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NZ via Perth - Adelaide

The West Australian Airways (WAA) trans-continental airmail service between Adelaide and Perth started in June 1929. Mail both from and to the UK was carried on the first flights.

Mail addressed to New Zealand was flown on the first flight from Perth, but it was not until August that mail from GB to New Zealand could use the service and July 1930 until mail from New Zealand was accepted.

First Flight, June 1929

Adelaide-Perth
Adelaide - Perth

The first flight for Perth left Adelaide in a DH 66 Hercules aircraft on Sunday 2 June 1929, but had to turn back due to bad weather.

The mail eventually left Adelaide on Tuesday June 4. The route was via Ceduna to Forrest where there was an overnight stop. The mail was then flown to Kalgoorlie on June 5 where the mail was transferred to a DH 50 and flown to Perth, arriving later that day.

The postal rate was 4½d made up of 1½d surface and 3d airmail. Australia issued its first airmail stamp on May 20 so that it would be available for this flight. It is on the example cover and shows a DH 66 Hercules.

Mail from New Zealand was not accepted on the Adelaide - Perth service until 4 July 1930.

To New Zealand via Perth - Adelaide, June 1929

The DH 66 was due to leave Perth on the return flight on June 4, but with the delay in leaving Adelaide, that was not possible. Instead, the mail from Perth was flown on June 5 in a DH 50 to Kalgoorlie where the mail was exchanged with the DH 66. The DH 50 flew back to Perth while the DH 66 returned to Adelaide arriving on June 6, only one day late.

Perth-Adelaide-New Zealand

This cover is one of the few flown on the first flight from Perth and addressed to New Zealand. On the back, it has a label advertising the advantages of air mail.

advertising airmail label

After arrival in Adelaide on 6 June, it was sent by rail to Sydney where it connected with the trans-Tasman steamer. It was not backstamped on arrival.

Perth-Adelaide-New Zealand
Second Flight

This cover was sent from Kalgoorie to New Zealand on the second flight. It is postmarked in Kalgoorie on 11 June 1929.

The second flight, which was the first through flight from Perth to Adelaide due to the problems with the first flight, left Perth on 11 June. It flew from Perth to Kalgoorie and then on to Forrest on 11 June and then from Forrest to Adelaide via Ceduna on 12 June. From Adelaide, it was taken by rail to Sydney and then to New Zealand by sea.

From August 1929, UK mail for New Zealand could be sent on this service.

Connections with the UK mailboat

The major reason for setting up the Adelaide - Perth airmail service was to connect with the regular UK mail boat service.

Adelaide Perth route

The P & O mail boat route was via the Suez Canal and Colombo to Australia where it called at Fremantle (Perth) on a Tuesday and mail was taken by train via Adelaide and Melbourne to Sydney where it was delivered on the following Monday. Use of the WAA service enabled mail to be unloaded at Fremantle and flown from Perth, arriving in Adelaide on the Wednesday. The mail was then sent by overnight train to Melbourne, arriving on the Thursday morning and Sydney early on the Friday morning. It was therefore delivered 3 days before the ordinary mail [2,4].

In the opposite direction, ordinary mail for the UK left Sydney on the Wednesday overnight train to Melbourne and and from there by the Thursday overnight train to Adelaide. It was then taken by train to Perth to connect with the mailboat on the following Monday. Air mail could be sent from Sydney by the Friday overnight train to Melbourne and from there by the Saturday overnight train to Adelaide to connect with the weekly WAA airmail service which left Adelaide on a Sunday, arriving in Perth the next day to connect with the P & O mail boat [2,4,7]. Hence mail could leave Sydney two days after the ordinary mail and catch up with it at Perth.

However, the mail boat from New Zealand normally arrived in Sydney on a Tuesday, making a good connection with the Wednesday departure from Sydney of the mail for Fremantle, Colombo and the UK. Use of the Adelaide - Perth airmail service therefore typically did not speed up mail from New Zealand to Britain. From 6 September 1930, the air mail left Adelaide on a Saturday rather than a Sunday [2].

From UK via Perth - Adelaide

UK to Melbourne, May - June 1929
Times

Each week, the latest time of posting of mail for Australia was 6pm on a Thursday at the GPO in London. The mail would then be carried from London to Paris by the night boat train and then by train from Paris to Marseilles where it would join the mail boat for Australia.

According to The Times of 2 May, the first acceptance for the Perth - Adelaide service was to leave London on Thursday 9 May 1929 and connect at Marseilles with the Maloja.

UK Adelaide Perth 1929

The example cover is to Melbourne and was postmarked in the UK on Wednesday 8 May. It has the inscription First England - Australia Airmail, and stamps to the value of 4½d (1½d surface plus 3d air fee).

UK Adelaide Perth 1929

The mail arrived in Fremantle on the Maloja on Tuesday 4 June (26 days after leaving the UK) and was flown on the first Perth - Adelaide flight on 5 - 6 June. (The flight had been delayed by a day for the reasons given above.)

After being flown Perth - Adelaide, it was carried on the overnight train to Melbourne where it was backstamped on 7 June 1929.

According to the GPO Air Mail Rates Schedule of October 1929 [2], this air mail service gave a 4 day gain to Melbourne, 3 to Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart and 1 to Brisbane. The Air Route used was allocated No. 4. For an extra 2d, mail could also be flown London - Paris and Paris - Marseilles. This can be seen as a late fee as the latest time of posting was 7am on a Friday rather than 6pm on a Thursday.

UK to New Zealand, August 1929
UK Perth Adelaide NZ 1929

The first UK acceptance for New Zealand via Perth - Adelaide was on 8 August 1929 [1]. The report in The Times of 2 August is shown.

The postage was the same as that for Australia (3d airmail plus 1½d surface) although, in the case of the cover below, there is an extra 3d registration fee.

The saving to Sydney was 3 days, but any time saving to New Zealand would depend on the connection with the sea service across the Tasman. From late August 1929, mail was accepted on the London - Karachi service at a cost of a further 5d giving a combined air fee of 8d.

UK Perth Adelaide NZ 1929

UK Perth Adelaide NZ 1929

This registered cover is postmarked in Ibstock on Wednesday 14 August and there are registration backstamps on 14 and 15 August. The mail left the UK on Thursday 15 August and was carried by train via Paris to Marseilles where it joined the mail boat Chitral for Australia.

The Chitral arrived in Fremantle on Tuesday 10 September and this cover has a Perth backstamp on that date (26 days after leaving the UK) and so was flown Perth - Adelaide on 10 - 11 September before being carried on the overnight train to Melbourne where it was backstamped on 12 September. It would then be carried by train to Sydney and by sea to New Zealand, but there is no backstamp giving the date of arrival in New Zealand. The Maunganui sailed from Sydney to Wellington on 19-23 September.

The amount of mail appears to be very small. Walker [1] does not show an example, but comments that covers were available at quite a reasonable price, even as late as 1947!!! The article by Legg [2] does show a cover, but it is the one above. (I purchased it in 2007.) If the first dispatch of mail was on 8 August then this cover was carried on the second dispatch.

Australia to UK, 1929

to UK via Adelaide - Perth, June - July 1929

Mail for the UK was accepted on the first flight from Adelaide to Perth.

Adelaide Perth UK 1929

Adelaide Perth UK 1929

This registered cover from Melbourne is postmarked on 1 June 1929 and would have been sent to Adelaide on the overnight Saturday train to connect with the first flight scheduled to leave Adelaide on 2 June. However, due to the delay described above, the mail did not arrive in Perth until 5 June and so missed the mailboat at Fremantle on Monday 3 June. It was therefore sent on the 10 June mailboat Mooltan. The mail arrived in London on 8 July, 28 days after leaving Australia.

This cover is franked with 3d airmail, 1½d surface plus 3d registration fee. and has two Melbourne 1 June backstamps, a red London registered 8 July backstamp and a Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham backstamp later that day.

Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London, December 1929

Mail from Australia could be flown on both the Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London air mail services from December 1929 although mail from New Zealand was not accepted until July 1930.

Australian acceptance 1929 Australian acceptance 1929

This cover is postmarked 14 December 1929 in Melbourne and has the manuscript Australia - Karachi - London. It was flown Adelaide - Perth and then from Karachi on the first acceptance from Australia.

It would have been carried by overnight train on Saturday 14 December to Adelaide and flown from there to Perth on 15 - 16 December where it connected on Monday 16 December with the mail steamer Oronsay for Colombo. It was then taken by surface to Karachi from where it was flown on 30 December arriving in London 1 day late on 9 January [3], 24 days after leaving Australia.

It is franked with 1/3 in stamps made up of 4d Adelaide - Perth airmail, 6d Karachi - London airmail, 1½d surface postage plus a registration fee.

First Acceptance from New Zealand, 4 July 1930

NZ Adelaide- Perth 1930
To Perth

From 1 July 1930, New Zealand stamps were accepted to pre-pay airmail postage on overseas routes and so letters from New Zealand could be sent on the Adelaide - Perth service. The cost was 3d per ½oz airmail plus the normal surface postage rate of 1d.

This cover is postmarked on 30 June in Christchurch and went by ferry to Wellington from where it was sent to Sydney on 4 - 8 July by the SS Maunganui. It was then sent by rail from Sydney to Adelaide before being flown Adelaide - Perth on 13 - 14 July. Walker [1] estimates that only 5 covers addressed to Perth were sent on this flight.

Mail flown by the Adelaide - Perth service and adressed to countries beyond Australia cost an extra 1d giving a total of 5d.

NZ Adelaide- Perth; Karachi - London 1930
Also flown Karachi - London

In addition, mail for the UK could be flown via the Imperial Airways Karachi - UK airmail route at a further cost of 7d per ½oz. giving a combined postage rate of 1s 0d.

This is one of 10 letters from the first acceptance of air mail from New Zealand that was flown on both the Adelaide - Perth and the Karachi - London service. It has the correct franking of 1s 0d.

The postmark is 1 July 1930 in Wellington and was sent on the same service as the first cover. On arrival in Perth on Monday 14 July it connected with the Fremantle - UK mail boat [2].

The mail boat Barrabool sailed to Colombo on 14-23 July where this cover was off-loaded and taken to Karachi by surface. It was flown from Karachi by Imperial Airways on 29 July and arrived in the UK on Monday 4 August [3], 21 days after leaving Australia. It is also franked with a ½d British stamp in order to get a Sutton Coldfield arrival mark, but that was not until 7 August.

Later Flights

July 30
Australia - New Zealand, September 1929

This cover is postmarked in Perth on 28 September 1929 and is addressed to Wellington. It would be flown from Perth on Tuesday 1 October arriving in Adelaide on the following day. It would then be sent to Sydney by train, arriving early in the morning of Friday 4 October.

The Maheno left Sydney on 4 October and arrived in Wellington on 8 October.

The cover appears to be a genuine commercial use of the air mail service.

July 30
Flight from UK July 1930

This cover is postmarked on 30 July 1930 in Battersea, London and is addressed to Christchurch. It has mixed franking of 4½d in British stamps together with a 1½d Australian stamp. All three stamps were postmarked in the UK.

It would have been sent by sea to Fremantle and then flown Perth - Adelaide. The surface rate was 1½d and the airmail surcharge was 3d and so the franking in British stamps is sufficient. It may have been that the sender believed that 1½d in Australian stamps was required for the Australia - New Zealand leg, but that is incorrect. There was therefore no need for the Australian stamp, but it makes for an interesting and unusual cover.

At this time, the Perth - Adelaide service was the only partial air mail service between the UK and New Zealand as the London - Karachi service was not used for mail to Australia / New Zealand between May 1930 and May 1932 and does not appear in the Spring 1930 GPO Air Mail Rate Schedule [8]. The service continued to be used in the opposite direction.

August 30
Flight August 1930 via Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London

According to Walker [1], only 152 items were sent from New Zealand via the combined Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London services in the first year which averages at only about three on each flight. Examples like this one are therefore uncommon. It is always interesting to have proof that a service was actually used by the public and that covers exist other than those flown on the first flight.

This cover is postmarked on 6 August, 1930 and and was sent on the Ulimoroa from Wellington to Sydney on Friday 8 - Tuesday 12 August. It was flown Adelaide - Perth on 17-18 August and Karachi - London on 2 - 8 September. There is a manuscript on the back stating that it was received on 9 September, 22 days after leaving Australia.

It is only franked by 11d in stamps instead of the required 1s 0d.

It is not surprising that there was confusion regarding the postage which was 7d Karachi - London. The Adelaide - Perth rate was 4d if addressed to the UK, but 3d for letters addressed to Perth. That extra 1d might reasonably be assumed to cover the surface rate while in fact a further 1d was required.

Between May 1930 and May 1932, the British Post Office did not accept mail for Australia or New Zealand on the London - Karachi route [2] although, as can be seen from the examples on this page, mail was accepted from Australia and New Zealand.

Nov 30
From UK, November 1930

This cover is postmarked in Reading on 19 November 1930 and is addressed to New Zealand. The airmail rate for the Perth - Adelaide service was 3d per ½oz plus 1½d surface rate for the first 2oz. As the cover is franked with 7½d, it is correctly franked for a cover weighing between ½ and 1 oz.

The Baradine left London on 22 November and arrived in Fremantle on Tuesday 23 December. The mail would have been flown Perth - Adelaide on 23 -24 December and arrive in Sydney by train on 26 December. Finally, the Marama carried the mail from Sydney to Auckland on 27 - 31 December 1930.

Colombo
New Zealand to Colombo via Adelaide - Perth, January 1931

This cover is postmarked in Wellington on 30 January 1931 and was sent to Archdeacon Russell of Oamaru New Zealand, a passenger arriving on the SS Balranald in Colombo, Ceylon. It has routing instructions via Australia Adelaide Air Mail.

Colombo

It would be sent on the Marama which left Wellington on 30 January and arrived in Sydney on Tuesday 3 February and then to Adelaide by rail and flown Adelaide - Perth on Saturday 7 - Sunday 8 February. That connected with the Ormonde which left Fremantle on Monday 9 February and was in Colombo on 18 February which fits with the Mackinnon Mackenzie & Co. company datestamp on the reverse in Colombo on 18 February. The surface mail from Sydney to connect with the P & O mail steamer at Fremantle left on a Wednesday evening and so the Adelaide - Perth airmail service was not necessary.

The Balranald left Colombo on 20 February and so this letter made the connection. Archdeacon Russell was reported as arriving in Sydney on the Balranald on 11th March and in Wellington on the Ulimaroa on 17th March.

The cover is franked with 7d while the rate from New Zealand to the UK using the Adelaide - Perth air mail was only 5d.

Inclusive rate: UK - New Zealand via Adelaide - Perth, March 1931

Early airmail rates were calculated as an airmail surcharge on top of the ordinary surface rate.

In February 1931, the British Post Office announced inclusive rates with the rate for GB to New Zealand via Perth - Adelaide being 4½d for the first ½ ounce and 3½d for each additional ½ ounce.

inclusive rate

The previous rate was 3d per ½ ounce airmail plus 1½d surface rate for the first 2 ounces. Hence, the new rate was unchanged for a letter under ½ ounce and an increase of ½d for letters weighing one ounce.

Mail from New Zealand continued to have an airmail surcharge in addition to the surface rate.

This cover to Timaru was sent on the first acceptance for the service on Thursday 12 March 1931. The mail boat from the UK was due in Fremantle 26 days later on Tuesday 7 April and so the cover would be flown Perth - Adelaide on 7 - 8 April, arrive via the night train in Melbourne on the morning of 9 April and Sydney on the morning of 10 April.

The address is in the same handwriting as the cover shown by Walker [1].

inclusive rate inclusive rate

This next cover is postmarked in Sheffield on 9 March and is addressed to Palmerston North. It was redirected to Fairlie and has a Palmerston North postmark of 15 April together with a Fairlie postmark of 16 April. That suggests that the mail arrived in New Zealand on 14 April.

Walker [1] reports that the Post Office notice announcing the service stated that it gave one week's gain in time compared with surface mail. As use of the Perth - Adelaide airmail only gave a 3 day improvement, he believes that the notice was in error and that the first service was also flown London - Karachi. Not convinced by this.

The British Post Office allocated numbers to air routes and Perth - Adelaide is shown as Air route No. 15 in the Spring 1931 Air Mail Rate Schedule while previously it had been No. 4.

august
Flight August 1931

This attractive cover appears philatelic in origin and is postmarked in Perth of 18 August.

nov 11

As it is franked with a complete set of the Kingsford Smith commemoratives plus the 3d airmail, it is grossly overfranked. However, there does not seem to be anything special about the date of this flight which would have taken place on 18-19 August, 1931.

The 3d airmail has a green dot in the middle of the bottom margin which shows that it is from a booklet.

First New Zealand airmail stamps, November 1931

nov 11
a) Flown Adelaide - Perth

This cover is postmarked on 11 November 1931. It was carried on the overnight ferry on 12/13 November from Christchurch to Wellington and then to Sydney on the SS Marama which left Wellington on Friday November 13 [1].

From 6 September 1930, the Adelaide - Perth service left on a Saturday rather than Sunday as before [2]. Hence the cover would be taken by rail from Sydney on the night of 19 November to Melbourne and on the following night to Adelaide arriving on Saturday 21 November.

It was then flown from Adelaide to Perth on 21-22 November as part of its route to the UK. This was the first time that covers carrying special New Zealand airmail stamps had been flown on this service.

The cover is correctly rated at 6d made up of 2d ordinary postage (the surface rate had been increased to 2d on 25 February 1931 [6]) while the airmail rate via Adelaide - Perth to England was 4d per ½ oz. Covers addressed to Western Australia cost only an extra 3d per ½ oz. airmail.

nov 11
b) Flown Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London

The next cover was also sent from Christchurch, but is routed Karachi-London in addition to Adelaide - Perth. It is an example of the special Christmas Greetings envelope produced by the Air Mail Society of New Zealand.

It was flown Adelaide to Perth on 21-22 November and then went by mailboat on 23 November to Karachi from where it was flown to London on 10 - 17 December [5], arriving 24 days after leaving Australia.

In addition to the 6d postage on the first cover, it contains the 7d airmail stamp to cover the Karachi - London postage.

nov 11
c) Flown Christchurch - Auckland, Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London

This cover has routing instructions for it to be flown on three different flights: Christchurch - Auckland on the special New Zealand internal Christmas flight of 12 November; Adelaide - Perth on 21-22 November and Karachi - London on 10 -17 December 1931.

It is correctly franked with the complete set of airmail stamps: the 3d pays for the internal New Zealand flight, the 4d for Adelaide - Perth and the 7d for Karachi - London. In addition, the 2d GV covers the surface rate.

Commercial use December 1931-1934

1931
Perth - Adelaide, December 1931

The next cover was is postmarked in the UK on 9 December 1931 and was flown Perth - Adelaide. It is correctly franked with 8d made up of 4½d for the first ½oz and 3½d for the second ½oz. That was the new inclusive air mail rate introduced in March 1931.

The Narkunda left London on 11 December and arrived in Fremantle on Tuesday, 12 January 1932. The mail would have been flown Perth - Adelaide on 12 - 13 January and arrive in Sydney by train on 15 January. The Marama left Sydney later that day and arrived in Auckland on 19 January.

1932
Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London, January 1932

The next cover was flown Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London. It is postmarked Wellington on 5 January 1932.

It is likely to have been flown Adelaide - Perth on 16-17 January and Karachi - London on 3 -11 February, arriving 2 days late [3] and 24 days after leaving Australia.

Although the cover is philatelic to the extent that it is franked with the complete 1931 airmail set (and so is overfranked by 1d), it is commercial as this was an ordinary flight.

1932
Adelaide - Perth, April 1932

This is a registered cover that appears to be genuine commercial use rather than being sent for philatelic purposes.

1932 back

It is postmarked on 6 April 1932 and addressed to the UK. It was backstamped in Sydney on Tuesday 12 April and in Perth on Monday 18 April. It would therefore be flown Adelaide - Perth on 16 - 17 April. As the mail boat left Sydney on a Wednesday, the day after the Sydney backstamp, use of the Adelaide - Perth airmal service would not have saved any time.

The cover is correctly franked with 10d as the postage rate was 2d surface, 4d airmail surcharge and the registration fee was 4d as it had been increased from 3d on 1 March 1931.

nz - perth
Adelaide - Perth, January 1933

The next registered cover is postmarked in Wellington on 11 January 1933.

nz - perth back

It is backstamped in Sydney on 16 January and in Perth on Monday 23 January and so would have been flown Adelaide - Perth on 21 - 22 January.

It is correctly franked with 7d, consisting of 3d airmail surcharge (as it is addressed to Perth), 3d registration and 1d surface postage. (The surface rate and the registration fee had been reduced to 1d and 3d respectively on 1 June, 1932. [6])

inclusive rate
Perth - Adelaide, February 1933

The next cover is a commercial use of the Adelaide - Perth airmail at the inclusive rate of 4½d. It is postmarked in London on Thursday 12 January 1933 and was redirected on arrival in New Zealand which resulted in a 16 February postmark being applied.

These dates fit in with it leaving London on Thursday 12 January and arriving in Fremantle 26 days later on Tuesday 7 February before being flown Perth - Adelaide on 7 - 8 February.

It is always good to see a commercial use of a cover as that shows that this service was actually used by the public.

Adelaide - Perth, Karachi - Italy, addressed to Denmark, January - March 1934
inclusive rate inclusive rate

This registered cover is postmarked in Auckland on 19 January 1934 and is addressed to Denmark. It has routing instructions Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London.

The franking is 1s 6½d. Costs would include 4d Adelaide - Perth, 7d Karachi - London, 2½d surface rate to a foreign country, 3d registration fee.

It is backstamped in Sydney on Saturday 27 January. It was not flown from Adelaide to Perth until the following week on 3-4 February and is backstamped in Perth on Monday 5 February when it connected with the P & O steamer. One again, flying Adelaide - Perth did not speed up the service.

inclusive rate

It was then flown from Karachi on 22 February. That flight arrived in Brindisi on 26 February and the cover has two indistinct backstamps on 26 February. One appears to be Brindisi and the other Milano.

The IA Karachi service arrived in London on 28 February, but it appears that this cover did not follow the routing instructions, but went directly from Italy to Copenhagen. The dates on the Danish backstamps are not clear, but appear to be 28.2.34 in Kopenhavn and 1.3.34 in Hellerup.

Also flown Trans - Tasman

17 Feb
a) Trans - Tasman, February 1934

The first official trans-Tasman airmail from New Zealand to Australia was on 17 February 1934. This cover was flown Adelaide - Perth after being flown trans-Tasman.

17 Feb 17 Feb

The trans-Tasman rate of 7d included onward surface delivery. Although the extra rate for the Perth-Adelaide airmail when addressed to the UK was 4d, the rate when addressed to Perth was 3d and so this cover would seem to be overfranked by 1d.

The cover was backstamped on arrival at Sydney on Saturday 17 February. It was not flown from Adelaide until the following Saturday (24 February) arriving in Perth on 25 February when it was backstamped. That was the problem with air mail, if you missed the flight connection then it was some time before the next one.

17 Feb
a) Trans - Tasman plus Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London

The next 1934 cover was flown on both the Adelaide - Perth and Karachi - London routes as well as being flown on the first trans-Tasman flight.

backstamp

It was backstamped at Sydney, but at neither Adelaide nor Perth although from the backstamp on the previous cover shows that it had arrived in Perth by 25 February. It has a manuscript on the back stating that it was received in Glasgow on 23 March and so it was flown on the IA flight that left Karachi on 15 March and arrived in London on 22 March [3].

It is correctly franked with 1s 6d. The trans-Tasman rate of 7d included onward surface delivery to the UK. The extra rate for the Perth-Adelaide airmail and on to UK was 4d while the Karachi-London airmail was 7d.

Unsubsidised service from April 1934

Perth NZ
Also flown to New Zealand

West Australian Airways' contract for a subsidised Perth - Adelaide airmail service was for five years and ended in April 1934 although an unsubsidised service continued after that date.

This cover is postmarked 2 April 1934 in Perth and the manuscript on the front states that it was flown on the first flight of the new unsubsidised service.

It is addressed to Auckland and was also flown on Ulm's first official airmail from Australia to New Zealand on 11 -12 April. There is an Auckland backstamp of 12 April and a faint official cachet on the back.

The franking in Australian stamps is 1s 1d which covers: 3d Perth-Adelaide, 7d trans Tasman and 3d registration fee.

Perth NZ back

After delivery in Auckland, the cover was re-addressed back to Perth and a typescript added stating: Per Return flight NZ - Aust & Adelaide - Perth Air Service. The back of the cover has the set of three New Zealand airmail stamps postmarked 13 April, a Kaitaia postmark of 14 April, a Sydney backstamp of 14 April and a Perth backstamp of 20 April. The official trans - Tasman cachet is on the front. However, although it was flown back from New Zealand to Australia, the arrival date in Perth is a Friday suggesting that the routing instructions were not followed and it was sent to Perth by rail.

The cover had not finished its travels. It was re-addressed once again, this time to Camberwell in Victoria and there are further backstamps of 24 April in Perth, 28 April in Melbourne and 30 April in Camberwell.

late acceptance
One of the last acceptances, October 1934
late acceptance

This cover from the UK is postmarked on Wednesday 31 October 1934 and has a Melbourne transit mark on Thursday 29 November.

That fits in with it leaving London on Thursday 1 November and arriving in Fremantle 26 days later on Tuesday 27 November and being flown Perth - Adelaide on 27 - 28 November.

There is no New Zealand backstamp, but it would arrive there in early December by which time the first New Zealand mail acceptance for the regular Qantas / Imperial Airways service had already left. With the availability of the regular London - Australia airmail service, the Adelaide - Perth service was no longer used for UK air mails to or from New Zealand.

An article in The Kiwi describes some of the above material on this webpage [4].

Later mails

In June 1936, West Australian Airways were taken over by Adelaide Airways.

Ceylon

Although the Perth - Adelaide service was no longer used for air mail from the UK, it was still used to speed up connections with surface mail at Fremantle. In particular, it was part of the route for air mail to and from Ceylon. This cover to New Zealand is postmarked in Colombo on 10 January 1937 and has a Melbourne transit on 4 February. It is franked with 31 cents.

Ceylon

It just missed the Oronsay which left Colombo for Fremantle on 9 January and the next mail steamer (the Moldavia) had propellor trouble and so was delayed. This cover did not therefore leave Colombo until 23 January on the Orion arriving in Fremantle on 2 February.

It would then be flown Perth - Adelaide on 2 - 3 February and then to Melbourne by Adelaide Airways early in the morning of 4 February where it was backstamped at 10am. It would then be flown Melbourne - Sydney by Australian National Airways before being sent trans Tasman to Wellington on the Awatea on 5-8 February.

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All scans were made by the author. Information on this page is taken from:
[1] Airmails of New Zealand, volume 2 (1986) compiled by Douglas A Walker published by the Air Mail Society of New Zealand
[2] W.H. Legg, Aspects of the London-Karachi and the Perth-Adelaide Routes, Air Mail News, vol 44, pp 106-116, August 2001 and pp 178-183, November 2001.
[3] Peter Wingent, Aircraft Movements on Imperial Airways' Eastern Route, Vol 1, 1927 - 1937, Winchester 1999.
[4] Robert Clark, Adelaide - Perth Airmail: The New Zealand Connection, The Kiwi, vol 56, pp 61-66, May 2007.
[5] E B Proud, The Postal History of British Air Mails, 1991.
[6] Postage Rates, The Mail Coach, vol 21, no 6, pp 251-253, August 1985. [7] Australian Newspapers 1803-1954, Trove, National Library of Australia