Thousands of cross-Tasman families can finally be reunited after bubble announcement

The door has been unlocked to welcome more than half a million Kiwis who call both Australia and New Zealand home.

Thousands of families are split across the Tasman, and April 19 means they can finally be reunited after more than a year.

Tuning in from all corners of Australia, everyone watching Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's announcement.

And her statement the travel bubble will reopen later in April sent morale soaring. For Jayne Knight back in Christchurch it's an overwhelming feeling of joy.

"Hayley can come home now and be with her family. Happy tears," she says.

Her 30-year-old daughter is dying of cancer in Melbourne. With just months left to live, this is Hayley's ticket home to say goodbye.

"I'm coming home!" Hayley says as she video-calls her mum.

For Kiwi Treacy Tree in Perth - she has one wish.

"I think just to give my mum a big hug!" she says.

Her dad Timmy passed away in Hokitika during lockdown last year. She's desperate to be with family again.

"I thought maybe a possibility to be home Monday, but that's okay,"  Tree says.

Relief and jubilation across the Tasman was shared by all in Australia today.

"I very much appreciate the arrangement that the New Zealand government has come to today. We welcome them back, as indeed Kiwis will be welcoming Aussies," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

The sacrifice, the hardship, the COVID-19-coaster ride to New Zealand's front door is now in the final 13-day home stretch.

"It's nice to cry happy tears isn't it," Hayley says.

Akuanei Aotearoa - the Kiwis are coming home.