Covid 19 coronavirus travel bubble: The Australian destinations Kiwis are heading for

Travellers on both sides of the Tasman are eager to cross the ditch after yesterday’s announcement, but for different reasons, with hundreds of thousands of searches for flights, and “Air New Zealand” trending in both countries.

From April 19, travel between New Zealand and Australia will be quarantine-free, with provisions for sudden lockdowns if necessary. The travel comes with a “flyer-beware” warning, saying people will need to stay put if a country or state goes into lockdown, and they’d be responsible for the costs. But for many, that didn’t dampen their excitement.

While many Australian searches seemed geared towards holiday and tourist destinations, some of New Zealand’s high-ranking searches included “Visa policy of Australia” and “Work permit”. Searches for information on Australian permanent residency were seven times higher than last week.

In New Zealand, yesterday’s searches for “Air New Zealand” and “Airnz” topped 110,000, with the most interest in flights to Brisbane, followed by Sydney.

Eager travellers in Australia also took to the internet, with flight search trends showing Auckland as the top location of interest, followed by Queenstown.

Searches for “Sydney to Auckland flights” had an increase of 350 per cent from last week from Australian internet users, with “Auckland to Queenstown” queries four times higher than last week.

There was a spike of interest in other airlines as well as New Zealand school holidays, campervan hire, car rentals, ‘things to do’ and accommodation options such as backpackers and Airbnb locations.

Inbound travellers are looking ahead to the winter school holidays and ski season, with a peak in Wanaka and Queenstown searches, with the Cardrona township and Milford Sound also seeing a surge of interest.

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