Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for holidaying in Hawaii while much of Australia burned but has also stressed now is not the time for point-scoring but rather "a time to be kind to each other".
The Liberal leader returned to Sydney on Saturday night and on Sunday morning confirmed he'd been in Hawaii with his family on a trip that was planned six weeks ago.
"If we had our time over again and with the benefit of hindsight we would have made different decisions," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
"(But) I am sure Australians are fair-minded and understand that when you make a promise to your children you try and keep it."
Mr Morrison said to the people he'd upset by being away during the latest bushfire emergency: "I apologise for that."
Mr Morrison on Sunday extended sympathy to the families of NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers Geoffrey Keaton and Andrew O'Dwyer who were killed on Thursday night fighting fires.
It was their deaths that prompted Mr Morrison on Friday morning to say he planned to rush home.
Australian Associated Press