Missing father Alan Langdon and daughter Que, 6, have likely left New Zealand on their way to Australia, a child recovery specialist says.
Mr Langdon and his daughter left Kawhia Harbour in Waikato on a small catamaran on 17 December.
They were bound for the Bay of Islands, but had not been heard from since with searches unable to find them.
On Saturday, police were focusing their search in Northland after reports a vessel similar to Mr Langdon's had headed in that direction in the last few days.
Child Recovery Services contractor Col Chapman - hired by Que's mother Ariane Wyler to track down the pair - was set to arrive in New Zealand today from Australia.
He said Mr Langdon's past behaviour indicated he could be heading for Australia, and he doubted they were still in New Zealand.
"The East Coast of Australia has many many places where he could be absorbed unnoticed for the next 10 or 15 years.
"[They could] easily disappear into Australia."
He no longer believed Mr Langdon's voyage was an innocent sailing trip but, he alleged, another attempt to take Que and elude the family court system.
Mr Chapman said there was a lot of conflicting information, including the direction the yacht was heading when it left.
He said it was not entirely unusual behaviour for Mr Langdon and he was confident of recovering Que, if the pair were found.
"Our biggest problem at the moment is working out where she is and if she's in the middle of the ocean heading for Australia, well we need to have some information to give the Australian authorities to get them interested enough to conduct a search."
Mr Chapman said he was in constant communication with New Zealand search authorities.
He said it was possible to board a boat offshore and they could have boarded another vessel mid-Tasman in order to get to Australia.
"I know for a fact it has been done in a dozen oceans in a dozen places, and out of New Zealand no problem, you guys are watching what's coming in, not what's going out."
The journey across the Tasman could take anywhere between 28 and 42 days.
The boat was described as white, with blue anti-fouling paint under the waterline, with the sail number T878.