Father and daughters 'hungry and a bit cold', returned home after spending night lost in cold Wellington bush

They family of three who spend a cold night lost in the bush have returned home safety, "hungry, and a bit cold" but otherwise unharmed.

Police told 1 NEWS the trio were found uninjured about 10.25am at the southern end of Eastbourne, on the Kowhai track after being missing since yesterday. They were treated by medical professionals and were back home.

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For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Police earlier said they've had eight teams of three out searching for a father, 50, and two girls, aged 11 and 14, overnight at East Harbour Regional Park. They'd been missing since yesterday afternoon when they left Lees Grove in Wainuiomata about midday. They were reported missing at 3.30pm by the man's wife and girls' mum.

Lower Hutt Police sergeant Hamish Knight, from Wellington Search and Rescue, told 1 NEWS they scowdered all the high probability areas.

A father and his two daughters are missing after embarking on a hike at Wellington's Days Bay yesterday. Source: 1 NEWS

"It was great the party managed to walk to a track which met our land search and rescue teams and were able to return safely to their family," he said. "Understandably they're a bit hungry, a bit cold but the reports that I've had - they're just glad to be at home."

The popular track had marked bait lines for possum trapping which may have been confused for a walking track, Mr Knight said.

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Two girls, aged 11 and 14, and their 50-year-old dad are late back after leaving Wainuiomata for Days Bay, near Eastbourne. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's possibly what's happened is they've taken one of these bait lines into Gollans Stream area and have esstentailly tried to follow the river out."

Mr Knight said the three of them would have comforted each other through the chilly 8 degree night, but didn't know the specifics.

He advised people going out hiking to tell someone where they're going, know your limits, make sure you're prepared, including with the right clothing, know what the weather is doing and to take a charged phone.

Wellington's Days Bay walking track. Source: 1 NEWS


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Sergeant Hamish Knight, from Wellington Search and Rescue, gave an update on the trio’s condition. Source: 1 NEWS