A yachtsman who went missing with his six-year-old daughter from Waikato in December has told how the pair saw "plenty of whales" while international searches for their pair were underway.
Alan Langdon, 46, and his daughter Que were located in Australia this week, almost a month after they were last seen leaving Kawhia Harbour on December 17.
Mr Langdon was in the middle of a custody dispute with his former wife, Que's mother Ariane Wyler, when they disappeared, prompting widespread searches of the New Zealand coast and sea areas.
Interpol also became involved after it was revealed Mr Langdon might head for Australia.
The pair landed at Ulladulla on the New South Wales coast earlier this week, New Zealand Police and child recovery expert Col Chapman announced on Wednesday.
Mr Langdon told local newspaper the Milton and Ulladulla Times that he and Que were looking forward to much needed rest after the trip, for most of which they were left with just one rudder after the other broke.
"I tell you I learnt a lot about sailing," he said.
"Yes we are safe and well. We were always safe, we just couldn't let anyone know."
He described his daughter as happy and revealed they saw lots of whales on their trip.
Mr Chapman, who was hired by Ms Wyler to find Que, said the girl's mother was over the moon to hear the pair had been found.
"We found him, we got him. It's really good news on all fronts," Mr Chapman said from Australia.
"They landed in our predicted target area within the time frame. I don't want to be alI 'I told you so' but ... they sailed straight there."
It's believed Mr Langdon and Que had been in Australia for around two days before authorities were notified by a member of the public who had seen posters.
Mr Langdon is understood to be co-operating with Australian authorities.
It's not clear if Mr Langdon will face any charges. Que does not have a passport and the pair did not enter the country legally.