For the first time in nearly nine months, from Australia have been able to arrive in the country quarantine-free after being shut out amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It comes after the Government announced last month the international border would reopen to Australians from April 12 and visa waiver tourists from May 1.
What you need to know:
- New Zealand's border to Australian tourists opened at 11:59pm on Tuesday night.
- New Zealand recorded 11,063 new community COVID cases on Tuesday.
- Sixteen additional deaths of people with COVID-19 were reported.
- Location of Monday's community cases: Northland (559), Auckland (1,984), Waikato (965), Bay of Plenty (536), Lakes (214), Hawke’s Bay (474), MidCentral (534), Whanganui (225), Taranaki (370), Tairāwhiti (111), Wairarapa (137, Capital and Coast (683), Hutt Valley (355), Nelson Marlborough (404), Canterbury (1,813), South Canterbury (250), Southern (1,331), West Coast (108), Unknown (10)
- There are 622 people in hospitals on Sunday, including 23 in ICU.
- Locations of hospitalisations: Northland: 29; Waitemata: 99; Counties Manukau: 100; Auckland: 90; Waikato: 63; Bay of Plenty: 35; Lakes: 7; Tairāwhiti: 3; Hawke’s Bay: 19; Taranaki: 11; Whanganui: 10; MidCentral: 26; Wairarapa: 3; Hutt Valley: 16; Capital and Coast: 15; Nelson Marlborough: 13; Canterbury: 47; South Canterbury: 6; West Coast: 1; Southern: 29
These live updates have finished.
8am - The next flight arriving from Australia in New Zealand is a Qantas flight from Sydney into Christchurch.
The next flights arriving from Australia at Auckland Airport is not scheduled to arrive until 2:35pm from Sydney and then 2:55pm from Melbourne.
7:39am - Two flights have arrived from Australia since the New Zealand border re-opened for Australian tourists.
Reporter Nats Levi told AM on Wednesday morning that it is mainly family reunions but car operators at Auckland Aiport said they've seen a massive increase in bookings.
"You have just missed a flurry and a runway of hugs, it's been high emotion here at Auckland Airport with many family reunions," Levi said.
"I know we are expecting to talk about tourist numbers but you can't help but get swept away in the absolute joy of families being reunited after so, so long.
"The kapa haka group is still going strong, they've been going solid for 45 minutes welcoming in our travellers. It's high scenes of emotions and I am here for it and it's an amazing thing to be swept up in."
A Kiwi arrived back with his girlfriend from Los Angles on Wednesday morning and told Newshub he is here for family reunions but also to explore New Zealand
"It's been three years since we have been home, so it's seeing people that we haven't seen in a long, long time and reconnecting with our roots," Chris said.
"I know I'm home when I walk through that wooden Māori Marae arch and that is when I know I'm home."
7:09am - The second flight since the New Zealand border re-opened to Australian tourists touched down in Auckland on Wednesday morning.
An Air New Zealand flight from Perth landed at about 6:16am at Auckland airport.
It's the second flight to arrive with Aussie tourists after a Qantas flight arrived at about 12:51am this morning.
7:02am - The first flight since the New Zealand border re-opened to Australian tourists arrived on Wednesday morning.
The Qantas flight arrived from Melbourne into Auckland at about 12:51am on Wednesday morning, with a small crowd gathering to meet the travellers.
6:54am - Auckland Airport is bracing for over 3000 Australians as the New Zealand border creaks open for the first time since the trans-Tasman bubble.
The Government announced last month that, after two years of being locked away amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the international border would finally reopen to Australians from April 12 and visa waiver tourists from May 1.
"Next week we have Australian tourists returning which will be a fantastic milestone," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters on Friday.
The removal of all quarantine requirements and reopening of borders to visitors has given airlines the confidence to reopen routes, Auckland Airport's Scott Tasker, general manager aeronautical commercial, said on Tuesday.
"Tomorrow, we'll have more than 3000 travellers arriving from Australia, but our really busy days will be the first and last days of the school holidays - Friday 15 April and Sunday 1 May," Tasker said.
"On those days we're expecting more than 10,000 passengers to arrive and depart internationally - roughly 30 percent of pre-COVID demand but the busiest the terminal has been since March 2020.
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6:49am - New Zealand's border is open to Australian tourists for the first time in nine months and the first flight has already arrived in Auckland.
Reporter Nats Levi told AM on Wednesday morning from Auckland Airport the tensions are high and there have been emotional scenes as loved ones have been tearfully reunited.
It's a busy day today here at Auckland International Airport. We've already had a full plane of passengers arrive at 12:30am overnight and they arrived to emotional scenes and happy, happy reunions," Levi told AM.
"Many flights are scheduled to arrive over the morning with the next direct flight being from Perth arriving just after 6am.
"The signs are out, the tension is high, the emotions are skywards, it's going to be a very exciting day here at Auckland Airport."
6:40am - Kia ora, good morning and welcome to Newshub's live updates of the COVID-19 outbreak and the New Zealand border re-opening for Wednesday.