The easing of COVID-19 rules for Melbourne residents wasn't just a chance to get out of the city for a relaxing weekend, it also reconnected North East families.
Beechworth was back to life on Saturday with cafes and shops welcoming more people than they'd seen in at least six months.
Melbourne nurse Hannah Pahl took the opportunity to get back to her home town after a gruelling stint working on the frontline in a cancer ward.
"I'm usually up here every three weeks or so to see everyone, so it was a big change," she said.
"I've been living in Melbourne for 10 years and hopefully coming back to the country soon.
"I guess not being able to come home and see my family whenever I wanted kind of made me think about things. Did I really want to be that far away from them for such a long time?
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"I was quite lucky because I work in cancer services and we were quite protected, but it's very stressful for patients and trying to keep them safe because they're at risk."
Hannah's mother, Colleen, fought back tears after getting to see her for the first time in six months.
"It feels like life has been on pause to be honest," Colleen said.
"But as much as this has been going on for a while, I felt like it happened like that."
Colleen said it felt like holiday season in Beechworth across the weekend.
"It's great to see the town buzzing again and most people are really happy that things are getting back to normal again," she said.
Michael Curtin was reunited with son, Jethro, and has another son in Alice Springs he hopes to have home for Christmas.
"We managed to have a quick catch up between the two lockdown periods, so for us it's been a few months since we've actually seen each other," he said.
"There's either people coming up here or we've had other friends go down to Melbourne to catch up with family down there.
"There's a really nice atmosphere in Beechworth at the moment. The council has done a great job creating some seating places on the pavements and people have been very respectful.
"All we need now is for the (NSW) border to open. Once we get that border open and the Western Australian one, we'll feel right."
A return to Beechworth was also belated for regular visitors Ken and Ruth Angus, of Somerville, on the Mornington Peninsula.
"We've been to Bright itself 45 times in the last 30 years and we've started coming to Beechworth," Ken said.
"We usually come here three or four times a year, if not more. Usually for the Celtic Festival as well."
Ruth said the couple had to cancel its first two planned trips to Beechworth this year, one at Easter and another in winter to meet up with their daughter.
"We managed to get here now and we're coming back in a couple of weekends because our daughter will be able to travel from Canberra into Victoria," she said.
"We can have a family reunion then.
"Just to be able to hug her will be great.
"We talk on Facetime, but just to be able to spend 24 hours or so with her because they've just bought a house, there's so many things to catch up on and talk about.
"We just love Beechworth."