Elderly hiker spent night in Milford Track bush

The 73-year-old Japanese woman who was found after going missing on the Milford Track yesterday will rejoin her group for dinner at Milford Sound this evening.

The woman left the track after lunch yesterday and became lost in dense bush.

She was located by the Southern Lakes Rescue Helicopter team equipped with thermal imaging night vision about midnight after an extensive land and aerial search.

Ultimate Hikes staff, including general manager Noel Saxon, were lowered in to the area with supplies and hiked to her, reaching her about 1am.

The group spent the night in the thick bush until being recovered this morning.

Mr Saxon said she was uninjured and in "good spirits'' when she reached Te Anau and was keen to rejoin her group which was on the third day of a five-day trek, from Te Anau to Milford Sound, when she went missing.

“Our first concern is safety and as soon as we were aware she was missing we coordinated a sweep by track staff and then immediately launched a full search and rescue response.

"We are very pleased that she did all the right things once she realised she was lost, she made herself as comfortable as she could and then waited, rather than risking trying to find her way back in the dark.”

“I would like to thank our Ultimate Hikes team, the Te Anau Search and Rescue team and the Police for their effective action and support in finding and recovering our guest.

"Their actions and commitment led to this incident having a positive outcome.”

The company will conduct an internal investigation into the incident, he said.

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