Police have named the Australian woman who fell 60m to her death down a cliff on the West Auckland coast yesterday.

Fiona Hamilton, 43, of Guyra, New South Wales, lost her footing on a track at the top of the cliff near Mercer Bay, in Waitakere, about 2pm and slipped to her death.

Police have called in a helicopter and a team of abseilers to try and retrieve her body.

Sergeant Paul Zberich said the body was lying in a "very difficult, inaccessible spot".

He said that Ms Hamilton was taking photographs and "she's gone further than she should've gone off the track".

Mr Zberich said the cliff drops to jagged rocks at a spot on the coast inaccessible by boat.

Fires earlier in the year destroyed the vegetation, destabilising the area where Ms Hamilton fell, making the job difficult for rescuers.

He said fog hanging about the coast this morning would restrict the Westpac rescue helicopter as well.

Ms Hamilton's body was visible only from the air, with an overhang preventing people from the top seeing the body.

Mr Zberich said police had interviewed Ms Hamilton's partner who was walking with her at the time. Police have also informed relatives in Australia.

He said Ms Hamilton and her Scottish partner had been in New Zealand four months and lived in Green Bay, West Auckland.

- NZPA