A man has survived a two-storey fall outside a central city Auckland hotel early today.

Police have set up a scene guard after the injured man, thought to be in his early 20s, was carefully pulled from a deep cavity outside the Rendezvous Hotel on Vincent St.

Firefighters took more than an hour to winch the man to safety after he dropped the equivalent of two storeys from the footpath into a maintenance area at about 3.20am.

Acting Sergeant Rob Honeybone said police were investigating how the man came to fall into such a steep and narrow cavity.

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The area is fenced-off with a high railing.

The man was taken to Auckland City Hospital in a critical condition with suspected head injuries.