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Missing hiker found dead on Alice Springs track

The body of missing hiker Alistair Thomson was found near a waterhole at in Central Australia.

The body of missing hiker Alistair Thomson was found near a waterhole at in Central Australia. Photo: NT Police

The body of a missing Victorian hiker has been found on a popular walking track outside Alice Springs.

Alistair Thomson was walking the Larapinta Trail alone and was last heard from nearly two weeks ago on May 21 when he texted his family.

The body of the 64-year-old was found late on Sunday night, Northern Territory Police said on Monday.

Hiker

The Larapinta Trail runs along the West MacDonnell Ranges. Photo: NT Police

No further details about his disappearance or death were revealed, with police citing family privacy reasons.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

The alarm was raised on his disappearance after the experienced hiker did not make contact to say he had arrived at Hugh Gorge as planned on May 22.

Search and rescue members, police, local volunteers and Parks and Wildlife had been out looking for Mr Thomson.

Acting Superintendent Budge told the ABC police spotted Thomson’s body near a water hole in Hugh Gorge, about 90 kilometres west of Alice Springs, by flying a drone over the area.

“We were using all of the assets we could to try and locate him before the terrible outcome that occurred,” he said.

Budge said police had turned their attention to retrieving Thompson’s body and returning him to his family, who had travelled to Alice Springs.

“It’s a terrible event for the family that I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” he said.

Budge urged hikers to be careful when exploring trails by themselves in Central Australia.

Thomson served as a councillor on Strathbogie Shire Council in regional Victoria from 2016 to 2020. 

Peter Stephenson, Strathbogie council administrator in a statement said the local community extended its “heartfelt condolences to Alistair’s family and friends”.

His knowledge, experience and dedication have made a significant and lasting impact on the Strathbogie community,” Stephenson said.

The Larapinta Trail is a 223km that runs along the West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia, with its eastern end at Alice Springs. It attracts thousands of hikers each year.

-with AAP

Topics: Police
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