The family of missing tramper Darren Myers, who was found dead this morning, are distraught but relieved he didn't suffer - it's believed he died two weeks ago from a fall.
Myers' body was seen from a helicopter around 9.30am below a waterfall at the headwaters of the Arete stream.
Speaking to media this afternoon Myers' brother-in-law Duncan Styles said the hardest thing during the search was the thought of him not being seen by rescuers.
"One of the hardest things we've had to bear with is the fact that he's up there and alive and waving at a helicopter potentially and not being seen," he said.
"To know that he's not been able to respond for the last few days is actually a really, really good relief for us."
Myers' body was found in an area which had been searched extensively but remained an area of interest - it's thought at times his body could have been hidden under half a metre of snow during the search.
It was found today by a helicopter pilot flying above a stream.
Sergeant Tony Matheson said there were a lot of places in the search zone they weren't able to reach - one of those being the place Myers was found.
"It happened very suddenly, I don't think he suffered at all … When you're undertaking a journey like this, there's always going to be a risk," he said.
Meanwhile, Murray Johnson from LandSAR said although they had looked in the right area, the terrain was causing headaches.
"We found the haystack but it took a long time to find the needle," he said.
"It has been a frustrating search knowing we were probably in the right place but just not being able to get to exactly the right areas."
Myers' family is very upset and taking everything one step at a time, Styles said, and some form of ceremony was being planned to be held in Wellington.
Police will continue to investigate Myers' death on behalf of the Coroner, Matheson said.
Myers was an experienced tramper and set off on a hike in the Tararuas on May 28, his last contact was a text message to his wife Kim Shaw on Thursday, May 30.
Earlier this week, Matheson said the search team still held hopes of finding him alive after coming across two clues to his whereabouts - a chocolate bar wrapper of the brand he was known to have with him, and some boot prints in the mud on the route near the Arete Bivouac.
Myers and Shaw moved to Wellington from Sawbridgeworth, England, 18 months ago.
Myers contacted his wife 12 days ago when he texted her to say he'd spent the night in the Arete Bivouac and was moving on to the Tarn Ridge Hut.
Myers was a qualified building surveyor and a keen tramper and mountain biker.