A Scottish tramper who spent two nights in the open after falling in the Tararua Ranges north of Wellington has been airlifted to safety .
Sergeant Peter Rix from Masterton Police Search and Rescue said the man went into the bush during the weekend but got into difficulty after falling.
Rix said the mental and physical toughness of the tramper helped him survive a fall, gale force winds and cold sleeting hail in the Tararua Peaks.
The 28-year-old was airlifted out of the bush on Thursday morning not too much the worse for his nights in the open.
“The conditions were pretty bad and the guys were pleased to find him when they did.”
The man had gone into the Tararua Ranges from the Upper Hutt end at the weekend but slipped and fell near the Steel Ladder on Tararua Peaks.
Gales gusting up to 150km/h on Wednesday prevented any helicopter search so search and rescue ground teams from Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Wellington went in.
“The Horowhenua team found him at 8.15 last night. He was sitting on the track and was in remarkable condition considering he was looking at his third night in the open,” Rix said.
The tramper spent the night with search teams at the Maungahuka Hut, about 30 minutes walk about from where he was found.
The area where he fell was very steep, and he’d found it difficult to get back up onto the track with a full pack, Rix said.
“He stripped down his pack to the bare survival essentials. It was his mental and physical toughness that got him through.”
The tramper arrived in New Zealand from Scotland in March.