The Para-Athletes arrived at Auckland Airport this morning ahead of a welcome home event tomorrow at the AUT Millennium Institute on the North Shore.

The New Zealand team beat their pre-Games medal target of 18 by three medals, winning a total of 21 (9 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze). The only time New Zealand has ever won more medals was the 25 medals secured back in 1984 (8 gold).

The nine gold medals taken also mean that in gold medal terms, Rio 2016 exactly matches to Atlanta 1996 as New Zealand's most successful Paralympic Games in its history.

Gold medallist swimmer Cameron Leslie, who won his third Paralympic title in the 150m IM SM4, told TVNZ that it was great to be back in the country.

"I'm feeling pretty tired. Now that I'm back in the country it will start to sink in what I did do.

I watched back the race and tought I could do little things and know there is more speed there."

Leslie said the support from the New Zealand public has been encouraging.

"It's encouraging to see the change of mindset of the way that society see people with disabilities," he told TVNZ.

Showing off his gold medal, Leslie said the shaking noise reminds him of the sounds of Brazil.

"It such a different medal with the shaker and the noise it's a cool idea. It is very beautiful. Makes me think of Brazil when I hear the shake."