The stars are aligning for New Zealanders to have the option of some overseas travel in the near future.
Australia is keen for Kiwis to fly west in a one-direction partial travel bubble. As Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack put it last week in reference to the lure of the Northern Territory, "the fish are biting and the beers are cold".
With Auckland joining the rest of the country at level 1 tomorrow morning, and the latest outbreak seemingly suppressed, New Zealanders can look forward to a more relaxed normality. On Sunday the country had gone 11 days without a Covid-19 infection in the community.
At the same time, the Government will not want to risk any new cases, especially with early voting started and election day just a week and a half away. And this new recovery feels hard-won - we don't want further restrictions if we can help it. In this situation, patience over overseas travel is probably a virtue.
Under the Australian plan, New Zealanders from non-hotspot areas will be able to travel to New South Wales, the ACT and the NT from October 16 without undergoing quarantine there. That will be good news for Kiwis with family across the Ditch and time to spare.
It will also be good for businesses in places like Darwin in the NT. Local couple Neil and Donna Linklater told the ABC that the bubble announcement was extra special.
"My mum's family are in Christchurch, and it's been hard for my mum to not be able to see her family. She's in her 80s," Donna said. "It's going to be a huge relief to see family. It will be wonderful. She will be very happy."
Hospitality NT said the peak dry season saw 10 to 15 per cent of the usual number of tourists. The NT normally draws more than 10,000 Kiwi visitors annually, the ABC reports.
But for people who would just like a short break in Australia, it is hard to see the attraction, since at this stage they would still have to go through quarantine on their return. Kiwis will have to pay $3100 per room, $950 for each extra adult and $475 per child towards the quarantine costs when they return.
On Sunday, NSW went for a ninth day without any coronavirus cases in the community. The Government here wants a month of zeroes before it considers whether Australians can visit, so that decision will wait until after the election. Processes for bubble border controls and flights will have to be worked through.
Travel talks have resumed with the Cook Islands but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that no other Pacific nations are interested in opening their borders to Kiwis at present.
The potential for other regional travel bubbles is improving, with Singapore's coronavirus case numbers falling. There were two community cases there at the weekend. Vietnam and Taiwan are also doing well.
Tourist travel to areas farther afield such as Europe and the Americas will be a question for next year as virus cases rise again and winter is coming in the north.
With the weather warming here, spending more months in our own back yard doesn't seem too bad. Many Kiwis are ticking off domestic travel goals.
The fish will be biting and the beers will be cold during our own long hot summer.