After almost 400 days without us Kiwis, tourism operators in Queensland have been more than enthusiastic about our return to their shores - so much so they spent the weekend creating a series of entertaining videos and photos to celebrate the return of New Zealanders.
Get Wet Surf School, Gold Coast
Jason Killian from Get Wet Surf School has missed Kiwis so much he strapped an inflatable version of his favourite traveller onto his surfboard and took it for a quick spin on the Gold Coast waves last week.
The surf instructor, who said the Kiwi market made up some 15 percent of all his surfing students prior to COVID-19, predicts a big take up for the activity.
"In the last 12 months, we've seen lots of Aussie families taking up surfing and we expect the Kiwi market to follow," Killian said.
"Surfing is an iconic activity that's tightly linked with the Gold Coast and it has the potential to be high on the bucket list for those Kiwis who didn't get a chance to travel internationally in the Summer just passed.
"Surfing is one of those activities that works with social isolation but still feels like a social interaction. The Gold Coast has lots of beach space. On top of that, the water temperature here is about five degrees warmer than in New Zealand. That's like a bath for them."
Emporium Hotel South Bank, Brisbane
Brisbane's Emporium Hotel at South Bank gave a tiny faux Kiwi traveller a full five-star treatment as part of a practice run for the arrival of New Zealand leisure travellers.
The tiny plush doll enjoyed a premium transfer in a Maserati, a deep bath, a quick nap by the rooftop infinity pool and a cocktail on The Terrace overlooking the Brisbane River.
The Emporium Hotel is located in the bustling leisure precinct of South Bank and offers 143 suites and multiple dining outlets overlooking the Brisbane skyline.
Passions of Paradise, Cairns and Great Barrier Reef.
Passions of Paradise Chief Executive Officer Scotty Garden took a break from the company's Coral Nurturing program on Hastings Reef off the coast of Cairns last week to hastily send an underwater welcome to Kiwi travellers.
Garden said that with the travel bubble opening, he was looking forward to welcoming certified divers from New Zealand to his new citizen science tour launched last month. The full day outer Great Barrier Reef tour includes the chance for conservation minded travellers to monitor coral plantings submerged below the sea during the two dive tour, and is part of a bigger effort to repopulate specific coral reef sites.
"With New Zealanders now able to travel, they can join our Master Reef Guide on a small group citizen science program each Friday," Garden said.
"Participants will complete Eye on the Reef sightings network submissions and Rapid Monitoring Reports for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. They will also monitor the coral planting undertaken through the Coral Nurture Program which is being supervised by the University of Technology Sydney."
Passions of Paradise is one of five operators based in Cairns and Port Douglas participating in the Coral Nurture Program with staff working alongside University of Technology Sydney researchers.