perfect A frame peaks that pitch onto the shallow inshore banks.

Photo credit to Silas Hansen. 

$3.30
Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $11.50
First Day Cover First day cover with five gummed stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.  $12.00
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue.  $12.00
Presentation Pack

Each of the surf breaks featured on the stamps was explored further in the presentation pack, along with a look at New Zealand’s unique surfing culture. With incredible imagery of New Zealand’s amazing coastline, a complete set of stamps, a first day cover and a miniature sheet, the presentation pack was the ultimate collector’s item for stamp and surf enthusiasts alike. Written by Craig Levers, an international award-winning photographer-come-author in recent years, this presentation pack offers a unique insight into the surfing world of New Zealand.

Still available to purchase. Click here.

$29.90

Technical information

Date of issue: 7 June 2017
Number of stamps: Five gummed stamps
Denominations: $1.00, $2.20, $2.30, $2.70 and $3.30
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day cover designed by: Hannah Stancliffe-White, New Zealand Post
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 50mm x 25mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104 gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 25
Perforation gauge: 14.4 x 14
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 6 June 2018. First day covers remained on sale until 6 August 2017.