New Zealand father and daughter found in Australia after a month at sea

A New Zealand man and his six-year old daughter missing at sea for more than a month after their rudder was damaged have landed in Australia.

ULLADULLA (REUTERS) - A tiny catamaran with a broken rudder is not ideal for setting out across the treacherous Tasman Sea, but for Alan Langdon and his daughter Que there was no choice.

Caught in a storm off the coast of New Zealand, they spent 27 days at sea before landing on the east coast of Australia, some 1930 km from home.

"We were in a position with no rudder, we didn't have as many options. We waited for the weather, like I said, I waited for the fine weather and that didn't come and I didn't realize that sailing with one rudder was going to be as difficult as it was, (it) was interesting, challenging," said Mr Langdon.

The father-daughter crew had planned a brief trip around the top of New Zealand's North Island for Christmas. But their adventure soon went a long way off course.

The boat docking in a seaside town south of Sydney on Wednesday (Jan 11) to the surprise of locals.

"I could tell that they'd been at sea for quite a while. They were quite wobbly on the land and I can understand that when you've been on a boat for a long time," said local resident Christine Davidson. 

An international search for the unfortunate Kiwis has now been called off.

The final leg of their journey - a trip to Australian customs for processing.