Search teams are scouring Te Urewera for a father and son who were due back from a tramping trip last night.
The pair went tramping a week ago and were expected back about 5pm last night, but failed to show for their shuttle.
Workers at the shuttle service, who asked not to be named, said they slept there overnight before raising the alarm.
The woman told RNZ she understood the father was a New Zealander who lived in Australia and said he was an experienced tramper who had used their services before.
She estimated the teenager was around 14.
The pair were due to do the crossing from Parahaki crossing over to Waikaremoana which she described as a "pretty difficult" tramp, she said.
"[Trampers] have to be really good in the bush to do that."
However, the track was no longer popular and hadn't been used for a while so she did "have some misgivings about it".
She knew the pair had arrived at Te Waiotukapiti Hut from entries in the guest log but seemed to have failed to reach Marauiti Hut where they were meant to stay before leaving the bush, she said.
Police said the pair are well-equipped and the father is an experienced tramper.
The police, search and rescue volunteers, and a helicopter are combing the area, and asked anyone with information to get in touch with the Wairoa police.