Family of backpacker Stephanie Simpson missing in New Zealand ‘desperate for ...

Stephanie Simpson, 32, of Essex, has not been seen since last weekend when she had planned to head to Mount Aspiring National Park on the South Island for a camping adventure. Ms Simpson’s brother-in-law Sam Hazelton said the family has not had any contact with her since Thursday morning. The following day she told friends she was preparing to hike the Blue Pools Track, a forest trail leading to crystal-clear ponds which is popular with tourists. 

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She also said she hoped to make her way along the 1.5 mile Mount Brewster Track, which guides recommend for “experienced hikers only”. 

Mr Hazelton told Sky News his sister-in-law is “very competent and physically fit” and has completed several hiking challenges. 

He said the expat based herself in Wanaka, a small town outside Queenstown known for its natural , because of its close proximity to popular hiking paths. 

Mr Hazelton said: “This was something Stephanie would do most weekends, it was her main reason for staying in Wanaka in New Zealand as it offered many different trails.” 

missing-british-backpacker-stephanie-simpson-new-zealandStephanie Simpson, 32, of Essex, disappeared on a hike in Mount Aspiring National Park (Image: Handout)

missing-british-backpacker-stephanie-simpson-new-zealandStephanie Simpson's family said she is an experienced hiker (Image: Handout)

He added: “She is a fun-loving, kind, determined and adventurous woman. We are asking anyone who might know anything to please get in touch with police. 

“We are all so worried and desperate for information.” 

Ms Simpson is believed to have embarked on the journey alone. 

The alarm was raised on Monday morning when she failed to turn up at her landscaping job. 

READ MORE: New Zealand flood: Hundreds of tourists stranded

missing-british-backpacker-stephanie-simpson-new-zealandStephanie Simpson told friends she was going to hike to the Blue Pools in Mount Aspiring National Park (Image: GETTY)

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