A Chinese tourist found after being missing for three nights in central North Island bush did "remarkably well" to survive in poor weather conditions, police say.
Police searchers found the 28-year-old man just after 1pm today on the outskirts of National Park.
The backpacker had gone for a walk on local tracks on Sunday after staying in accommodation in the park while travelling around the North Island on his own.
Search coordinator Sergeant Colin Wright told ONE News that the man did well to stay alive in the conditions.
"It's been cold and wet. We're in an alpine environment. He wasn't particularly well clothed or equipped, so he's done remarkably well," he said.
The man was flown out of the bush by an Air Force Iroquois helicopter and taken back to the search headquarters. He was later taken to Taumarunui Hospital for assessment.
He had been out in the elements for three nights and is suffering from exhaustion and the cold temperatures, Sergeant Wright said.
"The search team that found the man were relieved to find him alive and I want to thank everyone involved in the search for their tremendous efforts," he said.
"There were some moments where the weather looked like it was going to pack up but thankfully it held and we were able to locate the man."
The services of Victim Support are being offered to the man.
'The importance of being prepared'
Sergeant Wright said the incident highlights the importance of being prepared before you go into the bush.
"Never ever enter the bush without suitable and durable clothing and equipment. Always let someone know of your plans, even if it is the proprietors of where you are staying - especially the timings and tracks you are taking," he said.
"Do your research and find out about the area you are going to explore and especially the weather forecast, and if you are not an experienced tramper don't go for a challenging track, take one that is more on your experience level."
A personal locater beacon can be a lifesaver and it means searchers can find you a lot sooner, Sergeant Wright added.
"No one wants to get a call from Police saying that their loved one is missing out in the bush. It's all about being prepared and making informed decisions," he said.
One team had searched throughout the night for the man. This was bolstered this morning to seven teams made up of 30 people from Wanganui Land Search and Rescue and Police staff from Marton, Wanganui, Taihape, Turangi, and Taupo.
Police were notified by a local that the missing man was seen walking on a particular track, Sergeant Wright said this morning.
The search had been focusing on this area and a helicopter made an aerial search this morning.