Impromptu adventurer Busby Noble has returned home after visiting Antarctica, getting arrested in Chile, and becoming a celebrity in Norway during a spectacular 10-month voyage.
Mr Noble landed in New Zealand early this morning.
He disappeared from Auckland on the yacht Nilaya in January.
Noble said earlier this week he anticipated a grilling from Customs. But he made it through Auckland International Airport, posting a photo of his arrival on a Facebook page. ``Home again! Safe and sound. Aotearoa,'' he wrote, beside a picture of him wrapped in a Mana Party and United Tribes of New Zealand flag.
Controversial Norwegian adventurer Jarle Andhoy abruptly sailed Nilaya out of Auckland in January after Immigration NZ served him with a deportation notice. Aboard was an unnamed New Zealander, said to have been working below decks when Nilaya departed.
In February, the Herald on Sunday revealed Otara resident Noble, 52, was the mystery passenger. The Maori activist and a multinational crew visited Antarctica, where Noble planted a Mana Party flag beside penguins in the polar ice.
The voyage in the turbulent Southern Ocean earned the wrath of local authorities, and initially, of Noble's partner, T.P Teiho. But Teiho eventually flew out to be with Noble in Norway, where her partner had become a media sensation, attending glitzy TV awards ceremonies, meeting the indigenous Sami people, and sailing round the Nordic country.
Noble and Teiho could not immediately be reached for comment today. Noble previously said he was aboard Nilaya to search for evidence of missing sailboat Berserk, which went down in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, in 2011, killing three men. He also wished to pay his respects to those who died in that disaster, including his friend, South African Leonard Banks.By John Weekes Email John