Some New Zealanders taking advantage of the quarantine-free safe travel zone with New South Wales and the Northern Territory plan on heading straight to other states once they’ve landed.
But the message from at least one of those states is clear – they would prefer hordes of Kiwis stay away.
For Helen Kerr, it has been a long haul to get to this point.
The Nelson woman was supposed to leave New Zealand for Melbourne in March, she even quit her job and rented out her house.
But her flight was cancelled when New Zealand entered lockdown.
“I have a new grandson who I was going to be there for the birth but couldn’t make it, he’ll be two months old next week on the day I arrive, so very exciting, and [I have] a granddaughter who is coming up six, I haven’t seen them for a long time.”
The new safe travel zone means New Zealanders can travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory without undergoing 14 days in quarantine.
From there, they can travel on provided state borders are open. However, Melbourne is currently not accepting international travellers.
“Well we could only get a flight to Sydney and from there I’m flying Jetstar down to Melbourne separately.”
While some are taking advantage of the safe zone as a way of reconnecting with family, some Australian state authorities are warning tourists should refrain from frolicking around the country.
To enter South Australia from another state, you simply need to register your intention to travel.
But the South Australian Tourism Commission marketing manager Brent Hill said Kiwis shouldn’t take that as a greenlight to head to the likes of the Barossa Valley in their droves.
“As much as we definitely want to see Kiwis here, we love having them here, they’re great tourists, they get around and see a a lot of our state and we think we’ve got a lot to offer New Zealanders.
“I think from our perspective it’s reasonably convoluted and complicated at the moment in terms of how they can travel around, I guess our advice would be when it is free to move and travel both ways that is probably the optimum time to come.”
Hill said he understood people wanting to make urgent trips to see friends and family, but he has a message for state hoppers.
“If people are intending to do things like travelling into New South Wales and then getting in cars and coming through, you don’t want to get caught up and find yourself unwittingly having to do quarantine or something of that nature, and I think it’s just easier, it shouldn’t be too far away that we have an open bubble on both ends.”
In a statement to Checkpoint, Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert said he expected most New Zealanders travelling to New South Wales would be doing so for family reasons.
Nevertheless, he said the safe zone was an important milestone in the travel industry’s recovery.
“Months of preparation have gone into establishing the protocols around Covid safe international travel and we look forward to taking this template and applying it to other international markets when the government gives the green light.”
New Zealand is yet to give confirmation of a quarantine-free bubble with Australia, meaning those returning from there still face 14 days in quarantine.
Although, Air New Zealand says about 90 percent of passengers flying to Australia this morning were heading one-way.
The airline said flight NZ103 from Auckland to Sydney today was relatively full, with most booked to travel one-way.
A spokesperson said the cap on passenger arrivals in Sydney was now removed from quarantine-free flights, which had allowed Air New Zealand to move some people to an earlier flight.