Australia 2004 Australian Impressions
From Stamps of the World
- Issue Date : 13 July 2004
- Designed by : Belinda Marshall
- Printed by : SNP Sprint
- Print Process : Lithography
- Perforations : 14 x 14½ (vert.), 14½ x 14 (horiz.)
- Dimensions: 30mm x 50mm
- Format: sheets of 50
Every year millions of Australians spend their holidays reconnecting with their unique island continent. This stamp issue pays tribute to our unique wildlife – our love affair with the beach and our world heritage areas – aspects of Australia that leave indelible impressions on our hearts and minds.
$1 Koala Stamp
The koala is one of the marsupial species that developed exclusively on the Australian continent, probably during the time when Australia was drifting northward, gradually separating from what was to become the Antarctic, about 45 million years ago. The modern koala is the single living representative of its genus and species Phascolarctos cinereus, and a universally recognised and much loved symbol of Australia.
It’s hard to believe that the koala was once hunted, almost to extinction, for its fur. Public outcry in Australia and around the world led to the koala being declared a protected species in the 1930s, but at that point it was believed only a few thousand animals remained. Today a national koala conservation strategy addresses the management issues facing one of Australia’s most high profile species in all the states and territories in which the koala occurs naturally.
$1 Little Penguin Stamp
Penguins are flightless seabirds that are only found in the Southern Hemisphere. Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) are found in small colonies around the southern coastlines of Australia and its islands (a sub-species is found in New Zealand where they are known as “blue penguins”). The bird’s other name, “fairy penguin” is better suited to the magical sight of these miniature treasures walking up the shore and back to their burrows at dusk.
Although the best known spot for viewing these birds is the Penguin Parade at Victoria’s Phillip Island Nature Park, breeding colonies can be found along the southern coast of Australia, as far north as South Solitary Island New South Wales (near Coffs Harbour) as far west as the Shoalwater Island Group near Perth, Western Australia, and as far south as Bruny Island, Tasmania.
$1.45 Clown Anemonefish
Clown anemonefish (Amphiprion percula) are just one of the many colourful sea creatures that draws visitors to the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is one of the world’s natural wonders. It contains the largest coral reef ecosystem with 400 types of coral, 1500 species of fi sh and 4000 types of mollusc. The reef is the habitat of threatened species such as the dugong and large green turtle. The Great Barrier Reef is also the world’s largest marine protected area. It was inscribed on the Register of World Heritage Sites in 1981, in recognition of its unique character.
$2.45 Main Beach Stamp
The outback looms large in the Australian psyche, but about 83% of Australians live less than 50 km from the coast. The coastline stretches some 36,000 km around Australia, from secret coves to developed holiday resort beaches the local beach is a place anyone can go to enjoy the sun, sea and sand. The beach is surfing and sandcastle building, sun worshiping and people watching, not to mention the restorative qualities of the sea air and the fun of a game of beach cricket.
Australians love to spend their holidays at the beach, and Queensland is home to some of the best known beaches in the world. The beach featured on this stamp is instantly recognisable as Main Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland. It speaks to us not only of sunny days, sand and surf, but also of the promise of exotic nightlife, a swag of restaurants and shopping for every taste and budget.
First Day Cover
The first day of issue postmark was Main Beach QLD 4217.