Alan Langdon's father believes his son intended to sail to Australia, not the Bay of Islands as he claims.

Langdon, 49, and his 6-year-old daughter Que left Kawhia Harbour in Waikato on December 17 and were not seen or heard from until Wednesday when a local in the fishing town of Ulladulla reported seeing them to Australian authorities.

Langdon denied he'd intended to sail to Queensland to live "off-grid". He said he had planned to sail to the Bay of Islands, but he was forced to change course when a rudder broke.

However, his father, Walter, told Mediaworks he thought their plan had always been to go Australia.

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He said he hoped they would come back to New Zealand and through teary eyes, wished his son happy birthday for next month.

Meanwhile, a close friend of Que's mother Ariane Wyler said Wyler had gone through hell wondering where her young daughter was.

"She was totally ecstatic that they were found," friend Kelcey Chandler said.

"She pretty much knew that's where they would end up."

Chandler had spoken with Wyler in the past few days who was nursing her mother in Switzerland.

She was now hopeful about being reunited with her daughter.

But she did not know when she was expected back in the country.

Chandler, who has sailed extensively with her family, said Langdon's cavalier actions were not typical of experienced yachtsmen.

"You would have communication on the boat if you were a regular human being who cared about your daughter.

"I consider what he did was foolhardy.

"I sailed six years with my husband and children and everyone knew where we were. We always had lots of communication on board."

In her experience travelling to 15 different countries by sea you were also required to check in and out of designated ports.

"Obviously his story was that he was never leaving New Zealand waters so he didn't have to check out."

The pair's arrival at a quiet Australian port brought an end to the mystery of where the father and daughter had gone.

A massive sea and air search off the New Zealand coastline failed to find the father and daughter after they failed to arrive in Bay of Islands.

Instead the duo arrived in Ulladulla on Wednesday after spending 27 days sailing across the Tasman Sea in a 6.1m catamaran.

Langdon was questioned by police and customs officials once word of their arrival reached authorities.

Australian Border Force agents had now made a port-to-port request for Langdon and his daughter to make their way north.

The Illawarra Mercury reported the Langdons had two weeks to arrive at Port Kembla where they were required to formally enter the country.

MetService forecaster Tom Adams said the weather in the past month had been generally favourable for attempting a trans Tasman crossing.

While there would have been southerly swells of around 3m, the bulk of the stormy weather was south of them.

Adams said going in December meant they had been fortuitously spared the shocking weather that made conditions treacherous in spring.

"It they planned it, well done. If they didn't, they got lucky."