A German tourist believed to be missing in the Manapouri area for four days has been found.

The woman, known only as 'Tina' and believed to be 25, spotted a photograph of herself on Facebook last night, and immediately contacted Dunedin police, senior sergeant Ben Butterfield said.

"It appears that she left the Manapouri area before her scheduled water taxi arrived," Mr Butterfield said.

"She has since been travelling around the lower South Island."

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The woman was dropped by water taxi on the western bank of the Waiau River at 11am last Thursday.

It was believed she intended to walk to the Hope Arm hut and return, but she failed to meet her arranged water taxi at 6.30pm.

Police were notified at 8.30pm and a Southern Lakes Helicopter pilot with night vision equipment and three teams on foot began a search soon after.

Teams of search and rescue volunteers from Dunedin, Gore, Invercargill and Te Anau and two search dogs from Dunedin, were also drafted in.

With no sign of the woman, police last night said they believed she may have left the area of her own accord. The difficulty with the search was that police did not know her full name, Mr Butterfield said yesterday.

"We think her name is Tina, because that's how she referred to herself when she was on the water taxi," he said.

"But essentially, she hasn't paid for the trip with any bank records, so there's nothing that we can use to find out what her actual name is. If we knew who she was, it would be much easier."

Photographs of the woman were released in the hope someone would recognise her and inform police. Now it appears she came across one of the images on Facebook.

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"Police are pleased that the female was located safe and well," Mr Butterfield said.

"We would like to thank the media and members of the public who assisted in the search."