Auckland couple rescued from Falkland Islands after being trapped by COVID-19 pandemic

A honeymooning couple from Auckland have been rescued from the Falkland Islands by a Kiwi fishing boat.

Newlyweds Feeona Clifton and Neville Clifton were stuck on the remote islands due to COVID-19. The pair finally returned home on Tuesday after a month at sea.

They're happy to be back on solid ground, with Feeona saying it's "a little bit surreal".

What started out as a romantic honeymoon quickly turned into a swashbuckling adventure.

The Auckland couple were stranded on the Falkland Islands as COVID-19 swept the planet.

Lucky for the Cliftons, the 46-metre San Aotea 2 came to their rescue. It was sailing from Timau, across the Southern Ocean and swapping fishing crews when it picked up the two newlyweds from Port Stanley.

An eight-and-a-half-week round trip was the only way to get them home amid the pandemic. 

It was meant to be a six-week honeymoon but turned into a five-month journey with 28 of those days spent looking out of the San Aotea's porthole.

The crew spent their final four nights bobbing calmly four kilometres off the New Zealand coast before being allowed to come ashore.

Their first meal was KFC - delivered as they awaited their test results.

The crew of the San Aotea got nothing but praise from the new sailors.

"I've never seen a chef in my life put his head on the cupboard to steady himself while he's actually chopping vegetables - I'll never forget that," said Feeona.

The couple earned their own praise too from the skipper Shane Cottle.

"They were great, probably the perfect sailors actually."

A perfect end to a honeymoon the Kiwi couple will never forget