A teacher who was left stranded in Australia while trying to make it home to New Zealand from London has finally completed her journey.
Tess Johnson, 26, wanted to get back to Hamilton to be with her family after living in London for four years.
She intended to travel through Sydney to get back to New Zealand but she was stopped from boarding her final flight across the Tasman due to her Australian passport.
Ms Johnson was born in Australia but had lived in New Zealand for 10 years from when she was 12. She is a dual citizen of both countries.
She made the mad dash starting on Monday morning with a cousin and her friend to get back as New Zealand lifted its coronavirus alert level to three - one step before a total lockdown.
Tess Johnson, a dual citizen of Australia and New Zealand, moved to London four years ago but wanted to be with her family during the coronavirus pandemic
She said being stopped at Sydney Airport was 'the worst experience'.
'We were crying, it was just horrible... My parents are really concerned - Mum cried all day,' she told the New Zealand Herald.
'[Immigration officials] were really harsh to me. They told me they could see no valid reason to let me back into New Zealand until this is sorted.'
She claims she was told that because she had been living in the UK for four years that her New Zealand residency was 'blocked'.
After an MP in her home city intervened, Ms Johnson was able to return to New Zealand and arrived at Auckland Airport on Wednesday night.
'My cousin didn't come. It was a very emotional goodbye. We were both crying of happiness and sadness at the same time,' she said.
'My mum was waiting up eagerly for me all night. I did tell her to sleep but I don't think she did.'
Ms Johnson said she is now self-isolating in a cabin on her parents' property in Hamilton.
She was stranded at Sydney and was not allowed to fly back to New Zealand because she was travelling on an Australian passport (Pictured: Sydney International Airport)