Que Langdon reunited with mother

Ariane Wyler and Que (supplied)
Ariane Wyler and Que (supplied)

The man who took his daughter on a catamaran across the Tasman will face charges, police said on Sunday.

Alan Langdon, 49, left Kawhia a week before Christmas, supposedly bound for the Bay of Islands. He had his six-year-old daughter Que with him.

After more than four weeks at sea they turned up in Ulladalla, New South Wales.

Langdon is due to appear in Te Awamutu District Court on January 25, charged with taking a child from New Zealand under the Care of Children Act.

Mother Ariane Wyler was in Switzerland, but she arrived in Australia via plane on Saturday night. 

She was reunited with her daughter on Sunday morning, who was reportedly thrilled.

"It was as though she had just spotted Santa - she couldn't believe it," child recovery expert Col Chapman said.

Mr Chapman says Ms Wyler went to the marina hoping to see or talk to her daughter, and happened to spot Que walking alone near a toilet block, around 100m from the catamaran.

Ariane Wyler and Que (supplied)
Ariane Wyler and Que (supplied)

"She was overjoyed, she's thrilled - she's had a constant smile on her face and didn't stop smiling the whole time, and same with Que," he told Newshub.

"Apparently Que asked to come with her mum, told her that she missed her, and Ariane and Que have left Ulladulla together."

Ms Wyler didn't speak directly with Langdon, who was on the boat at the time, instead asking a local to tell him she had Que and the lawyers would be in touch, Mr Chapman says.

She says she plans to stay in Australia until she decides her next steps.

Langdon says he had no choice but to head for Australia after a rudder broke and they were getting pushed further and further away from the New Zealand coast.

"Bringing Que to Australia without [a locater beacon], marine communications and other necessary safety equipment was tantamount to child endangerment," says Mr Chapman. 

Police say Langdon contravened a Family Court order by taking Que out of the country.