NT police find body of German tourist

Lucy Hughes Jones

The body of an elderly German tourist has been found in the Northern Territory's remote outback as police continue to search for the man's wife.

A ground and air search was launched on Sunday after a ranger found a car thought to belong to the couple, aged in their 70s, at Trephina Gorge, northeast of Alice Springs.

The ranger said the hire car had been there since Friday morning, and police on Monday confirmed the body of a 76-year-old man had been found.

Over the weekend, temperatures soared to 40 degrees in the area and there are now grave concerns for the 73-year-old woman's safety.

A police spokesperson said officers searched the couple's hotel room and found "important medication".

The couple, reportedly named Wilfred and Gisela Thor, arrived in Australia at the start of the month and hired a car from the Alice Springs airport on February 9.

Sometime in the next day, they drove more than 70km east to Trephina Gorge.

There is thought to be easy access to water in the area following recent heavy rainfall in Central Australia, but temperatures are set to hit the high thirties until Saturday.

A helicopter was sent to scour the area while police, SES personnel and a park ranger searched on foot, motorbikes, quadbikes and with dogs.

Police have deployed additional resources including mounted police on horseback but the search is expected to be suspended until first light on Tuesday.

Authorities are trying to contact the next of kin.