The death of a German tourist who fell 300m while tramping in Fiordland is a tragic example of overseas visitors underestimating New Zealand's alpine conditions, a coroner has found.

Last June Julian Stukenborg, a 24-year-old aircraft engineer from Delmenhorst, Germany, was walking alone along the Cascade Saddle Track but left it to take photos at the edge of the Aspiring Bluffs.

Wanaka coroner David Crerar said there could have been a layer of frozen ground and light snow.

Mr Stukenborg was wearing a pair of lightweight flexible-soled tramping boots which would have been suitable for less difficult tramps but allowed no margin for error on the bluffs.


He slipped and plunged about 300 metres.

Mr Stukenborg had told friends and family to contact the Department of Conservation if he had not returned by June 23.

His body was found three days later after an extensive search hampered by heavy snowfall.

Coroner Crerar said Mr Stukenborg had some hiking experience but may have overestimated his abilities.

Because he was alone he did not have the opportunity to discuss potential hazards with other trampers.

Coroner Crerar wanted his finding to draw attention to the dangers associated with tramping alone, inappropriate footwear and inappropriate experience.

"The death of Julian Stukenborg is another tragic example of a visitor to our country from overseas underestimating New Zealand alpine conditions, particularly winter conditions," he said.