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Friends And Families Reunite As Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble Opens

New Zealand's airports are the scene of celebration and reunification after the long-awaited opening of the trans-Tasman bubble.

For the first time in more than a year, Australian travellers have begun to enter New Zealand without the need to quarantine for a fortnight.

The first flight touched down at Auckland Airport at lunchtime on Monday - a Jetstar flight out of Sydney which was delayed by just over an hour.

Two dozen flights to airports around Aotearoa will follow on a day christened "Momentous Monday" by Air New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has issued a statement of welcome to the thousands of Kiwis and Australians heading across 'the ditch'.

"It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia," Ms Ardern said.

"Be it returning family, friends or holiday makers, New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself.

"The bubble marks a significant step in both countries' reconnection with the world and it's one we should all take a moment to be very proud of."

A family from New Zealand reunite at Sydney International Airport. Image: AAP.

New Zealand's move comes six months after Australia began to open up to Kiwi travellers, a move started by NSW and the Northern Territory and which now extends to all states and mainland territories.

In a joint statement, Ms Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Pacific would come next.

"Australia and New Zealand are also exploring opportunities to extend quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific, when it is safe to do so, reflecting our close ties to the Pacific and our commitment to supporting their recovery," it read.

New Zealand has committed to opening up to Cook Islands next month, with Niue after that.

It has not begun formal talks with other countries, though Fiji is keen.

Business and the tourism industry are desperate for international travel to recommence.

But Kiwis have been wary of a resumption, with many anxious of change after adopting a 'Fortress New Zealand' mentality through the pandemic.

The New Zealand government is yet to launch a marketing campaign to try to coax Aussies to Aotearoa but will do within weeks.

Australia has not wasted any time beginning its own promotional work, spending $A3.1 million on a campaign encouraging Kiwis to 'Be The First' visitors.

On Sunday, Auckland's Sky Tower - New Zealand's tallest building - was illuminated in green and gold in a welcoming gesture for Australia.

On Monday, 25 flights - from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast - will land at New Zealand's four international airports, with most heading to Auckland.

The first to land was a non-advertised Qantas flight, which arrived at Auckland minutes after midnight, carrying crew for later flights.

The first commercial flights into Auckland and Wellington will be met by celebrations organised by airport management.

Auckland airport has been segregated into a green zone for quarantine-free travel and a red zone for flights from higher risk countries.