A search is continuing for a British woman who was reported missing in New Zealand after failing to return from a day's hiking.

Stephanie Simpson, 32, was reported missing on Monday after she did not turn up to her job as a gardener in the Wanaka area, where she had been living.

She reportedly told friends she had planned to go hiking in Mount Aspiring National Park at the weekend.

The park on New Zealand's South Island is described by the country's Department of Conservation as a "wonderful mixture of remote wilderness, high mountains and beautiful river valleys".

"It is a walker's paradise and a must for mountaineers," it added.

Police in New Zealand said Ms Simpson, from the Basildon area of Essex, was "reasonably experienced and very fit", the New Zealand Herald reported.

Stephanie failed to show up to her landscaping job

Her brother-in-law Sam Hazelton told the publication that her family were "hoping upon hope" that she will be found.

"The family are just at their wits' end, they're trying really hard to cope," he said.

Mount Aspiring National Park, in New Zealand's Southern Alps region, is described as a "dreamland of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes".

The search for Ms Simpson is due to resume for a fifth day with more search teams, who will focus on the Pyke area of the park.

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A thermal-imaging drone, dog teams, helicopter and search teams failed to find any sign of her on Thursday.

Police in New Zealand said the search was difficult due to the size and terrain of the area.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We are supporting the family of a British woman who has been reported missing in New Zealand and are in contact with the local authorities."