Missing British tramper Stephanie Simpson took off her boots before either falling into a stream or going for a swim, police said today after her body was found at Mt Aspiring National Park.
The 32-year-old was hiking to the Blue Pools, near Makaroa, when she didn't return as expected last Saturday.
A helicopter went to search for her after she was reported missing on Monday, when she didn't turn up for work in Wānaka.
Ground teams followed the next day, combing the areas where she might be.
Sergeant Mark Kirkwood says they pulled out technology they don't usually use to help the search, including the RECCO device that can help track some brands of hiking clothes mostly made in Europe.
It meant they were able to narrow down the considerably large search area.
"A lot of the search area was open terrain… Otherwise we would've needed ground staff spending days to comb the area," Mr Kirkwood told 1 NEWS.
Her boots were found yesterday in the Pyke Creek area, before her body was found around 900m downstream at around 1.40pm today.
"The creeks in the afternoon and evening, because they're glacial fed, they rise because there's more water," Mr Kirkwood says.
He says it's possible she either walked in for a swim or fell in by accident.
Mr Kirkwood says Ms Simpson's family arrived at the search area today and were there when her body was recovered.
"They're extremely distraught," he says.
Alpine Cliff Rescue and a specialist canyon search and rescue team were key parts of the search effort.
"[It's] very unstable underfoot, very hazardous, you need to know what you're doing," Mr Kirkwood says.
Around 50 people took part in the search effort, including LandSAR staff and two dog teams.
Ms Simpson's death is being referred to the coroner.