Southern Lights celebrated in NZ Post stamps and coin
Wednesday, 8 February, 2017 - 12:38
The awe-inspiring Southern Lights seen over the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve are featured on new stamps from New Zealand Post.
The Southern Lights stamps show this stunning natural phenomenon which is characterised by the appearance of rippling curtains of red and green light in the sky. The stamps have been developed with the assistance of Earth and Sky, an astro-tourism company that operates in Lake Tekapo.
In an area of New Zealand that is growing in popularity with tourists, the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is located in the Mackenzie Basin in the South Island.
New Zealand Post Head of Stamps and Coins Simon Allison says the stamps are an opportunity for Kiwis and tourists to learn more about the Southern Lights.
"Many people will be unaware that New Zealand is home to the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve, offering an unbeatable stargazing experience and a chance to see the spectacular Southern Lights.
"The stamps in the miniature sheet have been produced using a special silver foil, replicating the shimmering effect that the Southern Lights have in the sky," says Simon Allison.
As well as the stamps, New Zealand Post is issuing a 1oz silver coin featuring the Church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, where the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is located. The limited edition coin will be popular and won’t last long, Mr Allison says.
Earth and Sky General Manager Margaret Munro says it is exciting to share some of the incredible beauty of this unique area of New Zealand.
"The images were captured at the University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory and each provide a different view of the Southern Lights, with various colours and patterns. From the observatory, the Southern Lights can usually be seen between 10 and 20 times a year."
The stamps and coin can be ordered online at www.nzpost.co.nz/stamps
and will be on sale in PostShops from 8 February 2017.