The New Zealand Herald
Hobart direct flight gets off to flying start
Passengers are celebrating New Zealand’s first direct flight to Hobart in more than two decades.
There was a festive atmosphere on board NZ197 yesterday, the first flight along the new route as part of expanded transtasman services after the travel bubble with Australia opened this week.
Passengers toasted with glasses of
Arras sparkling wine, a multi-awarded Tasmanian winery, and were treated to cake.
Before the flight left Auckland Airport, Mark Mayerhofler, senior enablement manager for Air New Zealand and former All Black, led a waiata with the Ma¯ori Modern Quartet to farewell travellers. And when they arrived in Hobart about four hours later, Kiwi visitors were greeted by a traditional Welcome to Country ceremony.
“We were [also] welcomed warmly by border security staff and a brief temperature check via computer screen scanning technology and then we were through,” said Herald Travel editor Stephanie Holmes.
Tourism Tasmania chief executive John Fitzgerald said Kiwis would find a “lovely familiarity” when they arrived in Tasmania.
He noted that, like New Zealand, Tasmania was an island and “islanders are more resilient and inventive . . . we do things well”.
Kiwis can look forward to nature experiences, tramping, mountain biking and good food and wine, he said.
Prior to Covid-19, about 17,000 Kiwis visited Tasmania every year — that is expected to grow with establishment of the direct flight.