The family of missing man Matthew Leveson have shed tears after speaking to police at the bush site south of Sydney, where search crews have spent seven days searching for the 20-year-old’s body.

Detectives led Mr Leveson’s family and friends at the search effort onto the dig site in the Royal National Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Excavators have dug up several thousand square metres of scrub in the remote roadside area near Waterfall to try to find any trace of Mr Leveson, last seen in September 2007.

Mr Leveson’s loved ones, who have stood by watching the search for a week, walked around the site, some in tears, after speaking to police.

Investigators did not elaborate on what was said and soon after closed off the surrounding area to media.

Search crews were led to the site late last week by Mr Leveson’s former boyfriend Michael Atkins, who was acquitted of the younger man’s murder in 2009.

In the nine years since the 20-year-old’s disappearance, Mr Atkins had given no indication to investigators or the Leveson family of where the missing man’s remains could be found.

However he led detectives to the potential burial site after he was offered immunity from prosecution for perjury and contempt of court in return for providing police with information after giving evidence at the ongoing inquest in Mr Leveson’s death.

A white sneaker unearthed at the site on Friday is still being examined by forensics to determine whether it had any connection with Mr Leveson.

A second, unidentified item, believed to be insignificant, was found on Saturday but quickly bagged and taken away by police.

Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott, who has presided over the inquest into Mr Leveson’s disappearance, and legal counsel for Mr Atkins visited the site and spoke to detectives on Tuesday afternoon.

Police indicated they would return on Thursday but the search could wrap up by the end of the week if there were no breakthroughs.