Kiwi travellers were welcomed back into Australia this morning - 395 days since Canberra placed a "do not travel" ban on Australians travelling overseas.
But the return of travellers to Australia's airports also revealed just how much the businesses have suffered.
As the first people arrived at Sydney International Airport to take advantage of the transtasman bubble, they were confronted with desolate scenes, with almost every store still closed, including McDonald's.
The shuttered shopfronts and lack of crowds are in stark contrast to the bustling atmosphere airport-goers are used to.
The restoration of the bubble between both nations has been labelled "monumental" and a "day of revival" by members in the tourism industry, which has been decimated since the Covid-19 pandemic was declared.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the start of the transtasman bubble across the ditch is a "milestone" and a key move in both tourism and economic recovery for both nations.
"Today's milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders, boosting our economies while keeping our people safe and just in time for Anzac Day," Morrison said.
"Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from Covid and two-way flights are an important step in our road out."
Morrison said he'd like to allow Australians to travel further overseas for essential purposes in the second half of the year and return without having to undergo hotel quarantine, but they must be vaccinated to travel.
From today, Australians are allowed to travel to New Zealand on "green zone" flights without seeking an exemption from the current travel ban. New Zealand is the only country Australians can fly to without this exemption. No vaccination is required for travel, but passengers will be required to provide contact information for their time in New Zealand.
Australia's Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, said the travel bubble is the "first step" in the process to reopen international borders.
"That is the first step of a progressive opening, an opening which will be progressive, guided by safety, and in partnership with the states and the territories and the Australian people," he said.
In addition to wearing a mask throughout the flight, travellers are being asked to download and use the NZ Covid Tracer app for use while in New Zealand.
Hundreds filled Sydney's International Airport from the early hours of Monday, with travellers finally able to fly across the ditch without having to enter mandatory hotel quarantine.
Lines of passengers snaked around the Air New Zealand check-in desk, while the Qantas gate celebrated with balloons and bubbles to celebrate the corridor opening.
Air New Zealand is launching into the bubble with 30 flights across the Tasman on Monday, carrying more than 5000 people.
Qantas has scheduled 25 flights, while budget airline Jetstar planned four flying across the ditch. Virgin Australia says it will sit tight for a few months before reassessing its schedule.
"It's day one of our revival," Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran told AAP, noting the first day of the bubble would go down in history as one of the most "monumental" days for the airline.
"The accumulation of the opening of the transtasman bubble and the start of the Kiwi school holidays has created a real sense of momentum and energy," Foran said.