View of the West MacDonnell Ranges looking southwest from the summit of Mount Sonder. Mount Sonder is 130km west of Alice Springs in the West MacDonnell National Park.
View of the West MacDonnell Ranges looking southwest from the summit of Mount Sonder. Mount Sonder is 130km west of Alice Springs in the West MacDonnell National Park.

German tourist missing in Alice Springs

A SEARCH is underway for a German tourist missing in Alice Springs since New Year's Day.

The tourist, 62-year-old Monika Billen, was reported missing at 11am Tuesday and was last seen on CCTV leaving the Desert Palms Resort on Barrett Dr.

Ms Billen was scheduled to check out of her room on January 5.

It is understood Ms Billen had interested in hiking parts of the Larapinta Trail west of Alice Springs.

As Central Australia endures a record breaking heatwave, authorities have been warning tourist and hikers to exercise caution and assess the weather conditions before heading out bush.

On December 30, three Filipino tourists suffered heat stroke in 45C heat during a walk through Standley Chasm, 50km west of Alice Springs.

NT Police "holds concerns" for Ms Billen, according to NT Police duty superintendent Bruce Payne.

"Police are conducting inquiries into Ms Billen's possible movements since leaving the resort," he said.

"Police have deployed our remote piloted aircraft to popular walking tracks around Alice Springs."

Ms Billen is described as being of caucasian appearance with a slim build and short grey hair, and was last seen wearing a red chequered long sleave top, denim knee length shorts and a bright red backpack.

In February 2017 the bodies of two German tourists were found 85km east of Alice Springs off a hiking track in the East MacDonnell Ranges.

An inquest into the deaths found that the couple wandered up to 17km off a marked hiking trail before succumbing to dehydration and heat stress near Trephina Gorge.

If anyone has seen Ms Billen or has any information as to her whereabouts contact NT Police on 131 444.



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