The 1930s were times of great hardship in Australia. The second half of the 1920s saw wheat and wool prices fall and greater competition for export markets. The Wall Street stock market crash in the United States, in 1929, had worldwide impacts, including in Australia. The national unemployment rate reached a staggering 32 per cent in 1932. Against this dire backdrop was a source of optimism, in the form of travel posters, produced largely during the 1930s (but also during the late 1920s and into the early 1940s), in what became known as the “golden age” of Australian poster design.

Travel posters commissioned by the newly-formed Australian National Travel Association (ANTA), the Victorian Railways, and other state-based tourism and railway boards, sought to promote tourism and recreation as both achievable and desirable – a series of simple joys. Commercial artists were tasked with encouraging Australians to “seek the winter sunshine”, to spend “lazy days” cruising the River Murray or to enjoy Queensland’s sunny beaches, with the added call to “see for yourself”, “go by train” and “take a Kodak”. Such posters were also produced to promote Australia as a sunny yet sophisticated travel destination for international travellers, including by the national airline, Qantas.

Three of the most popular and influential poster artists during this period, James Northfield (1887-1973), Percy Trompf (1902-1964) and Gert Sellheim (1901-1970), were colleagues at Melbourne’s Art Training Institute. While Sellheim’s designs were bold, graphic, minimalist and influenced by cubism, Trompf and Northfield, who were both born in small town Victoria, used “lush, painterly tones” and simplified realism to depict Australian landscapes, filled with happy holidaymakers enjoying the great Australian outdoors.

Technical specifications

Issue date
7 March 2023
Issue withdrawal date
30 September 2023
$1.20 x 3
Stamp design
Simone Sakinofsky, Australia Post Design Studio
Product design
Simone Sakinofsky, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper: gummed
Tullis Russell 104gsm Red Phosphor/Blue PVA Stamp Paper
Paper: self-adhesive
Arconvert Securepost/MC 90/Cprint 100/ P10P
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size (mm)
26 x 37.5
14.6 x 13.86
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI Postmark
Mildura VIC 3500
FDI withdrawal date
5 April 2023

Stamps in this issue

$1.20 Western Australia

The Western Australia poster by Trompf highlights the region’s famous wildflowers – more than 10,000 species that create an incredible display during spring, defying the dry and infertile soils of the region. A smiling girl looks as though she’s about to walk right up and hand over a freshly picked bouquet.

The stamp image is © Percy Trompf Artistic Trust, courtesy Josef Lebovic Gallery, Sydney.

$1.20 South Queensland Surfing Resorts

The poster by M Anderson (dates unknown) calls tourists to the beaches and resorts of sunny south Queensland, using a birds-eye perspective to show what fun people are having on the pristine, sandy shoreline below.

The stamp image is from the collections of the National Library of Australia.

$1.20 Mildura

The Mildura poster by Northfield showcases the fresh produce and river cruises for which this region of Victoria is known, and it draws attention to the fact that its mild winters make visiting an attractive proposition for tourists located further south. The poster was produced by Victorian Railways as a way of competing with coach services, which were gaining in popularity by the 1930s.

The stamp image is © The James Northfield Heritage Art Trust and held in the collections of National Library of Australia.

Shop our stamp collectables

Set of stamps:

Set of The Golden Age of Travel Posters Gummed Stamps

This set of stamps contains all three stamps from The Golden Age of Travel Posters stamp issue.

Stamp pack:

The Golden Age of Travel Posters Stamp Pack

The Golden Age of Travel Posters stamp pack contains all three stamps from the stamp issue presented in a high-quality folder.

Booklet of 10:

Booklet of 10x The Golden Age of Travel Posters Stamps

This booklet contains 10 x $1.20 self-adhesive stamps from The Golden Age of Travel Posters stamp issue in a convenient wallet sized booklet.

Maxicard set:

Set of The Golden Age of Travel Posters Maxicards

This maxicard set contains the three maxicards from The Golden Age of Travel Posters stamp issue. 

Additional collectables:

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.