Tourists spend night camped out in helicopter

Four overseas tourists and a pilot spent a cold night stranded on the Lammerlaw Ranges in Central Otago after the helicopter they were travelling in was forced to land.

Two South African and two Japanese tourists were meant to catch an international flight out of Queenstown yesterday, but with the airport closed they decided to hire a helicopter to fly them to Dunedin Airport, which was open, ONE News reported.

About halfway through the trip the chopper was forced to land in the ranges when weather conditions became too bad to fly.

The tourists and the pilot spent the night in the helicopter before the Otago Rescue Helicopter got the tourists out this morning.

The pilot stayed with his helicopter in the ranges. Options were being explored on how to get him and the helicopter out.

- NZPA

- NZ Herald

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