No NZ School Holiday Snow As Bubble Bursts

Updating this New Zealand has burst the bubble for the whole of Australia, initially for 72 hours from 10:30pm Saturday night 26 June NZT, 8:30 pm EST, which will throw even more travel plans into caos – they had already paused travel from NSW. The chances of the bubble pause being extended are high as the NSW outbreak continues to grow.

If you can get a refund, and have faith we can sort things out by late September, the best snow options for the later school holidays are here.

Stay up to date with the latest NZ Government entry requirements on the link here

Report from June 24: As case numbers continue to climb in Sydney the inevitable response has come from New Zealand – the ‘travel bubble’ is burst, for at least another 12 days, which effectively shuts down all those NSW school holiday snow trips already booked just days before people could take them.

So near, yet so far! © Queenstown Airport Corporation

After finally launching the travel bubble arrangement in April it didn’t take long for the first ‘pauses’ to take effect. For skiers Melbourne was in pause mode, but too early in June to have much effect on actual travel plans.

This time round for NSW skiers and boarders the timing is just when we are ramping up and amped up to get over to NZ.

But now anyone who had been in NSW after Tuesday can’t travel to NZ until after midnight NZT on the 6 July.

Here is the advice from the NZ Government

Latest update — 24 June

  • The pause on quarantine-free travel from New South Wales to New Zealand will continue until 11:59pm (NZT) on Tuesday 6 July.
  • You cannot travel to New Zealand from anywhere in Australia if you were in New South Wales after 11:59pm (NZT) on Tuesday 22 June.
  • The travel pause also applies to those transiting through NSW. This means you cannot drive through NSW to another state to fly to New Zealand, or leave NSW by air to get to another airport. 

But that’s not all: if anyone anywhere in Australia has been in a ‘Location of Interest’ they can’t travel to NZ within 14 days from when they were there –

Locations of interest

If you were at any location of interest, you cannot travel to New Zealand from anywhere in Australia within 14 days from when you were at the location of interest.

If you visited a location of interest at the stated times, follow the isolation and testing advice on the relevant government website.

Airlines and border officials will be asking people to declare whether they have been at one of the locations of interest.

Locations of interest in Australia(external link)

As of now, it’s only NSW that is subject to the pause. The pause has been lifted for Victoria –

Latest updates — updated 22 June 2021

  • The travel pause from Victoria to New Zealand lifted at 11:59pm (NZT) on Tuesday 22 June.
  • Quarantine-free travel from Victoria to New Zealand has resumed. You do not need a negative pre-departure test.

Given the history of constant stop-start internal travel within Australia since the pandemic began, the probability of the extended pauses was high. With a full year’s planning lead up to the travel bubble arrangements kicking off (we reported early efforts pushed by the Tasmanian Premier and then NZ Deputy PM Winston Peters back in May 2020 for example) it’s a shame governments on both sides of the ditch didn’t pay more attention to a rapid vaccine roll out as a pre requisite to make to minimising disruption.

As it stands the future looks like more of the same, a handful of cases set to spark a pause and resultant caos for those caught up in it whenever and wherever they appear.

On the bright side for those forced to cancel who get a COVID-19 refund, given the slow start to the NZ season you have not missed much at all so far – only Mt Hutt has offered decent lift accessed skiing so far. The Queestown areas only have limited beginner facilities available at Cardrona and The Remarkables.

Stay up to date with the latest NZ Government entry requirements on the link here

Mt Hutt has been the only Kiwi area with decent terrain open © Mt Hutt