A former Launceston woman has fallen to her death while bushwalking in the South-West National Park on Wednesday.
Thirty-two year old Melissa Fisher was a nurse and had previously worked at the Launceston General Hospital.
The experienced bushwalker was originally from Launceston but had been living in Melbourne, Tasmania Police Inspector Scott Flude said.
Police said two women were hiking and the pair became separated about 3:30pm.
Ms Fisher’s walking partner feared for her friend when she was unable to locate her.
The friend made her way to higher ground and contacted police about 3:45pm.
The Westpac Police Rescue Helicopter was unable to deploy the rescue team on arrival due to poor visibility and weather, Inspector Lee Renshaw said.
Ms Fisher fell about 150 metres, making it impossible for the helicopter to access the area.
“We flew to the area but we could not get in so we returned and put together a search party,” Inspector Renshaw said.
“That southern face at Federation Peak is very unforgiving, the track is very narrow there, there is no escape."Inspector Lee Renshaw
The helicopter flew a team of three police searches and a paramedic as close to the area as possible, late on Wednesday night.
“We flew them into the nearest possible point in pretty difficult circumstances in the dark last night,” Inspector Renshaw said.
The rescue crew proceeded on foot to find Ms Fisher. The friend who raised the alarm was found by the team but the search continued.
“That southern face at Federation Peak is very unforgiving, the track is very narrow there, there is no escape.”
“Unfortunately, on this occasion tragedy has taken its toll.”
Ms Fisher was found about 5am Thursday morning with crews spending the majority of the day recovering her body.
“The search parties on the ground had to get to that point and then remove the young lady to a point where the helicopter was able to winch her,” Inspector Renshaw said.
South-West National Park is a popular destination for hikers but the tracks can be dangerous, he said.
It is understood both women were experienced hikers.
Ms Fisher’s family asked for privacy during this time of grief.