Fifty years since its opening, Auckland Harbour Bridge is an icon of New Zealand’s landscape. Replacing a 40-kilometre drive or a cross harbour ferry ride, it’s been key to growth in the region – transforming North Shore’s seaside villages and rural communities into a thriving city, and opening Auckland City and points north and south to previously unimaginable opportunities for expansion and development.
Join us in celebrating the anniversary of this remarkable structure’s opening, with four gummed stamps, one self-adhesive stamp and a first day cover that are bound to be snapped up by Kiwis and international collectors alike.
50c – Opening Day 1959
On 30 May 1959, Governor-General Lord Cobham officially opened the box truss bridge after a week of celebrations that included a crossing by thousands of pedestrians before it was opened to vehicles. Retailers prepared for the event with ‘bridge specials’ and competitions, while parades, fashion shows and dances were held to welcome the new landmark.
$1.00 – Our Bridge 2009
By the late 1960s it was apparent that the Bridge would soon reach its capacity. To cope with the growth in traffic volumes, Japanese company IHI clipped two new lanes to each side of the bridge using the existing pier supports. The work was completed in 1969, with the only major maintenance required since being a girder strengthening project in 2006.
$1.50 – Our Icon 1961
From the day it opened until 1984, Auckland Harbour Bridge was a toll road, charging 25 cents per car with the aim of recovering the costs
of construction. After one year of operation, 4.9 million vehicles had crossed the bridge, a figure that increased to 10.6 million in 1966 and reached more than 60 million in 2008. To help manage the traffic flow, the world’s first ‘moveable lane barrier’ was installed in 1990 – it’s now moved four times a day to create an extra lane at peak times.
$2.00 – Our Link 2009
Today, the Auckland Harbour Bridge is an essential link between the North Shore and Auckland City – providing commuters, travellers
and tourists with an easy, direct link to motorways stretching north and south. It’s also a visitor destination, with bridge climbing and bungy jumping experiences now on offer to those with an adventurous spirit. Care to try ‘the fastest way of getting to see Waitemata Harbour’ yourself?
Stamp Issue: 2009-05-01