Searchers find body in Nelson Lakes Park

MISSING: Andrew Wyatt was heading to Arthurs Pass.
MISSING: Andrew Wyatt was heading to Arthurs Pass.

Searchers looking for missing British tramper Andrew Wyatt in Nelson Lakes National Park have recovered a body at the bottom of a 100-metre cliff.

It is yet to be formally identified. Wyatt is from Cornwall, England.

The body was below the Lake Constance Bluff, which was on Wyatt's intended route between Blue Lake Hut and Waiau Pass, police said.

The last known sighting of Wyatt was on December 15, when he left Blue Lake Hut about 6am.

Wyatt arrived in New Zealand on November 21 with the intention of walking the Te Araroa Trail, which links tramping routes from Cape Reinga to Bluff. 

The area between Wyatt's last sighting and his next intended destination was "one of the more remote and difficult parts" of the trail, said Sherp Tucker, the training officer for Search and Rescue Nelson.

"It's rugged, it's remote and the weather can change so much. It's a frequent place for the rescue helicopter to go to beacon activations for people who are hurt."

People at Wyatt's local pub, The Famous Barrel, in Penryn, had been hoping he would be found.

"Everyone is talking about it in the pub," landlady Angie Parfitt said, before the discovery of the body.

Wyatt's brother, Duncan, had died three years ago, she said.

"We didn't know Andy that well, but we knew his brother Duncan well. He used to be a regular here, and Andy would come in only occasionally, mostly around Christmas."

Search co-ordinator Constable Dave Cogger said earlier today he had been in daily contact with Wyatt's parents in England, who had been extremely concerned for their son's welfare.

Wyatt has not been in contact with his parents in Cornwall since December 12. 

Fairfax Media