Family desperate after British hiker Stephanie Simpson goes missing in New Zealand

  • Family desperate after British hiker Stephanie Simpson goes missing in New Zealand

Family desperate after British hiker Stephanie Simpson goes missing in New Zealand

The body of missing British hiker Stephanie Simpson was found in New Zealand early on Friday morning.

An official cause of death has not been given, and the death has been referred to the coroner for further examination.

Simpson had been living in Wanaka, a resort town on New Zealand's South Island, since October, where she worked as a landscaper, Sky News reported.

Simpson, 32, went missing at the weekend during a hike in Mt Aspiring National Park.

"Police extend their condolences to Stephanie's family at this tragic time", Kirkwood said.

"The search was extremely challenging at times, especially in consideration of the terrain, and the work of all involved is to be commended", Mark Kirkwood, officer in charge at West Coast Search and Rescue, said in a statement.

Simpson apparently left the hiking track, removed her boots and stepped into the waterfall, according to Kirkwood.

Alpine Cliff Rescue and a specialist canyon search and rescue team were key parts of the search effort.

Mount Aspiring national park
Mount Aspiring national park in New Zealand where Simpson was found dead. De Agostini via Getty Images

"Searchers have located items of interest which has informed the decision to narrow the search to this area", a police spokeswoman said.

"She's an extremely determined, strong-willed person", Mr Hazelton said.

In an unrelated matter, the bodies of two trampers were found in the Makarora River on the weekend.

Speaking to Sky News prior to her body was found, he defined her as 'really skilled as well as healthy.'.

Passionate about trekking, she had hiked for many years in the UK, Australia, and recently, New Zealand.

It is believed she headed out to Mt Aspiring National Park after work on Friday and was expected to return on Sunday.

"This was something Stephanie would do most weekends, it was her main reason for staying in Wanaka in New Zealand as it offered so many different trails".

One, who wished to remain anonymous, thanked those who found her and said she was "a bright light amongst many and will be sadly missed [by] those who knew her".