Four trampers are overdue and a party of four families are stuck behind a swollen river in lower North Island ranges this morning.

Police say the four families were caught by rising rivers and were not able to drive out of the Rimutaka Forest Park yesterday afternoon.

Half of the group eventually walked out using an alternative track but the other half stayed with their vehicles and spent a cold night in the regional park.

A police spokeswoman said they were in cellphone contact with the group and would be reassessing the best course of action early today.

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The four experienced trampers in the Tararua Ranges had been reported overdue after they failed to walk out yesterday.

The party planned to go to Cattle Ridge Hut and come out at Putara Rd near Eketahuna by lunchtime.

However, rivers had swollen overnight by rain and searchers could not reach the party.

The spokeswoman said the trampers were well equipped with warm clothes, food and a personal locator beacon, which had not been activated.

At this stage there were no concerns for their safety, as police believed they were sitting out the storm.

The situation would be reassessed this morning.