The fatal shooting of a tourist camping in a remote area near Raglan with his Canadian fiancé has put other tourists on edge.
Waikato police are now armed across the district as they try to find who shot the 33-year-old Australian man in what they say appears to be a random attack.
He has been named by Australian media as Sean McKinnon, a surfer from Warrnambool in southwest Victoria.
The shooter approached the couple's rented campervan in a Department of Conservation carpark just after 3am yesterday.
Shots were fired and the van was stolen, the woman running away for help.
After the attack the van was driven for an hour and abandoned on a rural road at Gordonton, near Hamilton, where it was found Friday morning with Mr McKinnon's body inside.
Tourists travelling New Zealand's science roads were left feeling vulnerable.
"We're staying in a van, so literally I just made sure everything is locked. A little bit scary, but I believe, I hope it's a one-off thing," one visitor said.
Another said her group has been on the road for two weeks in a van, "just parking in different caravan parks and parking lots".
"And then for someone to just, like, attack someone, like, that made us feel very vulnerable. You know, you always think what if, like, it could have been us. You should feel safe everywhere. But I guess you just can't," she said.
Another woman said it "could have been anyone, like could have been us," attacked.
"We're in a campervan. I'd just say I'd be more cautious now of what I do."
A man at the spot said the incident "puts everybody on edge. And just no idea where it's coming from."
He added: "We still are safer than any other country in the world, but what's happening is not unique to us."
The couple attacked had rented the van in Auckland for nine days.
The man's partner has been left traumatised and is being supported by police.
No weapons have been found and police say it's too early to say if the incident was a robbery gone wrong.