The search for a tramper lost in Mt Aspiring National Park has been abandoned.
Search and rescue officials said they had no option but to accept that the missing man had been swept away and drowned.
They said the matter would now be referred to the coroner.
They have named the missing man as Scott Oliver, 41, known as Brock, of Wellington.
He was last seen at 6.30pm on Sunday when he separated from the rest of his party to attempt a shortcut through a gorge in the upper reaches of the Wilkin River.
An intensive search yesterday and today by search and rescue volunteers tracked Mr Oliver's footprints into the gorge, but could find no trace of an exit.
As a result they said they had no option other than to accept that Mr Oliver had been swept into the gorge and been drowned.
They added it was a very dangerous area and in the absence of any further clues there was unfortunately little else that they could do.