Disturbing details emerge after Aussie schoolgirl drowns on family holiday

It's understood the 10-year-old was swept a 'considerable distance' through 'very turbulent water'.

Disturbing new details have emerged after a 10-year-old Australian girl drowned on a family holiday to New Zealand.

The schoolgirl was visiting the Fiordland National Park on the South Island with her family when she fell into Marian Creek at 11.40am local time on Thursday. Police believe she had fallen off a rock next to a viewing platform.

She was swept down the fast-flowing creek "a considerable distance through some very turbulent water", according to Te Anau Sergeant Tod Hollebon. The girl was part of a family group of eight, including her grandparents, parents and at two siblings, who were halfway through their eight-day holiday to New Zealand.

Two images of the fast-flowing Marian Creek in New Zealand.
It's understood the Australian schoolgirl was swept a 'considerable distance' down the fast-flowing creek in New Zealand. Source: Getty

Details of tragedy emerge

Hollebon described the incident as a "tragedy" and a "shock". "No one wants to be in a situation where a family has lost a young daughter, and a sister,” he told Stuff.

"It's incredibly tragic [this happens when] people come on holiday with their family ... It's a disaster for them and their extended family and friends. The Marian Creek is extremely fast flowing and for that reason it's an attraction."

The girl was located and removed from the water downstream a short time later, Southland Area Commander Inspector Mike Bowman told local media. A doctor was flown to the scene and CPR was performed but the girl could not be revived.

“This has been a traumatic event for those involved and police are providing whanau (family) with support,” Inspector Bowman said.

“We would like to extend our sincere condolences to them. Police would like to thank all those involved, in particular the members of the public who assisted in locating and providing assistance to the young girl.”

A map of the Marian Creek walking track in New Zealand where the family were.
Marian Creek walking track where the family were. Source: Department of Conservation

Family 'absolutely devastated'

It’s understood that the family had done a cruise at the picturesque Milford Sound in the morning before the tragedy occurred when they were walking back to the South Island town of Te Anau. The region has seen heavy rain recently after a weather bomb "hammered" the West Coast.

It’s understood the family are "devastated, absolutely devastated". "It just shows you how things can happen in a flash," an onlooker told Stuff.

Southland district mayor Rob Scott said on Friday morning the incident was “just heartbreaking”. "I can imagine they're going through a very tough time," he said.

It’s understood police have been providing support for the family and liaising with the Australian embassy.

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