The first few Pike River family members have travelled into the main drift at Pike River Mine.
Five family members, including Sonya Rockhouse, boarded a mine vehicle to travel the first 170 metres of the main entrance tunnel.
On November 19, 2010, 29 men working in the mine died after an explosion at the West Coast site.
Today is the last chance families have to enter the area before full recovery of the 2.3 kilometre tunnel begins.
It was an emotional moment for the families today as it was the closest they have come to their lost men, since the explosion happened.
They carried bunches of flowers inside for the journey, which took them to the seal at 170 metres.
The personal nature of the trip aside, it is also a hugely significant moment for the recovery operation as it shows the first phase is now complete.
They have cleared the first barrier, at 30 metres, and today’s trip shows the mine's crew now believe it is safe to breach the second seal at 170 metres and finally re-enter the 2.3 kilometre-long access tunnel, also known known as a drift.
All they need now is the clearance from WorkSafe who have now been sent the final health and safety documentation.
Several groups of family members will make the journey throughout the day.