Two People Rescued From Tararua Forest Park Overnight

As put by Sergeant Anthony Matheson:

At around 7.15pm last night, Police Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) rescued two runners from Tararua Forest Park.

Police received a report of two people in need of assistance after they had gotten lost on a run.

The pair had been training for an upcoming event and had run from Waiohine Gorge attempting a 32km circuit where they lost their way while descending from Mt Neil and were stranded in the dark.

“They were lightly equipped, and sub-zero temperatures were forecast for overnight, so time was of the essence in finding them.”

Hawke’s Bay Rescue helicopter delivered a Land SAR team to the nearby Mt Cone.

The two runners were found stranded at about 1,000m altitude and several hours walk from the nearest road.

The pair were flown out of the park before it began to rain after they were found sharing a survival blanket, cold and shivering.

Both were assessed by a paramedic but did not require further medical attention.

As the cold winter season begins, Police would like to remind members of the public to be prepared when they go out running or tramping.

“Forests like the Tararua Forest Park can be harsh and unforgiving during the colder months.”

If you are thinking about a day walk or overnight hike, here are some simple tips to keep yourself safe:

1. Choose the right trip for you – Learn about the routes and make sure you have the skills for it. Know your limits.

2. Understand the weather – New Zealand weather changes fast. Check the forecast and change your plans if needed.

3. Pack warm clothes and extra food – Prepare for bad weather and an unexpected night out.

4. Take care of yourself and each other – Eat, drink and rest, stick with your group, and make decisions together.

5. Share your plans and take ways to get help – Tell a trusted person your trip details and taking a distress beacon can save your life.

Distress beacons can be hired for as little as $10 from many Department of Conservation Visitor Centres and outdoor tramping and hunting stores.

If you have purchased a beacon, make sure you register it at

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.