John Clarke
John Clarke is pictured with his Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Logie Awards in Melbourne Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

John Clarke, one of the best satirists in Australia, passed away at the age of 68 on Sunday (9 April) while hiking with his wife and friends in Victoria's Grampians national park.

"John died doing one of the things he loved the most in the world, taking photos of birds in beautiful bushland with his wife and friends. He is forever in our hearts," Clarke's family said.

Clarke had died of natural causes, an ABC spokesman said.

Born in New Zealand in 1948, the comedian was a household name both in Australia and his home-country. He started his career in New Zealand by creating the comic character Fred Dagg – a satirical take on being a country fellow, the BBC reported.

However, in the early 1970s he moved to London before shifting to Australia in 1977, where he did local shows, like Kath and Kim and The Adventures of Lano and Woodley. He also wrote books, films and musicals.

But he became famous for his satirical interviews on the ABC's 7.30 and Channel Nine's A Current Affair, alongside Bryan Dawe.

Clarke was also the co-writer of the Games, which was a satire on the preparations for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He also starred in the mockumentary television series.

Comedians, former colleagues and media personalities have paid their tributes to Clarke. Even politicians, who Clarke had targeted in his satirical shows, have expressed their dismay at the news of his death.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Clarke was "more than a satirist".

"We'll wait a long time to find another John Clarke. In fact, we never will," Turnbull posted.

John Clarke was more than a satirist.With the keenest eye and wit he understood the very essence of Australia.He...

Posted by Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday, April 9, 2017

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said, "His humour captured the experience of life in NZ and Australia."

"We are aware of what he has meant to so many for so many years, throughout the world but especially in Australia and New Zealand.

"We are very grateful for all expressions of sympathy and love which John would have greatly appreciated," his family said after receiving condolences from across the world.