A woman trapped in a cave on the Takaka Hill near Nelson has been rescued.
She had activated an emergency locator beacon after falling in part of the Ngarua Caves about 11am.
Despite spending more than three hours down the 9m hole, she escaped with only minor injuries.
She has been taken to hospital for observation but is only suffering cuts and bruises, including a cut knee that could require stitches.
One of the six-strong rescue team abseiled down to put her in a harness and winch her to safety. It only took about 20 minutes to get her to the surface but much longer to set up the ropes needed for the rescue, a rescuer said.
The woman, aged in her 40s, had been checking out a possible orienteering course when she fell into the hole this morning.
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