A postmark is an inked rubber stamp, with an imprint that indicates the date and place. A postal worker will press the postmark onto your letter to show the stamp has been used for postage. The date on the postmark records where and when the item enters the mail system.

Postmarks are just as unique and fascinating as stamps themselves. Take a look at some of our latest ones, and learn how to perfectly place postmark ink onto your collectable items.

Latest postmarks

150 Years: Overland Telegraph postmark

150 Years: Overland Telegraph
Issue date: 23 August 2022

Australian Antarctic Program: 75 Years postmark

Australian Antarctic Program: 75 Years
Issue date: 9 August 2022

Cicadas postmark

Cicadas
Issue date: 2 August 2022

Budgerigars postmark

Budgerigars
Issue date: 11 July 2022

Pastor Sir Doug Nichollspostmark

Pastor Sir Doug Nicholls
Issue date: 5 July 2022

Megapodes of Australia postmark

Megapodes of Australia
Issue date: 7 June 2022

Bush Seasonings postmark

Bush Seasonings
Issue date: 24 May 2022

Aboriginal Fibre Art postmark

Aboriginal Fibre Art
Issue date: 3 May 2022

Postcards to the Front postmark

Postcards to the Front
Issue date: 12 April 2022

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022 postmark

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022
Issue date: 5 April 2022

Australian Antarctic Territory Penguins postmark

Australian Antarctic Territory Penguins
Issue date: 22 March 2022

Legends 2022 postmark

Australian Legends of Filmmaking
Issue date: 15 March 2022

Sheepdog Trials: 150 Years postmark

Sheepdog Trials: 150 Years
Issue date: 8 March 2022

Our Beautiful Continent postmark

Our Beautiful Continent
Issue date: 22 February 2022

Times to Cherish postmark

Times to Cherish
Issue date: 8 February 2022

Buckle Up! 50 Years postmark

Buckle Up! 50 Years
Issue date: 25 January 2022

Norfolk Island: Historical Views postmark

Norfolk Island: Historical Views
Issue date: 19 January 2022

Under Sail postmark

Under Sail
Issue date: 11 January 2022

Christmas Island Year of the Tiger 2022 postmark

Christmas Island Year of the Tiger 2022
Issue date: 6 January 2022

The four types of postmarks

National First Day of Issue

Used to commemorate the release of a new stamp on a national level. The locality name is chosen for its link to the stamp issue.

Permanent Pictorial

Reflecting something distinctive to the locality, such as penguins for the town of Penguin in Tasmania or a lighthouse if one is prominent in the area.

Temporary 

These postmarks are used on either single days or consecutive days commemorating a special event.

Individual location

Postmarks associated with a historical or geographical reflection of the local area but not necessarily pictorial and can be used to cancel first day of issue stamps only.

Applying a postmark

If you need a postmark applied to your philatelic item, head to your local Post Office. Only authorised Australia Post staff can apply postmarks. Make sure you’re getting the right kind of postmark applied. You’ll want a national postmark on a first day cover, the correct commemorative postmark for a special occasion stamp, and so on.

Request that the postmark impression is applied with clarity and precision - no smudging! Black is the only colour ink that should be used. Catch the corner of the stamp - don’t cover up the stamp design. Refer to the images below as a guide.

Single stamp

Place the postmark on the left hand side.

Pair of stamps

Should be centrally postmarked at the base of the stamps.

Minisheets

Cancel all the stamps, ensuring at least one postmark also marks the envelope.

Multiple stamps or strips

Use the least number of postmarks to cancel the most number of stamps.