2 Australian climbers fall to their deaths in New Zealand's southern alps

WELLINGTON (AFP) - Two Australian climbers have fallen to their deaths in New Zealand's southern alps, the police said on Saturday (Jan 2).

Mr Stuart Jason Hollaway, 42, and his partner Dale Amanda Thistlethwaite, 35, from Melbourne, had been travelling and climbing in New Zealand for the past month.

Mr Hollaway was a highly respected and experienced mountain guide, police area commander Dave Gaskin said.

"His name was well-known in climbing circles and he's done a lot of climbing throughout New Zealand," Mr Gaskin told Fairfax New Zealand.

The climbers, who were found roped together, were believed to have fallen from near where they were camping close to the top of the 3,300m Mount Silberhorn early on Dec 29.

Another Melbourne climber, Ms Nicola Anne Andrews, 29, fell to her death in the same region on Dec 23.