The 6-year-old girl who was the subject of a trans-Tasman search and rescue operation while she was sailing from New Zealand to Australia with her father, has returned.

Que Langdon arrived at Auckland International Airport from Brisbane with her mother Ariane Langdon, holding a teddy bear.

She had been living in Kawhia with her father, Alan Langdon, when he took her on his yacht on December 17, telling locals they were heading to the Bay of Islands.

They instead arrived at Ulladullah on the New South Wales west coast last week.

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Ariane Langdon, who lives near Nelson but had been in Switzerland looking after her sick mother, had hired a private investigator.

She flew to Australia to meet up with Que.

Speaking to reporters at the airport today, she said: "I'm very happy thank you. It's fantastic to be in New Zealand. Thank you to New Zealand public, thak you to the media, thank you to search and rescue.

'I'm very happy to be reunited and I look forward to spending some quality time with my daughter. I just look forward to some fun activities."

She she wasn't allowed to say more.

Alan Langdon has been charged under the Care of Children Act and is due in Te Awamutu District Court next week.

An old family friend called Michel was waiting to pick up Que, her mother and another woman travelling with them, Heather.

The investigator Ariane Langdon hire, Col Chapman, said earlier Que was thrilled to be going on a plane with her mother.