Missing American mother and daughter found in Tararua Forest Park

A mother and daughter who had gone missing in the Central North Island bush have been found.

Carolyn and Rachel Lloyd were only supposed to have a day hike on the Kapakapanui Track in the Tararua Forest Park last Tuesday, but lost their tracks after being disoriented in the bush.

“They’ve ended up becoming a bit disorientated and heading off the main track down into an unexpected waterway, where they’ve become stranded by their circumstances and ended up having to ration their resources [and] stay together for warmth,” said Sergeant Anthony Harmer.

“They’ve ended up in a very steep and rugged area of terrain, so steep at times that they felt that they weren’t able to return … the way that they had come, so ended up going further down and ended up in a water catchment area where they were unable to progress out,” he added.

A search and rescue operation took place after police became aware on Friday that the two had been missing.

Carolyn, 45, and Rachel, 22, went missing for four nights. They needed to ration their food and needed to stay close together to keep warm. They had reportedly run out of food when they were found by rescuers.

“They gave themselves the best chance possible and they got the best result possible,” said Mr Harner.

The two were spotted by a local helicopter pilot earlier today. They suffereed from hunger and dehydration, and were flown to Kenepuru Hospital in Porirua.

Mr Harner said that the track that the mum and daughter explored can be very difficult in some places. “There are a couple of places where people can make mistakes and end up off the track and we are looking at that possibility this morning,” he explained.

According to the  Department of Conservation, the loop track also involved river crossings and a steep climb, and could be muddy in some areas.