12 Sep 2017

Missing woman found by two tourists

9:12 am on 12 September 2017

A woman who was missing in the Mt Thomas Forest Conservation Area in Waimakariri overnight has been found safe and well by two tourists.

Police said Monique Hickland, 31, who has the understanding of a 12- to 13-year-old, left her family near the Wooded Gully picnic area yesterday afternoon.

She had spent the night near the top of the mountain and was walking down the hill when she was found by the tourists.

Conditions were cold overnight with temperatures down to about 2°C and searchers were working in snow in some higher areas.

"We are thrilled this search and rescue operation has had such a positive outcome," said Sergeant Phil Simmonds.

Five search teams and two dog teams were searching yesterday, and this morning about 20-30 searchers were starting to focus more on off-track areas with thicker bush.

The tourists walked out of the bush with Ms Hickland and made contact with search teams about 8am. She was being checked by medical staff and reunited with her family.