Tourist tramper found after several days in Milford Track bush

by Kim Bowden - Jun 10, 2024

A tourist who had gone missing last week while tramping in an area near the Milford Track has been found, but police are warning others of the dangers of heading into the great outdoors ill-prepared for the conditions.

According to the police coordinator for search and rescue missions in the deep south, the Belgian tourist who sparked an extensive search mission over the weekend was "extremely lucky" in "unforgiving conditions".

The man had separated from his party while crossing Dore Pass on Wednesday.

He deviated from his plan and on Saturday failed to reunite with the group.

On Sunday morning, two teams of seven from Southland and Fiordland Land Search and Rescue Groups commenced a search, alongside Southern Lakes Helicopters and a local boat charter company.

Later in the day the lost tramper was found at the Milford Track's Clinton Hut and taken to Te Anau to receive medical treatment for a minor knee injury.

In a statement today, police search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Alun Griffiths says Dore Pass is a challenging route that requires route finding skills, river crossing and alpine experience.

"Attempting this type of activity in street shoes, limited suitable gear, and no means of emergency communication does not end well, and this man is extremely lucky the outcome was not worse."

He says trampers should note their intentions in hut books, advise people of their proposed route, and then stick to that plan.

"These basic precautions are designed to keep you safe and are vital if the weather should deteriorate or you are injured.

"Nature can be unforgiving and the consequences of heading into the bush unprepared can be fatal."

Tops tips for responsible alpine tramping:

  • Before you go for a tramp or walk in the great outdoors let family and/or friends know where you’re going, and when to expect you back
  • You can also use Mountain Safety Council’s free planning app Plan My Walk to leave your intentions.
  • Have an emergency locator beacon, which can be purchased from outdoor stores or hired from your closest DOC centre
  • Take weather forecasts seriously, getting it wrong in an alpine environment can be deadly
  • Research the area and know what you're getting yourself into
  • Have the correct clothing for the environment you're in



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