Two tourists die at Franz Josef Glacier


Two tourists have been swept to their deaths while walking near the Franz Josef Glacier.

They were part of a group of four walking near the glacier at around 9.30pm, and tried to cross the Waiho River on foot in the dark.

Two of the group, a 20-year-old female from China and 23-year-old female from Malaysia were swept off their feet and carried downstream.

Their companions walked on and raised the alarm. A search and rescue operation was launched, but the women’s bodies were found by a helicopter further down river.

The matter is being referred to the coroner and police say no further details are being released until the next of kin have been notified.

Meanwhile, another tramper has also fallen to his death in the Adelaide Tarn area of the Kahurangi National Park.

A group of three were negotiating a difficult portion of terrain when 63-year-old John Leo Hannah from Nelson slipped and fell 20 metres.

Police are speaking to members of the tramping party to ascertain exactly what happened, and will refer his death to the coroner.