We all want to visit our friends and family in Australia and vice a versa, some kiwis have had to put their plans to move to Australia on hold… and now the travel bubble is open we can!

8 July 2021
Travel-Bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been paused/almost resumed/resumed

Quarantine free travel from New South Wales and Queensland remains paused until further notice. Quarantine free travel from Northern Territory and Western Australia will resume from 11.59pm NZT on 9 July. Quarantine free travel from the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria to New Zealand has resumed. You’ll need a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure if you’ve been in Australia for more than 72 hours. COVID-19 outbreaks can occur and NZ authorities could implement measures, including alert level changes at short notice, which may impact your ability to move freely (see ‘Travel’). Be prepared for the possibility of an extended stay or disruption to your travel. Follow the advice of local authorities and contact your airline or travel provider for the latest update.

More info: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/pacific/new-zealand.

Read latest news on the Trans-Tasman Bubble here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/trans-tasman-bubble/.

Travel between NZ and Australia (as at 8 July 2021):

  • Quarantine free travel from New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland remains paused until further notice. From 11.59pm NZT on 9 July, returned green flights will commence from these states. This is for people who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand and have been unable to return due to the pause on quarantine-free travel.
  • Quarantine free travel from Northern Territory and Western Australia will resume from 11.59pm NZT on 9 July. Quarantine free travel from the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria to New Zealand has resumed. You’ll require a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure if you’ve been in Australia for more than 72 hours.
  • COVID-19 outbreaks can occur and authorities could implement measures at short notice, which may impact your ability to move freely. Be prepared for the possibility of an extended stay or disruption to your travel.
  • New Zealand is exempt from the ban on overseas travel from Australia for travellers who have been in Australia or New Zealand for 14 days prior to departure. Be prepared for the possibility of an extended stay or disruption to your travel if authorities implement measures in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • If you haven’t been in Australia or New Zealand for 14 days before you travel to NZ you’ll still need to register to secure a place in managed isolation before departing for New Zealand. You’ll be required to isolate for 14 days. You may be required to contribute to the cost of your managed isolation. If you’re arriving from any location except Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, you’ll be required to provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure. For further information see NZ COVID-19.
  • Travel into New Zealand from some countries is restricted. Additional measures apply if you meet the conditions to be permitted to enter New Zealand from a country considered to be very high risk.
  • If you’re transiting a country for more than 96 hours that is not on the exempt list you’ll need to be tested before leaving that country. If you’re arriving without evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or medical certificate you may incur an infringement offence fee or a fine of up to NZD1,000 (except those arriving from an exempt country).

News from 6th April 2021

Transtasman travel bubble: All you need to know

New Zealanders and Australians can start crossing the Tasman in droves again after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced quarantine-free travel will begin from 19 April between the countries.

So whether you are chasing a holiday under the Australian sun or visiting loved ones, here’s what you need to know when planning a trip across the ditch.

When can you leave?

New Zealanders can not only book flights right now but also take off as New Zealanders are already able to travel to Australia without having to quarantine on arrival.

Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Qantas, meanwhile, are planning to ramp up flights from NZ to Australia once the two-way bubble opens (19 April).

Air New Zealand expects to fly between three and five flights per day from Auckland to Sydney after 19 April. Currently it has three flights leaving to Sydney on 19 April, with the cheapest costing $283. It then has two flights per day leaving on 20 and 21 April, four flights leaving on Thursday, 22 April and five on Friday, 23 April.

It also plans to offer one-to-three flights per day from Auckland to Melbourne and one-to-two per day to Brisbane.

Aucklanders will also be able to fly to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Adelaide and Hobart, with plans to include flights to Perth. Air NZ will also offer direct flights from Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown to Australia.

Qantas and Jetstar plan to operate up to 122 return flights per week after 19 April.

That includes two new routes into Queensland, Auckland to Cairns and the Gold Coast, a move that will provide competition to Air New Zealand.

The 122 return flights per week will initially fly 15 routes and offer more than 52,000 seats each week.

Where in Australia can I go?

New Zealanders can enter every Australian state and territory without quarantining including Western Australia. However this does change regularly for short periods so it’s important to check:

That means New Zealanders can plan holidays in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Who will travel?

Families separated by border closures will be the big winners, while New Zealand tourism operators hope visiting Australians will boost their businesses.

Do I need a Covid-19 test to travel?

No, but if you’ve tested positive for Covid in the last 14 days or you are still waiting for a test result to come back, you won’t be allowed to travel.

If there is an outbreak while you are in Australia, you might also need a Covid test to be able to return to NZ.

Will I have to get the vaccine?

No, you will be able to catch your flight without a vaccine.

Keep an eye on individual state restrictions

Individual Australian states and territories may have different entry requirements and you should read up on what these are before you travel (https://www.interstatequarantine.org.au/state-and-territory-border-closures/).

What should I expect at the airport?

Australian and New Zealand airports will be set up to ensure travellers between the two countries do not mix with those returning from other countries. That means you’ll be taken through so-called green zones with Auckland Airport’s international terminal split into two parts.

Travellers will also have to declare that they’ve only been in either NZ or Australia for at least the last 14 days and could be subjected to random temperature checks.

Expect to wear a mask

Yes, masks will be compulsory on all flights crossing the Tasman.

Will I need to quarantine?

The transtasman bubble is designed to allow Kiwis and Aussies to travel quarantine-free between the two countries.

But the exception to that could be if an outbreak occurs in Australia or New Zealand while you are visiting. You may then have to enter a managed isolation facility on your return to NZ or Australia.

How will the Government manage the risk?

The Government has set up a green, orange and red traffic light system to deal with Covid-19 outbreaks in Australia.

You should be able to continue travelling quarantine free if a Covid case occurs where authorities think there is a low risk of further transmission, such as if it is a border worker who tests positive. But if there is a Covid case from an unknown source and that Australian state goes into a short lockdown then flights to New Zealand could be paused for up to 72 hours. Multiple cases from an unknown source could lead to flights to New Zealand being suspended for a longer period.

If you are stranded by the suspension of flights, you will be on your own with the Government not planning to provide any accommodation. This means you should plan to have extra money and emergency contingency options in place.

You should also be prepared in case you need to stay in a managed isolation facility if you are returning from an Australian state that has been in lockdown.

Read article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/transtasman-travel-bubble-all-you-need-to-know/TE4JFI3OTXOY4IVJ5XXOINQQ54/.

News from 20th October 2020

A lot of New Zealanders plans to move to Australia had to be put on hold due to Covid-19. I’ve personally heard from a lot people who have had to deal with cancelled flights, furniture moved to Australia without the owners, money transferred over and then refunded and a lot of missed family events.

Finally we have good news… the New South Wales and the Northern Territory’s borders have opened to New Zealanders from October 16 2020, provided they have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hotspot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days. This means New Zealanders can finally make the move they have been planning, without having to quarantine upon arrival.

This doesn’t help those who want to move to Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, but it does give us hope that it won’t be too long before New Zealanders can move there too.

However, a few New Zealanders put the Tram-Tasman Bubble at risk by and have angered Australian’s.

There were a number of New Zealanders who used the NSW open border to their advantage and after flying into NSW they boarded domestic flights into other states.

About 23 Kiwi travellers slipped into Western Australia despite the state having a hard border with overseas arrivals.

In Victoria, the state which has battled Australia’s worst Covid-19 outbreak, 65 New Zealanders entered the Garden State without the State Government’s knowledge, and another five into South Australia.

Let’s hope it doesn’t hinder other borders opening, so those who want to move can.

Read article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/covid-19-coronavirus-australian-travel-bubble-in-doubt-as-anger-rises-over-kiwi-travellers/NIL7ZW2F2WICISGGSRQUBXNV2A/.

News from 15th October 2020

From the 16th of October New Zealanders will be able to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory in Australia without having to quarantine upon arrival. Provided they have not been in a designated Covid-19 hotspot in the 14 days before they fly out. A hotspot is defined as a place with a rolling three-day average of three cases a day.

On return you would have to complete 14 days of managed isolation in New Zealand and pay the $3100 quarantine fee.

These passengers must travel to Australia on a “quarantine-free flight”, which only carries those who meet the requirements.

You do not need to be a New Zealand citizen to travel to Australia quarantine-free if you meet the above criteria, but you will need a valid visa to enter Australia. New Zealand citizens do not need to apply for a visa before coming to Australia.

The arrangement is currently limited to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory, but other states and territories may be added at a later date.

Before travelling to Australia, passengers must print and compete a Covid-19 declaration form and present it at check-in at the airport: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/covid-19/Documents/covid-19-declaration-form.pdf.

If passengers don’t present this form, they may not be able to board their flight.

On arrival in Australia, there will be green and red zones at the airport to separate passengers arriving on “quarantine-free” flights and those who must complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine.

If you travel on a quarantine-free flight, you will be guided through the green zone to complete all border clearance processes in the airport of arrival in Australia.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran said in a statement the airline has introduced “quarantine” and “quarantine-free” flights to Australia in line with the safe travel zone requirements.

The quarantine-free flights will be for travellers originating from New Zealand who are flying from Auckland to Sydney and are not required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.

Quarantine flights will be open to passengers who do not meet the safe travel zone criteria and will be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.

Air New Zealand is currently operating eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and would look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remaining flights will be quarantine-free.

Between October 16 and 24, the airline would operate three quarantine flights – on October 17, 22 and 24 – and all other flights would be quarantine-free. On October 22, the airline would operate both a quarantine-free and a quarantine flight.

The airline said it was working through flights from October 25.

Passengers planning to travel interstate beyond New South Wales would need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions and approvals to travel.

Customers would not be able to book onwards domestic flights via Air New Zealand due to Australian state restrictions.

The safe travel zone is currently only one-way, with passengers returning to New Zealand from Australia still having to complete 14 days of managed isolation on their return.

Australians are still not allowed to travel to New Zealand.

Officials from New Zealand and Australia are continuing to discuss all aspects of two-way trans-Tasman travel, which New Zealand remains committed to introducing as soon as it is safe.

The limited Trans-Tasman bubble will generally only benefit New Zealanders wanting to travel to Australia for emergencies and major events, along with those Australia-based Kiwis who have been in NZ during the pandemic and want to return home to Australia.

The extremely limited cap on flights and the exemption process for non-Australian citizens has made it difficult to get customers across the ditch until now.

Read more:

News from 2nd September 2020

Winston Peters says ‘disaster’ Auckland and Melbourne outbreaks have set back trans-Tasman travel bubble.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the “disaster” Covid-19 outbreaks in Melbourne and Auckland have set back plans for the trans-tasman travel bubble.

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister, said he was still keen to establish travel arrangements with neighbouring countries and he hoped they could be in place by Christmas one media outlet reported.

But Peters today wasn’t so sure, though he wouldn’t be drawn on whether Christmas was too optimistic.

Peters said “We’ve been set back so hard. We had the Melbourne disaster and then we had our own disaster. If we can fix it up in the way that we’ve got confidence in the Australian system and they’ve got confidence in ours, then yeah we can do that.”

Peters said the travel bubble depended on both countries having tight borders.

“The protocols could be put in place in two days flat, quite frankly, but what you need to have ensured is the maritime and aviation surveillance in both countries is good enough to assure us that we’ve got a safe bubble.”

Peters said a team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was still working on the arrangements and he continued to think it was a “great idea”.

Read the full NZ Hearld article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12361510.

News from 24th August 2020

New Zealand top of Australian travel wish list, but expect delays

As the global aviation sector battles to claw back its lost billions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians dreaming of a jaunt abroad could be dusting off their passports within the year.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO, gave his insights into when we will be heading overseas again. Earlier this week during a trading post in which the airline announced they’d made a $2 billion loss for FY20, Mr Joyce gave a rather optimistic forecast on overseas travel.

Mr Joyce predicts international travel to return by mid-2021, after the Federal Government put a ban on overseas travel in March.

But a small detail in his address points to a sign that longer overseas routes that require larger aircraft, such as A380s and the like, could be a lot further away, shedding some light on where Australians will be able to travel to first.

Read the full article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=12358898.

Updated information on the Trans-Tasman Bubble

I will continue to search Australia and New Zealand news websites and keep the information on this page up to date.

As soon as there are an major announcements on when the Trans-Tasman Bubble will happen I will email the newsletter database, so make sure you subscribe to our monthly newsletter (right side or bottom of screen).

11 Comments

  1. Major

    April 28, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Hi JJ – Long time reader and subscriber to the blog. Are you still in Aus? We are a young family wanting to move to Brisbane soon. Keen to hear your thoughts. We have primary school aged kids. I have difficulty in hearing back from any recruiters even though I have been in Information Technology/Security industry with more than 10 years experience.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 3, 2021 at 12:37 am

      Hi Major,
      Thank you for your comment and so great to hear you appreciate my blog.
      We actually ended up moving back to Auckland for family reasons. However, I’ve still got family living in Noosa and Sydney.
      I absolutely loved living in Brisbane! Great lifestyle and beautiful city. The river is so beautiful. I didn’t fully appreciate it until I lived there. We love art galleries and museums and Brisbane has my favorite the Gallery of Modern Art. Take your kids there they will love it: https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/.
      I’ve never been able to get any help from Australian recruitment companies either. I can only put it down to the fact that the Australian job market is very competitive so they don’t even consider applications from NZ because of the small chance they may fall through.
      However, I do know that New Zealanders are well respected in Australia. We have a good reputation as being hardworking and reliable.
      Have a read of this post and click through to Michael Page recruitment: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/expats-increase-your-success-in-the-australian-job-market/. OFX managed to get them to help with that post, so they might be more receptive. Also call them rather than email.
      If you are serious about the move, I recommend getting your CV and all paperwork needed ready, search http://www.seek.com.au/ so you know your job market and then fly over and visit recruitment companies in person and even apply for a few jobs while there.
      When we moved, my husband went over first and settled into his job and found us somewhere to live before I went over. However, it completely depends on your circumstances if that would work for you and your family.
      Brisbane is quite large and I recommend finding temporary accommodation before you know where you will be working, as living close to work or public transport will save you hours of travel. AirBnB is great these days, as can just rent a room which makes it cheaper.
      Definitely check out all the wonderful suburbs on the river, as the ferry services are fantastic.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  2. Chris

    October 19, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Hi, I am a New Zealand citizen, my wife and children are New Zealand, permanent residents. We prepare for direct entry from Auckland to Queensland. I know that I must be quarantined for two weeks after arriving in Queensland. Is there any problem with my wife and children entering Australia on a tourist visa? I know that Sydney does not need quarantine, but if I quarantine when visiting QLD, is there any problem entering the country for tourism purposes? Thank you.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      October 19, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Chris,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I’ve done some research into your situation and from what I can find you are able to enter Australia on a tourist visa: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/new-zealand-safe-travel-zone.
      However, I can’t find any specific information about entering Australia on a tourist visa.
      Before travelling to Australia you must print and complete COVID-19 Declaration form and present it at airline check-in at the airport: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/covid-19/Documents/covid-19-declaration-form.pdf. If you do not present a completed form, you may not be able to board your flight. This form will be used to determine if you can travel and for contact tracing purposes by relevant state and territory governments.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  3. John Clegg

    October 16, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Our one way flight to Brisbane in April was cancelled through Covid….
    I retired in March and we sold the home in Auckland, to have a retired lifestyle on the Sunshine Coast.
    Our belongings went , but we couldn’t- and they are in Brisbane storage whilst we live out of suitcases for seven months.
    This bubble will hopefully allow us to fly into Sydney,quarantine free – then transit up to Sunshine Coast where we will have to quarantine for 14 days…..
    Light at the end of the tunnel…..

    Reply
  4. Dene

    September 11, 2020 at 12:27 am

    Hi. Prior to Covid I had started the process of selling my house and moving to Mandurah WA, from New Zealand. My elderly parents live there with no other family in WA to care for them. My father is 82 and about to have heart surgery to replace a valve and also to have his carotid arteries cleared. My stepmum has Parkinsons with early stage dementia. I am a trained Caregiver and only natural that I should be caring for them.
    I used to live in Australia from 1984 to 2010 when I came back to NZ to care for my Grandfather and my mother who have now both passed away.
    What I want to know is can I immigrate to Australia, if not now then once the Covid restrictions are lifted.
    I am 60 years old, currently working fulltime in aged care. I am a qualified caregiver having obtained my Cert III in Aged Care and Home & Community Care in Victoria in 2007. I then obtained Cert IV in Leisure & Lifestyle at TAFE in Sale and worked as an Activities Co-ordinator prior to returning to NZ in 2010. I started with my current employer in 2011 as Manager, Lifestyle & Leisure and qualifed as a Diversional Therapist in 2015. I am highly skilled in my field and have no worries about gaining employment in Mandurah.
    Financially I will also be self sufficient as I will be selling my home here. I also still have a sustantial superannuation fund in Australia.
    My 21 year old son lives with me and will accompany me as he suffers from Asperges and has mild deformities in his hands. He was born in Australia in 1999 at Bacchus Marsh.
    What do I need to do or who do I need to contact to get the ball rolling towards moving to Mandurah. Any assistance or advice you can give me will be so helpful.
    Kind regards
    Dene

    Reply
  5. L Anderson

    September 10, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    We have had a grand baby born, another young one coming up 3years old, a son getting married, another son brought a house, our 50th anniversary plus the birthdays and xmas. We all wanted to be in Queensland to celebrate these special family events. We are gutted we can’t get there.
    We were going to buy an apartment on the Gold Coast to spend 5 months of the year there to enjoy our lovely family. Have waited 14 years to be able to do this. Appears like thats now going to be a non event.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      September 13, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      Hi,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I have received a number of messages like yours. It is a sad and frustrating time for many.
      However, don’t give up hope, just adjust your time frame. The borders will reopen and you will be able to move to Australia.
      I recommend you use this time to plan so that when the borders do reopen you’re ready to go.
      Check out the below posts if you haven’t already:
      – Buying a house in Australia, including info on the First Home Owners Grant – https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/buying-a-house-in-australia/
      – Can a NZ citizen get an Australian benefit or pension? – https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/can-a-nz-citizen-get-an-australian-benefit-or-pension/
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move, when you can move.

      Reply
  6. Lal Perera

    September 10, 2020 at 2:19 am

    Great thanks! We are waiting to see our new born child. Intend to move to Melbourne by December.

    Reply
  7. Rich and Kim

    September 10, 2020 at 1:59 am

    Thank you. You give us much needed faith and hope.

    Reply

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