Two people who fled from police in a stolen car are believed to be hiding out in Central Plateau bush.

Police said in a statement that officers attempted to stop a car on the central North Island's Desert Rd in the Mt Tongariro area about 3pm.

The driver failed to stop and fled down the heavily-forested, dead-end Tree Trunk Gorge Rd, which traverses the Tongariro River, where the car was "dumped".

"The driver and passenger, possible a man and woman, ran through nearby bush," the statement said. "Police believe both of them are still in the area."

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Police said any sightings of hitchhikers or pedestrians on the Desert Rd this evening, between Rangipo and Waioura, should be reported to 111 immediately.