Thousands of Australians fly to New Zealand as borders reopen

New Zealand has lifted border restrictions and quarantine requirements for Australians with the first flights across the Tasman setting off today.

Australian travellers must present either a negative PCR test within 48 hours of departing for New Zealand, or a supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 24 hours.

Upon arrival in New Zealand, travellers will need to take two RATs on the first day and on day 5/6 of their trip.

Auckland Airport expects to welcome 3,000 Australians arriving today alone, with the biggest surges on the first and last days on the school holidays.

“To help with this, last week we added an extra 96 trans-Tasman flights for April through to June, an increase of approximately 20,000 seats,” said Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty.

“We’ve also been ramping up capacity for the winter period so Aussies can enjoy our fantastic ski slopes here in New Zealand.”

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) welcomed the return of Australian visitors, saying it was boost for the local business events industry alongside a downgrading of restrictions.

New Zealand has moved from Red to Orange level for the first time since mid-August 2021.

“With confirmation of a move to the Orange setting of the Covid Protection Framework and borders reopening, we are very much open to hosting large business events,” said BEIA chief executive Lisa Hopkins.

“There is pent-up demand from Australian, international, and domestic event organisers with a robust booking pipeline waiting in the wings.”