A French woman living in New Zealand has thanked a "perfect stranger" who found her lost camera and reunited her with priceless family photos.

Ben Wilson found a camera on the verge of a driveway in Mt Eden, Auckland on Friday.

He sent the photos to the Herald to publish in the hopes of finding their owner.

Jessica Fadel was stunned when she saw her photos published yesterday. The French national, who has lived here for two years, said the photos were "priceless" as they documented an annual holiday with visiting relatives.


"They are very special to me. I took them at Christmas time and I only see them once a year so every picture is important of my family."

She was speechless when a friend phoned to tell her the photos were in the media.

"I thought she was playing a prank, I didn't even know my camera was missing so it was kind of funny -- I wasn't expecting it at all. It is so amazing that a random person found it and tried so hard to give it back.

"It is so New Zealand that a random person will try so hard to give back my camera, it's so overwhelming. It wouldn't happen in France or maybe anywhere else, I think."

She said she was not too concerned about the camera itself, which she had bought in Australia a number of years ago, but the photos were very special.

The photos were of her parents and other relatives and also documented a trip to Paihia and parasailing.

Ms Fadel said she was out of the city this weekend, but had been in touch with Mr Wilson to organise having the camera returned.