26 Jun 2011

Tramper missing in Mt Aspiring park

6:51 am on 26 June 2011

A land and aerial search was continuing on Sunday for a German tramper missing in Mt Aspiring National Park.

Julian Stukenborg, 23, has not been seen or heard from since he stayed at a hut in the Matukituki Valley.

On 17 June he wrote in the hut's log book that he planned to tramp over the Cascade Saddle into the Dart Valley, then onto the Route Burn track, finishing in Te Anau.

A senior constable at Wanaka police and one of the searchers, Mike Johnston, says he was well prepared for eight days out in the bush, with suitable clothing, food and cooking gear.

He says Mr Stukenborg is a keen photographer and is likely to have a propensity to go off the track to get the perfect shot.

Mr Johnston says even though it has been a warm start to winter, the ground is still frozen which could be hazardous.

Searchers are to look all day on Sunday, and re-evaluate the situation at the end of the day.

Police say Mr Stukenborg is about 1.93m tall, of athletic build and was carrying a large black and green Detour backpack.