The community of Wagga showed up in droves to the city's main street on Saturday after lockdown was lifted across the Riverina late on Friday night.
Baylis Street was filled with cars and people on Saturday morning with busy retail stores, packed cafe's with dine-in options finally returning, and long-queues of men at barbers waiting for a hair cut.
Local parks were also filled with family and friends, some reconnecting for the first time in a month.
Kristin Neason and her 11-year-old daughter Indy were excited to be out-and-about this weekend.
"My sister's just had a baby so I get to go and have cuddles and see them," Mrs Neason said, with the pair most looking forward to reconnecting with people now that the lockdown has been lifted.
Indy enjoyed her time in lockdown but said she is keen to get back to school, especially because she has "a really good teacher".
Jess Mielke and Amy Tier both agreed it was a "nice surprise" hearing that the lockdown would lift this weekend.
"I thought a few more weeks we'd be in lockdown for sure," Ms Tier said.
"It feels different being downtown and everything being open again."
Ms Mielke said she is most looking forward to being able to sit down with friends indoors, instead of "having to walk to catch up with people".
Patricia Bowditch and Gwen Little both said it was "wonderful" to be out of lockdown, most looking forward to doing some shopping.
"Better than being stuck in the house all the time," Mrs Bowditch laughed.
Katrina Sayers and her family travelled from Lockhart to Wagga and couldn't be happier that restrictions have eased.
"We couldn't come in here before and there's all sorts of things that Wagga's got that Lockhart hasn't," she said, namely a Vet and the large shopping centres.
Glenn and Karen Pallister moved to Wagga just three months ago from Sydney to purchase a local cafe.
"We've come down and done it quite tough obviously in the first three months, so it's wonderful to come out today," Mr Pallister said.
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All smiles, Mrs Pallister said the atmosphere during the first day out of lockdown almost felt like a holiday.
"That feeling of elation and thinking oh my gosh, just to have some freedoms," she said, with the couple adding they were staying "optimistically cautious".
The Pallister's went out for breakfast on Saturday, and are already planning a pub lunch for Sunday.
"All us girls are looking for our lashes, our hair maintenance and our nail maintenance, and the guys are growing beards," Mrs Pallister added.
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Originally from Lake Macquarie, Emily kickstarted her journalism career in Tumut before moving to the Daily Advertiser in Wagga where she covers Health and Features. Got a story tip? Email email@example.com, or call 0457 459 095.
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