ROUTEBURN TRACK, FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK, NEW ZEALAND (AUGUST 25, 2016) (TVNZ) – A Czech traveller was rescued by New Zealand police on Thursday (August 25), having spent close to a month alone in a warden’s hut in the mountains of the country’s South Island after her male partner died from a fall.
A recovery operation was underway during Thursday to locate the body of the dead tourist.
The pair became disorientated due to heavy snowfall which covered track markers, police said. The pair began their journey to hike the 32 km (20 miles) Routeburn track on July 26 and the fatal fall occurred on July 28. The woman spent three nights in the open before she found her way to the hut on July 31.
“It’s obviously a very unusual case given the length of time that the female was at the hut,” said Otago Lakes Central Area Commander, Inspector Olaf Jensen, at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
The woman and her companion were well-equipped for their journey and she was able to make use of the resources in the warden’s hut such as food, firewood and gas to keep herself warm, the police said.
The Czech consulate raised the alarm with New Zealand authorities after the two travellers, believed to be in their late 20s to early 30s, had not been heard from in some time.
According to police the pair had been in New Zealand since January on a working holiday.