Teens who went missing while walking their dogs north of Upper Hutt found safe and well by hunters after overnight ordeal

  • Updated
  • 05/02/2024

Two teenagers who went missing overnight after taking their dogs for a walk in a forest north of Upper Hutt have been found, police have confirmed.  

A major search operation was launched in the early hours of Monday morning after they failed to return home.  

In an update at just before 9am, police said the pair had been found safe and well after getting lost. 

Wellington District Police Search and Rescue Squad Incident Controller, Detective David Nichols, said the pair were found by hunters shortly after 8am and confirmed the teens and their dogs were not hurt.

"Police would like to remind anyone going into the bush that if you are potentially leaving a cell phone coverage area to tell someone where you are going, when you intend to be back, and to take a Personal Locater Beacon if you have one," Det Nichols said.  

"We would like to thank the hunters, the Land Search and Rescue teams, and others involved in this operation, along with members of the public for their concern."

Karapoti carpark in the Akatarawa Forest Park
Karapoti carpark in the Akatarawa Forest Park Photo credit: Google

The pair left home at about 5:30pm on Sunday to walk their dogs along one of the tracks leading from the Karapoti carpark in the Akatarawa Forest Park and were expected to return by 9pm.

Police were alerted just after 2am and a search began around 4:30am after they didn't return home.