In normal circumstances, you can enjoy visa-free access to New Zealand as an Australian passport holder. But, of course, these are far from ordinary times as the world responds to the recent coronavirus outbreak.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen borders close and, as a result, international travel has come to a temporary standstill. Like most countries across the world, New Zealand imposed entry restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, read about current measures for more information.
However, New Zealand is not completely closed to Aussies. If you’re an Australian citizen or resident you and your immediate family (partner/spouse, legal guardian, and children under the age of 24) can transit New Zealand to reach Australia. Welcome news if you’re trying to return home from overseas during this challenging time.
You will need to remain airside and can be there for a maximum of 24 hours. The same agreement applies to New Zealand citizens transiting through Australia.
Fortunately, entry restrictions have proven largely successful in limiting the effects of Covid-19 in New Zealand: fewer than 1,200 coronavirus patients have been reported (as of 12th May), and the number of new cases continues to decline.
With the picture improving in both Australia and New Zealand in recent weeks, the idea of a trans-Tasman bubble has been raised by the government of each state.
This exclusive travel bubble would allow for movement between Australia and New Zealand: more flights would be scheduled and there would be no need to quarantine on arrival.
Such an agreement would be of great benefit to both nations, allowing trade and tourism between them to resume. New Zealand tourism statistics show that Australia is by far the biggest visitor market so permitting movement would give the economy a real boost.
It’s also fantastic news for those dreaming of going away on holiday. New Zealand is the perfect family-friendly destination with wildlife parks, theme and leisure parks and beautiful countryside to explore.
As well as bolstering the tourism sectors, the proposed travel bubble would also help reunite families. 75,000 Australians live in New Zealand and are currently separated from loved ones across the Tasman Sea.
So, how soon could this new arrangement be in place? No date has yet been announced but there are suggestions that borders could open by early winter, depending on how the situation evolves over the coming days.
This would be great timing for families wishing to enjoy New Zealand’s ski season which starts in mid-June. Queenstown and Wanaka offer some of the best ski resorts with slopes and activities suitable for every member of the family, from kids to experienced skiers.
Hopes are high that Aussies will soon be able to visit New Zealand again, perhaps with an even greater appreciation for the beauty of the natural world and everything we once took for granted.