Following a joint statement by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, a COVID safe travel bubble will be created between the two countries starting on 16 April. This expands on the previous Australian policy, allowing New Zealand residents to enter into selected Australian states without undergoing the two week quarantine period. With the recent announcement, the offer of travel will be accepted in both directions, allowing Australian residents their first experience to travel across international borders without the need for a two week quarantine on arrival or return.
FreeGuides has used this opportunity to expand its network of guides and users across the Tasman, allowing New Zealand locals to show off what they truly believe makes New Zealand unique. From Milford Sound, the Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers as well the best adventure experiences Queenstown has to offer, New Zealand already has a host of activities for any visiting tourist. But the true experience lies in the little advertised, lesser-known experiences only locals know about. From the various underground dance floors to the truly best independent wineries of northern New Zealand, only the surface of the country can ever be scratched by the tourism ads.
FreeGuides looks to encourage visiting Australian tourists an opportunity to experience the country in a way they did not first imagine. The opportunity is provided for first-time visitors, excited to see locations filmed in their favourite Lord of the Rings films, as well as the seasoned veterans, those excited to hit the Queenstown slopes this winter. New Zealand has an entire culture differentiated from the big tourist attractions, and we believe visitors are keen to experience those things which aren’t found in your typical brochures.
But the travel bubble isn’t just a one-way destination for Australians visiting New Zealand. Many New Zealanders will likely travel over to Australia, excited to catch the last bits of sun this summer, as they experience classic Sydney locations such as Bondi Beach or even the harbour based Hermitage walk. If culture is something they may want to experience, the Australian production of Hamilton is currently viewing in Sydney, or maybe we’ll see the tourists venture down to Melbourne, excited to visit the host of art galleries and museums which has made the city the cultural capital of Australia.
We are looking forward to the numerous experiences which will become available to every Australian tourist visiting New Zealand as guides start to pop up, as well as all the experiences already made here in Australia that New Zealanders will get to experience for their first time. Hopefully,
any of you lucky enough to travel to New Zealand will be inspired by your FreeGuides experience, and come back to Australia with a range of new ideas to implement at home.
New Zealand has become the first country to enter into a travel bubble with Australia, and as the COVID vaccine is slowly rolled out to countries around the world we are sure more are to follow. Keep your eyes on this space, because we are sure to announce further expansion into other countries, as travel bans and restrictions are slowly lifted.
Safe travels to all those heading off to see New Zealand, and welcome to Australia for all those arriving here.