The world champion Blackcaps have emerged from managed isolation, after returning from their triumphant World Test Championship final bid in England last month.
On Saturday, a contingent of 11 Blackcaps players and nine support staff left the MIQ facility in south Auckland, still smiling from their eight-wicket win over India.
Alongside them was one one very well cared for Mace, which coach Gary Stead says retiring Blackcaps wicketkeeper BJ Watling was having trouble parting ways with.
"I think BJ may want to keep it for life but I'm not sure he's allowed to," Stead tells Newshub.
Watling had the unique trophy tucked under his arm as he left managed isolation, sporting a cast on his left arm, after he was granted an exemption to leave the facility for urgent surgery to the finger he dislocated during the final.
Top of the agenda for Stead was a walk with his dog to soak up some "beautiful NZ fresh air".
"It's lovely to be home and it'll be nice to get back and see the family."
The Blackcaps players and staff will head off for some well earned respite with loved ones, before their seven-day nationwide celebratory tour begins in Whangarei on July 26.