WELLINGTON (AFP) - A Czech tourist has been found in a remote high-country hut in New Zealand where she waited a month to be rescued after her hiking partner fell and died, police said on Thursday (Aug 25).
A search party found the woman on Wednesday after concerns were raised that she and her partner had not been seen since they set out to walk the 32km Routeburn Track in the south-west of the country.
Police flew a helicopter along the route and found the woman in a Department of Conservation warden's hut, said inspector Olaf Jensen who confirmed the couple were both tourists from the Czech Republic.
The woman, whose identity has not been released, said they had entered the track on July 24 and her partner fell down a steep slope four days later.
She managed to reach him, however, it is believed he died not long after and she then made her way to the hut where she had sheltered since early August.
"This is a highly unusual case. It's very unusual for someone to be missing in the New Zealand bush for such a long period without it being reported," Insp Jensen said.
"I appreciate there are a number of unanswered questions, however, until we can piece together exactly what has happened we are unable to say anything further."
The woman has been taken to hospital for assessment and police expect to speak to her later on Thursday.
The Routeburn is a world-renowned track crossing New Zealand's Southern Alps and attracts thousands of tourists each year.