After months of uncertainty, there's excitement in Queenstown as the tourist hot spot prepares for a busy long weekend.
Kiwi tourists have descended on the region as they take advantage of the deals on offer following weeks on no domestic travel durng the Covid-19 lockdown.
Tour boat agency Hydro Attack has received many bookings for the weekend after opening up for the first time in 10 weeks.
“I've been in the town for 12, 13 years now and I've never seen such deals going on," Hydro Attack's David Lynott said.
"It's amazing and I think there is quite an excitement around."
Tourism operators and accommodation providers are looking forward to a much-needed boost this Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Motel Villa Del Lago has been completely booked out after three months of nearly no income.
“We're finally seeing a return to a healthy level of bookings just for this three-day long weekend period and that's extremely welcomed from our point of view,” owner Nik Kiddle said.
Queenstown-Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult said the turnout is "stunning" given the circumstances.
"I actually want to give a shout-out to the rest of New Zealand for hearing the message that we need you need to come and visit us," Mr Boult said.
The airport, too, is roaring back to life.
“We will have a look and see what's around and we'll enjoy ourselves while we're down here, enjoy the beautiful scenery,” one domestic tourist said.
However, there’s concern the next few days will only provide short-term relief.
“The problem, from our point of view, is that it actually flatlines close to zero again almost immediately after the weekend," Mr Kiddle said.
Destination Queenstown’s Richard Thomas said the tourist town is expected to be busy during long weekends and school holidays.
“There's going to be some soft patches through some of those early days of the week, Monday through Wednesday, but we're reasonably optimistic,” he said.
Mr Boult's spirits were also high.
"This long weekend will lift the spirits of our district," he said.