Travellers touched down at Auckland Airport on Monday, many to emotional reunions with family and friends.
People from more than 60 countries are now able to enter the country if they're vaccinated and Covid-negative.
Citizens have been able to travel in and out since March, while Australians have been let in since April.
One US man said he had travelled from Cincinnati to be with his partner. He had been waiting since February 2020 - when he applied for the visa.
"I'm finally here today. I've never been within 6,000 miles of this country and my first time here. I'm home. It's the best feeling I've ever had," David Benson told the BBC.
British man Garth Halliday, who has been living in New Zealand for the past 30 years, said he and his wife were at the airport to welcome their son, daughter-in-law and 18-month-old grandson.
"The older you get, the more family becomes important and I'm getting old. We've got three generations all together now," he said.