Chris Dawson, 70, was arrested on a warrant and hauled before a Queensland court on Wednesday nearly four decades after his wife was last seen alive.
Dawson was the subject of globally acclaimed podcast, The Teacher's Pet, which investigated the disappearance of Lyn Joy Dawson, then aged 33, in mysterious circumstances from her home in January, 1982.
He said detectives had revisited the case three years ago and a "fresh brief" of evidence led to the arrest.
Dawson is a former first grade rugby league player turned high school teacher.
Speaking at a press conference following the arrest, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said over the course of Operation Scriven and the re-launch of the investigation earlier this year, additional evidence was identified that enabled them to build on their case against Chris.
Fuller said authorities have not located Dawson's body, and that finding her remains is "not crucial to finalising the matter", but maintained "we certainly won't give up on that search".
Two coroners found Lyn was probably murdered by Mr Dawson in 1982, but he continued to deny his involvement, saying she had run off to join a "religious cult".
He was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court on Thursday afternoon.
Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said Mr Dawson is not expected to be questioned by police today.
Dawson's family said in a statement they had no doubt he'd be found innocent.
Two separate inquests previously recommended to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that a "known person", now identified as Chris Dawson, be charged with her murder, but the DPP determined insufficient evidence to lay charges.
Mr Dawson will face a NSW court later this week.
"I have said from the start, what is important to me was just as important for Lynette Dawson and her family", he said.
"We're certainly hoping an interview with this 70-year-old man who's now in custody in Queensland will assist us with the outcome of where the body may be".
"We've been waiting for 36 years for something like this to happen", Ms Dawson's niece Renee Simms told Ten Network on Wednesday.
He said two witness statements in particular helped piece the evidence together.
Detectives in September dug up the backyard at the Bayview home the couple shared in the early 1980s but did not find her remains or items of interest.
NSW police said homicide detectives began looking into Lyn's disappearance again in 2015.
"We have to also ensure Chris gets due process".