A body believed to be missing British tourist Grace Millane has been found in the Waitakere Ranges today.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the body was in a section of bush about 10m off the side of Scenic Drive, a popular road through the Waitakere Ranges.

Speaking from the scene just before 5pm, he said the area was identified late last night as a result of investigative work.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard. Photo / Doug Sherring
Detective Inspector Scott Beard. Photo / Doug Sherring

"This brings the search for Grace to an end. It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them," said Beard.

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The focus now, he said, is to piece together exacty what happened to a young girl who came to New Zealand on her OE.

He's pleased however to be able to give Grace back to her family.

Tomorrow there will be a formal identification of the body and a post mortem examination, Beard said.

Beard said the 22-year-old's body was believed to have been taken to the bush in a rental car that was later found in Taupo.

The policeman released two photos of the 2016 red Toyota Corolla hatchback that was hired from a central Auckland rental car company last Sunday, saying police wanted to hear from anyone who saw the vehicle in the West Auckland area between 6am and 9am last Monday, December 3.

Police want to trace the movements of the car pictured. Photo / Supplied
Police want to trace the movements of the car pictured. Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Millane was last seen on CCTV on Saturday December 1 entering CityLife Hotel with a 26-year-old man. That man is now in police custody and due to appear in court tomorrow charged with murder.

Police said yesterday that they were determined to return Millane to her family, who had earlier spread word across the world of the talented artist and university graduate's disappearance when her daily social media contact stopped the night before her 22nd birthday last Sunday.

Earlier today they confirmed they had identified an area of interest in some bush on Scenic Drive and a full scene examination was underway.

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Officers dressed in white overalls were seen exiting the bush carrying clear bags. Large tents were erected on the side of the road and there were numerous police cars, both marked and unmarked.

Photo / Doug Sherring
Photo / Doug Sherring

Beard expected the road to remain closed for sometime.

"This is a methodical and slow process and is expected to take all day."

Millane's father David flew to New Zealand early on Friday.

He told journalists his much-loved daughter arrived in New Zealand on November 20 as part of a year-long, worldwide overseas experience that began earlier this year in South America.

David Millane, father of missing British tourist Grace Millane, speaks to the media as police give updates on the investigation.

Fighting back tears, he spoke to media about the "lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter" who had been so looking forward to going to New Zealand and had "bombarded us with numerous photographs and messages of her adventures" since arriving.

Yesterday police said they had assessed Millane's property left at the backpackers where she was staying - and found some items missing.

Her passport, a pale pink Casio Baby-G watch and necklace were amongst the missing items. Police haven't said if those items were found with her body.