On the road with Australia Post

14 September 2012

The Australian holiday road trip is celebrated in a new stamp issue depicting five popular destinations. The stamp issue comprises three domestic base-rate (60c) stamps and two international rate ($1.65 and $2.35) stamps and will be released on 18 September 2012.

The road trip has become a familiar experience for many Australians, and for most travellers is as much about the journey as it is the destination. On this large island continent where long strips of bitumen connect towns and cities, a road trip is not only a rite of passage but also a necessity.

"The excitement and fun of travelling to favourite destinations has been the inspiration for this stamp issue. We trust the delightful stamp illustrations will appeal to collectors and general mail-users alike," said Australia Post Philatelic Manager Michael Zsolt.

The Road Trip Australia stamps are illustrated by Australian artist Gavin Ryan. The stamp designs take a light-hearted approach to travelling through remarkable landscapes and calling at some landmark attractions; Port Arthur, in Tasmania; the Great Barrier Reef, on Australia's north-eastern coastline; Margaret River, in Western Australia; Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory; and Phillip Island, south of Melbourne.

One of Australia's most significant cultural heritage sites is Port Arthur, on the Tasman Peninsula, which was once a penal settlement for men from 1830 to 1877. The World Heritage-listed site attracts up to 300,000 visitors a year. The penitentiary is featured in the stamp illustration along with another ghost of Tasmania's past, the thylacine.

The World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world. It is located along some 2,000 kilometres of Australia's north-eastern coastline and is a primary tourist attraction in Queensland. The coastal highway delivers stunning ocean views, clean sandy beaches and the lusciously green Daintree National Park among other road trip treats.

Once a sleepy surf town boasting world-class breaks, Margaret River in Western Australia is now known as much for its fine wines, boutique breweries and gourmet local produce. The local environment also offers rugged coastline, beautiful beaches, soaring forests and a network of caves, plus activities such as surfing, walking, canoeing and whale watching.

Alice Springs in the Northern Territory is at the geographic centre of Australia. One of the annual highlights on the Alice Springs' calendar is the Lasseter's Camel Cup. This off-beat tradition has been staged since 1970, when it was run on the dry bed of the Todd River. Now run over 400 metres at Blatherskite Park, the Camel Cup gives a nod to the early form of transport used by settlers in the area.

Phillip Island, off the Victorian coast south of Melbourne is particularly known for its Penguin Parade. This is one of Australia's most popular wildlife attractions and the island is home to one of the world's largest colonies of the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor). The Little Penguin is one of the smallest penguin species and it is best seen on Phillip Island at sunset, when the penguins emerge from the sea and waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows.

The Road Trip Australia stamp products comprise a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, self-adhesive sheetlet of five x $1.65 stamps, self-adhesive sheetlet of five x $2.35 stamps, self-adhesive booklet of 10 x 60c stamps and a set of five maxicards. The stamps and associated products are available at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps from 18 September 2012 while stocks last.