Police are praising the tenacity of family members who tracked down missing Morrinsville farm worker Joshua Falwasser.
The 22-year-old had expected to hitchhike home from Tauranga on Friday night.
Instead he ended up in Whakatane, after falling asleep when he got a ride. He also lost his mobile phone.
He was found by his family after returning to Tauranga, Sergeant Mark Toomey of the Morrinsville police said.
The missing man had gone to Tauranga with a relative on Wednesday afternoon, so he could go to a party on Thursday, and was expected back at the farm he works on to milk cows on Saturday morning.
On Friday night he sent a text to his brother saying he was hitchhiking home from Tauranga, but did not show up at the farm the next day.
"From what we understand he fell asleep in a car and ended up in Whakatane, but lost his cell phone," Toomey said.
"Family members had travelled to Tauranga to search for him and through dogged determination, working through Facebook contacts and tracking people down they were able to identify the unknown friend where the party had been and located the missing man at this person's address."