The woman who died when her car hit a tree on a Northland road was a French national who was about to return home.

Eva Kosanic, 22, was working as an intern at Environmental Science and Research in Christchurch and police said today she was due to return to France, probably in a week or so.

Her body was found in her crashed car shortly after dawn yesterday but police say she may have crashed the night before.

Her car failed to take a moderate bend at Broadwood, 48km southeast of Kaitaia, and hit a tree.

Police believe she was probably heading back to Auckland to catch a flight to Christchurch.