Road Trip Australia
Australia wanted to bring travelling on the most Southern continent of the world to notice by means of an issue with the, especially for us as motorcycle lovers, appropriate name "Road Trip". On the 5 stamps the most used vehicles are depicted. On 2 stamps we see estate cars (station-wagons), on an other one a kind of Hippie VW-van and on the stamp with the highest value the ultimate hikers vehicle: a Citroën Deux Chevaux, in the Netherlands better known as "ugly duckling". But off course our attention goes for 100% to the motorcycle stamp (60 ct) with a picnicing couple, riding a big touring motorcycle and a (semi) classic bike. The motorcyle on the left seems to be a HD, but looking at the exhaust system...? (Henk??)
The couple, still dressed in motorcycle outfit, toasts with the local wine. The name-plate on the tree tells us that they have settled down in the village "Margaret River", called after the river with the same name. This village and the surrounding region, located in South West Australia, are known for their excellent wines, and therefore we also see a vineyard in the background. A few native parrots are flying by, probably coming form the near bird park "Metricup". This area is one of the greenest and most visited tourist regions of Australia.
This issue is available as normal stamps, but also as self-adhesive stamps (sticker stamps). The normal stamps have been printed in sheets with the 3 lowest values (60 ct each) together, and the 2 high values each in a separate sheet. A special collectors block (see above underneath the title) shows, apart from the 5 stamps, in the margins various attributes that are used when travelling. On each of the drawings in the series there is an insect somewhere, and on the Great Barrier Reef stamp the 2 hippies that are driving the VW-van, decorated with Peace-slogans, have a big quarrel about the frogs that they have just run over.
The self-adhesive stamps are issued in 3 different so-called chequebooks, containing 20 sheets each. One booklet with 10 pieces of the 3 low values on each sheet (4 x the motorcycle stamp and 3 x both car stamps) and separate booklets containing 20 sheets with each 5 stamps of one of the high values. The sheets are sold separately at the post office counters and the philatelic service.
Cover of the booklet with self-adhesive stamps
The sheet self-adhesive stamps with the low values
For the total collectors amongst us: on the backside of the sheets is an advertisement for the Presentation Pack, and with that the block and the series are depicted. Thus also on the cover is an image of the motorcycle stamp. In such a PP the series and the block are packed together.
Backside of a sheet self-adhesive stamps
Backside of a sheet self-adhesive stamps
The Presentation Pack
The FDC's, with in the illustration an image of the Great Barrier Reef, have a gas pump in the postmark. Other than usual FDC's from Australia, all first day pieces are cancelled in the hamlet Wandering, near Margaret River, at least when you look at a map. For the vast country of Australia quite unusual, because the complete region of Wandering (4000 km2) counts less than 400 inhabitants. Off course the name is not chosen just like that. Wandering is a synonym for going around. The "village" counts 60 inhabitants, has a pub and..... a post office.
The maximum cards are not more than an enlargement of the stamp image, but have an imprint "Postage Pre-Paid" on the address side, what could make them in theory to postal stationary. Room for discussion.
Finally the Australian Post service has issued a "Special Edition Miniature Sheet Collection", limited to 500 pieces, containing lots of information and 2 special blocks.
The blocks, one imperforated and one decorated with a foil print, have been individually numbered and the blocks that are packed together in a collectors folder have the same number. Inside the folder there is information about each of the shown touristic items. These sets have only been given to important relations.
Road Trip Australia: a stamp series that is for sure worth collecting and studying.
Hans de Kloet
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