Partner concerned about Australian tourist missing near Queenstown

Police are handing out flyers for missing Australian tourist Robert Galdamez.
RHYS CHAMBERLAIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Police are handing out flyers for missing Australian tourist Robert Galdamez.

The partner of an Australia tourist who has been missing in bush near Queenstown for 24 hours is worried he may have suffered an epileptic episode.

A search and rescue team and a helicopter are searching now searching in rain for Robert Galdamez, 25, near the resort .

Senior Constable Terry Wood said Robert Galdamez, 25, had gone for a walk about 3.10pm on Tuesday in the vicinity of the Skyline Gondola on Bobs Peak and had not returned.

Queenstown Sergeant Chris Brooks hands out flyers for missing Australian tourist Robert Galdamez.
RHYS CHAMBERLAIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Queenstown Sergeant Chris Brooks hands out flyers for missing Australian tourist Robert Galdamez.

Galdamez sent a message to a friend about 6pm saying it was starting to get dark and he had lost his way, Wood said.

"It was sent via his tablet which is the same number as his phone," he said. "[It was] alerting her that he believed it was going to get dark soon and he wasn't very sure where he was."

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Bob's Peak and the Skyline gondola viewed from downtown Queenstown.
STEVE WILDE/FAIRFAX NZ

Bob's Peak and the Skyline gondola viewed from downtown Queenstown.

Partner of four years Tim Heritage had received messages from Galdamez on Monday, the Otago Daily Times reported.

"He did say he was getting scared and I kept asking him, 'Are you alright, are you alright?' and he didn't respond back to my messages.

It was unlike him not to reply, Heritage said.

He said Galdamez was physically fit but had a history of epilepsy, having seizures about once a month.

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He had arrived in Queenstown on Monday and was due to return to Melbourne on Saturday, it was reported.

A search team of about 10 have been combing the One Mile area of Ben Lomond above the gondola on Wednesday morning after being alerted by Galdemez's friend about 8pm on Tuesday. A search on Tuesday night was unsuccessful.

Galdamez had "no food and very little water" with him and was wearing blue Nike shoes, black sports leggings and a dark green North Face puffer jacket. He was not equipped to be in the elements overnight, Wood said.

Senior Sergeant Chris Brooks, of Queenstown, and a colleague were handing out flyers to people heading up the Skyline Gondola Wednesday morning.

"The whole reason for ... being here this morning is in case he walks out," Brooks said.

Anyone with information should contact Queenstown police on (03) 441-1600.

 - Stuff

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