The Great Barrier Reef is the star of Stamp Collecting Month (SCM) 2018. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and the largest living structure on the planet. The reef is home to 600 types of soft and hard corals, more than 100 species of jellyfish, 3,000 varieties of molluscs, 500 worm species, 1,600 types of fish, 133 species of sharks and rays and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins. Plus, 2018 has been declared the International Year of the Reef, and much work is being done to protect the Reef from the pressures of climate change.

SCM runs through the whole of August and there’s something to appeal to people of all ages.


For stamp collectors

Do you have friends, children or grandchildren at primary school? Why not treat SCM as an opportunity to talk with them about your love of stamps and stamp collecting?

The Reef Safari stamp issue, released on 1 August 2018, presents bright and colourful stamp designs featuring five of the many different creatures that live in the reef’s complex ecosystem: Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius), Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Olive Sea Snake (Aipysurus laevis), Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) and the Grey Reef Shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos).

The stamp issue includes a range of exciting products, including three medallion covers (one with a spinning medallion), a prestige booklet that delves further into the fascinating world of the Reef, and a 3D stamp pack. The 3D stamp pack contains both a standard and 3D minisheet. The 3D minisheet has been created using lenticular printing, a technology that deploys lenticular lenses to create an illusion of depth and the ability to view the image from different angles. The four $1 stamps on the 3D minisheet are perforated; the $2 Grey Reef Shark stamp is imperforate.

For students and parents

August is the time to go on a Reef Safari and explore our SCM website – all about the Great Barrier Reef. It’s packed with interesting information, fun facts and amazing photographs, as well as a fantastic video about the Reef and the fascinating creatures within it. You can learn a bit more about stamp collecting, too – a hobby enjoyed by people around the world! As well as some colourful stamps, we are also releasing an activity book and four jigsaw puzzles with a reef theme.

Visit the SCM website
Watch video

For teachers

SCM is aimed at primary school-aged children and brings a fascinating topic to life through stamps. Why not explore the Great Barrier Reef in your classroom, with our fantastic educational resources including units of work tailored to specific year levels and with links to the national curriculum. The SCM website is a great resource – there’s a fun and informative video on there, too.

Download educational resources
Watch video


Stamp Collecting Month 2018 runs during August. The Reef Safari stamp issue is available from 1 August 2018, online, at participating Post Offices and via mail order on 1800 331 794, while stocks last.

View the gallery and technical details from this issue.

This article was produced at the time of publication and will not be updated.

Philatelic Team