A second rescue flight from Indonesia is planned following the repatriation of 186 Aussies from Bali.
Around 1200 Australians want to return home from Indonesia, which has racked up nearly 3.9 million official coronavirus cases and more than 120,000 deaths.
An Australian government-facilitated flight ferried 186 people from Denpasar to Darwin on Wednesday.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was working to help more Australians return, including through a second repatriation flight.
Back home, NSW’s COVID-19 spiralling cases are threatening to eclipse the daily tally of last year’s second wave.
The military has been called in to speed up vaccinations for vulnerable Indigenous communities in that state’s west.
NSW smashed its daily infection high with 633 new cases on Wednesday. Three deaths were also reported.
Melbourne had 24 new cases, Canberra 22 and nationally there were 679 local infections on Wednesday.
That’s just 19 short of the worst day during last year’s second wave.
The average age of infection is also trending lower, dipping into the teens in the ACT.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her state was yet to see the worst of the outbreak that has since spread to other parts of the country and New Zealand.
But federal officials say Australia’s case numbers will soon fall.
“We’re really expecting to see and anticipating that we will see a decrease in those numbers shortly,” newly appointed federal deputy chief health officer Sonya Bennett said.
“The restrictions recently across Australia are yet to take effect.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted rapid mass vaccination of those aged 16 and up would work and was sticking with the current priority age groups.
Just under half of eligible Australians have had a first dose of the vaccine and 27.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Despite rising outbreaks in schools, health officials are standing by the current focus on adults.
“Obviously the biggest protection we can provide to the children of Australia, and it’s essential that we are protecting all children, not just those aged 12 and above, but all children, is by preventing them from being infected with COVID-19,” federal deputy chief health officer Michael Kidd said.
In the past seven days, 1.7 million doses have been administered.
Labor has warned military units dispatched to boost coronavirus vaccination rates in western NSW Indigenous communities will fail without trusted Aboriginal elders working alongside them.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro expected cases in western NSW Indigenous communities to spike.
Victoria has launched an “only a test can tell” campaign to boost testing numbers with Sydney’s Delta outbreak becoming more entrenched.