Australia-New Zealand travel bubble
Read our constantly updated guide on trans-Tasman travel.
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Due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the Trans-Tasman travel bubble is temporarily paused to all Australian residents.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, "the Delta variant has materially changed the risk profile."
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has responded saying, "The New Zealand government has been consistent in their policies and we respect their policies and this is a virus that is affecting the world and we should not think that we are any different."
New Zealand is the first international country to form a travel bubble with Australia.
When will the Australia-New Zealand bubble open?
The Australian-New Zealand travel bubble is currently closed to Australians.
- 23 July 2021: New Zealand travel bubble is temporarily closed to all of Australia.
- 16 July 2021: The Trans-Tasman travel bubble temporarily shuts to Victoria from 11:59pm 16 July 2021. The pause is being reviewed on Monday, 19 July 2021.
- 13 July 2021: The Trans-Tasman travel bubble reopens to Queensland.
- 10 July 2021: New Zealand reopens travel bubble to Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
- 5 July 2021: The NZ-travel bubble is reopened to residents of South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, on the condition that they haven't visited a hotspot. A negative COVID-19 test must be submitted 72 hours before flying. Quarantine-free travel from New South Wales is set to resume on 7 July 2021.
- 28 June 2021: The NZ-travel bubble paused Australia wide until 11:59pm (AEST) Tuesday 29 June 2021.
- 22 June 2021: Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand is suspended for people from New South Wales for three days from 11:59pm on 22 June.
- 25 May 2021: Victorians were suspended for three days from travelling to New Zealand quarantine-free, beginning at 8pm 25 May 2021.
- 19 April 2021: Australians were allowed to travel, quarantine-free, to New Zealand.
- 16 October 2020: New Zealanders were allowed to travel, quarantine-free, to New South Wales and the Northern Territory. This was followed by South Australia, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.
What rules and restrictions are in place?
Once the bubble reopens, the rules are simple.
- All travellers must provide a negative COVID-19 before departure for New Zealand. This costs $200 per person.
- Travellers need to have been in Australia for at least 14 days in order to visit New Zealand.
- Passengers need to provide comprehensive contact information.
- Those showing cold or flu symptoms are not allowed to board.
- Masks must be worn when onboard the flight.
- All travellers need to download the NZ COVID Tracer app.
- Random temperature checks upon arrival in New Zealand might occur.
- Green zone flight passengers will be separate from other international arrivals at the New Zealand airports.
The two-way travel bubble will only be paused if an untraceable case is found in Australia. If there is a hot spot or an outbreak in either country, this is what is asked:
- Follow the local COVID-19 guidelines
- Monitor your symptoms
- Do a COVID-19 test prior to departure
- Self-isolate upon arrival
- In some cases, enter managed isolation
Which airlines offer flights between Australia and New Zealand?
Only a limited number of airlines are offering trans-Tasman flights between Australia-New Zealand. This is subject to change as the borders are now open. As of 19 April 2021, these routes are available:
- Air New Zealand: Flights are departing to Auckland, Wellington, Gisborne, Hamilton, Kerikeri, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, Whangarei, Christchurch, Queenstown, Blenheim, Dunedin, Hokitika, Invercargill, Nelson and Timaru. Australian capitals include Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, the Gold Coast and Brisbane
- Qantas: Auckland-Sydney, Christchurch-Sydney, Queenstown-Sydney, Dunedin-Sydney, Nelson-Sydney, Wellington-Sydney, Napier Hastings-Sydney, New Plymouth-Sydney, Palmerston North-Sydney, Queenstown-Melbourne, Christchurch-Melbourne, Nelson-Melbourne, Wellington-Melbourne, Palmerston North-Melbourne, Napier Hastings-Melbourne, New Plymouth-Melbourne, Auckland-Melbourne, Christchurch-Gold Coast, Auckland-Gold Coast, Queenstown-Gold Coast and Wellington-Gold Coast
- Jetstar: Auckland-Sydney, Auckland-Gold Coast, Wellington-Gold Coast, Christchurch-Melbourne, Auckland-Melbourne, Christchurch-Gold Coast, Queenstown-Gold Coast, Queenstown-Sydney and Queenstown-Melbourne
Virgin Australia has announced that it won't be restarting international flights to New Zealand until 31 October 2021. A Virgin Australia spokesman has said: "While the airline remains committed to Trans-Tasman flying when the market fully recovers, we are mindful of evolving border requirements which add complexity to our business as we push ahead with plans to grow our core domestic Australia operations."
Can I still earn frequent flyer points?
Yes. All flights booked and flown still earn you frequent flyer points. You can also still use points for future bookings. If you do, it's worth looking into flexible flight options in case your flight needs to be rescheduled.
Can I get travel insurance for coronavirus?
While most policies now exclude coronavirus-related claims such as flight cancellations, there are a few insurers that will cover your medical expenses if you contract the virus overseas.
To cover your booking-related expenses, your best bet right now is to look out for flexible booking options.
As a result of the pandemic, numerous airlines, hotels, online travel agents and cruise lines have established fee-free cancellation and change policies. These allow you to cancel your plans without penalty or postpone them to a later date – again, without penalty.
As the travel bubble increases, we may see insurance policies change to incorporate COVID-19 related claims.
We'll update this page as details come in.
How much will travel to New Zealand cost?
Qantas flights are currently sitting at a starting price of $358 one way. We checked the prices prior to the NZ bubble announcement and you're now saving over 40% on each leg.
"Restarting flights to New Zealand is about more than starting to rebuild our international network, it's about reconnecting families and friends and getting more of our people back flying again", Qantas international and domestic CEO Andrew David said.
"Hopefully, stories of missed weddings and birthdays on either side of the ditch will now be a thing of the past".
Air New Zealand is also bringing one-way fares from $318 each way. This comes in at 20% cheaper than Jetstar's $399 seats available from late May.
Save on your next fare by checking out all the latest flight sales between Australia and New Zealand.
Historical rate chart of AUD and NZD
Who will enter the bubble next?
In the early days, there was a lot of talk about extending the corridor to the Pacific Islands next. These islands are heavily reliant on tourism and have come out of the pandemic quite unscathed.
On 1 September, the Cook Islands reopened borders to its nationals returning from New Zealand, work permit holders and permanent residents who were previously unable to fly back.
On 12 December, the Cook Islands and New Zealand announced that free travel would resume between the two nations in the first quarter of 2021.
"The arrangement recognises the special ties between New Zealand and the Cook Islands," said New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
On 11 November, Scott Morrison began discussions with Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea regarding a bubble with Australia. These countries have been deemed low-risk as they've shown they can effectively manage the spread of COVID-19.
While talks have begun, there's no set date on when bubbles will form yet.
More to come.
What to do in New Zealand
Start dreaming of those breathtaking fjords and extreme sports with our New Zealand travel guides or by heading to PlayNZ for an immersive experience into New Zealand's hotspots.
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