"With 60,000 Kiwis living on the Gold Coast and the region rating highly on travel wish lists of New Zealand residents, we expect these services to be extremely popular in both directions", Mr Mills said.
A testing and quarantine free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand launched with lopsided demand, according to airlines and data firms, with an unusually high number of the travellers departing from Australia.
"The opening of the two-way bubble is fantastic for the family and friends who are reuniting after so long apart and for the many jobs which are so heavily dependent on tourism", Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told reporters at Sydney Airport. The first flight, JetStar JQ201 from Sydney, took off from 7.40am and a flight from New Zealand dtouched down at the Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney at 7.55am.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier this month said the new arrangement was a "world-first of sorts" that would help the neighbors' post-pandemic recovery.
She said it is still possible to get COVID-19, but "it won't make you almost as sick and less likely to get really unwell".
The first flight carrying passengers from Australia is expected to land at Auckland Airport at 11.20am.
Australia is home to hundreds of thousands of expatriate New Zealanders and before coronavirus many regularly shuttled back and forth across the Tasman on three-hour flights.
More than half a million New Zealand-born people live in Australia, just over 2% of Australia's population of near 26 million.
About 1.5 million Australians visited New Zealand in 2019, the year before the pandemic closed worldwide borders, making up about 40% of all visitors, spending NZ$2.7 billion ($1.93 billion) in the country, official data showed.
She said the day marked a turning point and people were excited, adding: "You can feel it at the airport and see it on people's faces".
New Zealand's Ministry of Health confirmed the infection on Tuesday and said the worker had been put into isolation as contact tracing began.
'What's really important is we knew this was someone who was tested only recently, ' the Prime Minister said.
There are no new community cases of Covid-19 to report today.