The floodgates opened on Monday, as pub-deprived patrons poured into Wagga's hotels and clubs after 71 days in lockdown.
First out of the gate was Justine McInerney, who waited outside in the rain and cold on Monday morning so she could get inside the William Farrer Hotel the very instant it opened at 10am.
"This is the best day of my life," Ms McInerney said.
"I'm so excited."
Ms McInerney and her friends Bill and Justine Graham were the very first patrons to get into the pub, and they wasted no time downing their first schooner of the day.
The trio had been keeping a stopwatch to calculate the precise second that the pub would reopen, and when the timer countdown reached 29 minutes Ms McInerney could hardly contain herself.
"It was the longest 29 minutes of my life," Ms McInerney said.
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Bill Graham said he was looking forward to having a slap at the pokies, after having gone cold turkey for 71 days.
Mr Graham had been literally counting the days he had gone without a flutter, and he said he was keen to break his streak.
"I've never had so much money," Mr Graham said.
"We're glad to be back."
Railway sweeper Ash Fitzgerald came to the Farmers Home Hotel after work with her colleagues, and they celebrated their newfound freedom with a round of schooners.
"We thought we'd come in, be social," she said.
"It's good to be back."
Under the new rules introduced on Monday, pubs can now accommodate up to 50 people per dining area.
The new rules push many Wagga pubs into the realm of viability; the previous restrictions of 10 people per pub meant in practice virtually none of them could profitably open for sit-down guests.
Certain rules still apply, including a 10-person maximum cap on group bookings, a four square metre gap between tables, and a ban on communal cutlery.