The season finale of Home and Away left viewers in tears on Wednesday night. From a terrifying hostage situation, to the death of a beloved character, there was a lot to unpack.
Amid the excitement – and extreme crying sessions – fans may have noticed a new character quietly making his on-screen debut.
Rob Kipa-Williams, known for his role as Zac in 800 Words, made an appearance as Ari, a tradie who comforted Marilyn (Emily Symons) during the Northern Districts Hospital siege.
Shortly after the episode aired, Rob took to Instagram to celebrate his role and hint there will be more to come when the series returns in 2020.
Sharing a photo from the episode, the Kiwi actor wrote the entire bio from the perspective of his character – which makes us think he's going to be around for a while!
"My name is Ariki Wiremu Parata (Ari) I was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia 12 years ago," Rob writes, in character.
"I've had a few challenges and those challenges brought me to Summer Bay... I love my whanau (family), I'll do anything for them, but never cross me. I didn't know the guy who died but my heart goes out to the family. As for me, I guess you'll find out if I stay in the bay or if I go when Home and Away returns in 2020."
Rob also hinted to his role last week, sharing a photo with Courtney Miller (who plays Bella Thorne).
"I've been working on something special for the last 5 months," he wrote in the caption, with Home and Away fans quickly flocking to the post to congratulate him on the gig.
His posts fuelled speculation that a new family will be moving to Summer Bay in 2020, to fill the gap left by three of the Morgans.
Brody (Jackson Heywood), Raffy (Olivia Deeble) and Mason (Orpheus Pledger) all left the bay this year, with a need for new characters to take their places.
The rest of the family will reportedly include Kiwi actors Bree Peters (Bellbird), Kawakawa Fox-Reo (Wellington Paranormal) and recent NIDA graduate Ethan Browne.
Bree recently shared a photo with four of her Home and Away co-stars Lukas Radovich, Emily Weir, Georgia Parker and Emily Symons.
Meanwhile, Kawakwa has shared several photos with his on-screen family on the show's set in Palm Beach.
Though nothing has been confirmed, we'll take these posts as unofficial proof that there's a new clan in Summer Bay...
We'll have to wait and see if the Parata family are "officially" moving to Summer Bay in 2020, but in the meantime Home and Away fans can get their fix with the show's Christmas series.
The festive new series features never-before-seen interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, nostalgic clips and tours of some of the show's iconic locations.
Hosted by former star Jason Smith (Robbie Hunter), the special features current stars Ray Meagher, Georgie Parker, Lynne McGranger, Ada Nicodemou and more.
Home and Away: Christmas In Summer Bay Episode One is streaming now on 7Plus, with new episodes every Tuesday in December.
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Australian Women's WeeklyJan 23, 2020