Today is the day we have all been waiting for. Today is the day the two-way quarantine-free trans-Tasman bubble takes off. So grab your passport and get ready for a whole lotta happy airport tears.
New Zealand’s airports will be the scene of celebration and reunification with the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble.
For the first time in more than a year, Australian travellers will today be able to enter New Zealand without the need to quarantine for a fortnight.
So cue the champers and prepare yourself for some seriously adorable Love Actually-style airport scenes.
* I’m not crying, you’re crying *
New Zealand… we’re coming for you.
Pop the bubbles!
That handbrake on travel will mean thousands of Kiwis and Australians can head across the ditch, welcomed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia,” Ms Ardern said.
“Be it returning family, friends or holiday makers, New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself.
“The bubble marks a significant step in both countries’ reconnection with the world and it’s one we should all take a moment to be very proud of.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand’s relaxation of border rules comes six months after Australia began to open up to Kiwi travellers; a move started by NSW and the Northern Territory and which now extends to all states and mainland territories.
In a joint statement, Ms Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Pacific was next.
“Australia and New Zealand are also exploring opportunities to extend quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific, when it is safe to do so, reflecting our close ties to the Pacific and our commitment to supporting their recovery,” the statement read.
Time for take off
Bags packed, boarding passes scanned and customers on board the very first bubble flight from Australia have taken off.
Today, 25 flights – from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast – will land at New Zealand’s four international airports, with most heading to Auckland.
The first to land was a non-advertised Qantas flight, which news outlet Stuff reported was to arrive at Auckland minutes after midnight, carrying crew for later flights.
The first commercial flights into Auckland and Wellington will be met by celebrations organised by airport management.
Air New Zealand Short Haul Inflight Service Manager Craig Suckling says the feeling at Sydney airport this morning was electric.
“It was quite the emotional rollercoaster here in Sydney. The check-in area was a hive of activity and at the boarding gate, customers were eager to get on. Put it this way, we certainly weren’t calling customers for a final boarding call!”
“For over 400 days, New Zealanders have needed to isolate on return to Aotearoa. Now, both Kiwis and Aussies can enter freely so this is an incredibly emotional day. Our flights into New Zealand from Australia are at 97% capacity today so you can picture what the airports look like!
Share this story