Australia Post issued four Sailing Ships of Australia stamps in 1999 to celebrate Australia's maritime history. All sailing ships featured in this issue have played a significant role in Australia's maritime history.
45c stamp - Polly Woodside, built in 1885, is one of only two of her type still afloat in Australia. It was primarily involved in coastal and intercolonial trade between Australia and New Zealand. Covered more than 800,000 nautical miles in her trading career, the Polly Woodside now has a pride of place at the Melbourne Maritime Museum.
85c stamp - Alma Doepel, built in 1903, is the last of its kind in Australia. It was a commercial ship trading mainly along Australia's eastern coast. Restored in 1980s, she now sails in Port Philip Bay.
AU$1.00 stamp - The Enterprize, a replica of the topsail schooner, was purchased by John Pascoe Fawkner in 1835 and was sent across Bass Strait where her mooring in the lower reaches of the Yarra on 30 Aug 1835 established the birth of Melbourne.
AU$1.05 stamp - Lady Nelson was the first to sail from the west through Bass Strait, initiating the shorter route from England to Sydney. It was also instrumental in establishing the first European occupations in Tasmania. The replica of Lady Nelson, built in the late 1980s, now sails regularly around Tasmanian waters.
Date of Issue : 19 Mar 1999
Postmark : Post Melbourne VIC 3207
Denomination : 45c, 85c, AU$1.00 and AU$1.05
Stamp Size : 30mm x 30.5mm
Paper : CPL
Printing Process : Offset lithography
A LIL' NOTE
Melbourne played host to an international showcase of stamps and stamp collecting, Australia 99, from 19 to 24 Mar 1999. Above commemorative stamps were launched on the opening day of Australia 99.
A special feature of this issue is a tab next to the Polly Woodside 45c stamp with the Australia 99 logo printed in black and gold.