When coronavirus cases rose in New Zealand and Victoria experienced their second wave, hopes for a travel bubble between Australia and our across-the-pond friends were seriously dashed. But now it looks like travel between the two countries might be back on the cards - as early as the end of this year, no less.

The new conversations began when Australia's federal tourism minister Simon Birmingham spoke to ABC News, saying he is "hopeful" the travel bubble could be on the cards this year.

"We’re making sure we have all the work done, all the preparations there so that we can safely achieve that bubble with New Zealand. It’s up to them as to whether they choose to open up to Australia, but we’re certainly making sure that we’re prepared and I’m hopeful that could be this year and then maybe set a model for us to look at for any other countries that meet similar high standards."

Obviously, this wouldn't be very exciting news - except that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked about the travel bubble today, and had similarly hopeful things to say about it.

According to the ABC, when asked at today's press conference by TVNZ if the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble could be opened up by Christmas, she said "it is possible."

"What we would need to be assured of is that when Australia is saying 'okay we've got a hotspot over here', that the border around that hotspot means that people aren't able to travel into the states where we are engaging with trans-Tasman travel," Ardern said.

It's clear her idea of the travel bubble, at least for now, is restricted to certain states and not the entirety of Australia. But with both countries seeing coronavirus daily cases lowering and speaking positively about the chances of a travel bubble, it's definitely cause for (tentative) excitement.