Trans-Tasman bubble: What you need to know before flying to Australia from Auckland Airport

Nau mai, hoki mai! Welcome back to international travel.

Whether it's been a week or a year since you last visited the International Airport, you will find a few things have changed.

Auckland Airport has split down the middle to separate travel between quarantine-free 'safe' destinations like Australia and the rest of the world. Auckland Airport will see weekly arrivals soar from 36 a week, to 400.

The terminals will be at their busiest for some time.

Auckland International Airport has been split in two, ahead of the arrival of quartantine-free travel with Australia. Photo / File

While the excitement of international travel is returning to Auckland Airport, CEO Adrian Littlewood reminds air passengers that the Airport has undergone the biggest changes since 11 September, 2001. He warns travellers to come ready for changes.

"New Zealanders travelling to Australia to complete a Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before departure and some health checks on arrival back into New Zealand," he says.

Getting to the airport may be just as treacherous. Improvements to State Highway 20B have been completed in time for the return to the airport. The road layout might be a bit different to how you remember it.

"If you haven't been to the airport for a while – or even if you're a regular traveller on our roads – make sure you give yourself enough time and take care through the roading project sites. At the end of the day we want everyone to arrive at their destination safely," says Littlewood.

Tips for travelling through Auckland International Airport to Australia

I want to go welcome my friends at arrivals. Am I allowed in the airport?
Friends and family are welcome at the airport – our terminals are open to everyone

I'm off to Aussie, what do I need to do?

Make sure you fill out your Travel Declaration for Australia, well in advance. The Australian government needs 72 hours' notice before departure.

Bring a face covering. Masks must be worn on all international flights, and are mandatory in Australian airports.

Oh, and remember your passport. At the risk of sounding patronising: it is possibly not something you've picked up for a while, so check it is still in date and valid for the length of travel.

Who can travel to Australia?

Anyone who has been in New Zealand for 14-days can fly to Australia quarantine-free and without producing a negative PCR test.

This includes Australians, New Zealanders and anyone who normally lives in New Zealand or Australia.

"Normal immigration rules will apply for anyone wishing to travel between New Zealand and Australia," says a Spokesperson for New Zealand Immigration. Visa holders allowing multiple entries will be able to return to New Zealand on flights from Australia.
"Visa holders planning to travel to Australia should check the conditions of their visa before travelling."

Do I need a Covid test before flying to Australia?

No. Passengers on quarantine-free flights from New Zealand can travel without testing for Covid.
However, travel conditions can change in either direction of travel.
Make sure you're ready for international travel – read the COVID-19 website for the latest information on quarantine-free travel and re-check what you can and can't take through Aviation Security screening.

I'm looking for a last minute pressie, is there still duty free?
Duty free is available at both arrivals and departures but retail and food and beverage options may be limited on day one, and will grow over the next few weeks.

How's best to get to get to the airport?

Take care and follow signs and directions as you drive through the precinct roadworks
Car parks, including valet parking and Park & Ride, the inter-terminal bus, SkyBus, taxis, ride-share, and public transport will all be operating at the international terminal

Anything drivers should know?

Puhinui Road and improvements to State Highway 20B should make access easier by road. However, new speed limits and road layouts could easily catch out anyone who hasn't been to the airport in some time. There are still some roading works in progress.
Research your route and arrive in plenty of time.
Relax and enjoy quarantine-free travel.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.