A woman with special needs missing overnight in the Mt Thomas Forest Conservation area in Waimakariri has been found.

Monique Hickland, 31, left her family near the Wooded Gully picnic area at 4.30pm yesterday afternoon.

Police said she was found by two tourists walking on the track early this morning.

Sergeant Phil Simmonds said she spent the night near the top of the mountain and was walking down the hill when the tourists found her.


"They walked her out of the bush and delivered her to SAR staff around 8am," Simmonds said.

After being checked by medical staff, Hickland will be reunited with her family.

"We are thrilled this search and rescue operation has had such a positive outcome," Simmonds added.

Between 20 and 30 searchers had been searching the area she went missing.

Conditions were cold overnight. The temperature reached a low of about 2C and searchers worked in snow in some higher areas, according to police.