After large-scale search, woman who vanished during Taranaki beach walk found safe in cave

A woman who failed to return following a walk on the beach in Taranaki earlier today has been found after being trapped in a cave by the high tide.

Alison Cleaver, 58, went for a walk on the beach between the Mohakatino River and the Mokau River and had last been seen around 12.30pm, police say.

Cleaver was spotted by a boatie taking part in the search in a cave between Rapanui Stream and Mohakatino Stream at around 8pm, police said.

She had been trapped by the high tide.

A helicopter was dispatched to rescue the woman, and she has since been returned to safety.

Cleaver is currently being by assessed by paramedics.

Police would like to thank all those in the community who helped with today's search, and the public for their concern and assistance while the search was underway.