A search and rescue operation just outside Arrowtown yesterday was the third in the wider Queenstown area within a week.

A member of the public phoned police to say a woman had sprained her ankle during a hike near Macetown and was unable to walk out.

The woman, in her 60s, was airlifted back to Macetown where existing transport was waiting for her, a police spokeswoman said.

One of the party of three set off flares to assist in the search, which lasted more than three hours.

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St John spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer told the Otago Daily Times she understood the woman was in a stable condition'and did not need further medical attention.

No information was available regarding her nationality.

It is the third rescue in the resort town within seven days.

A volunteer search and rescue team found 25-year-old Robert Galdamez on Ben Lomond last Thursday after he had been missing for about 30 hours.

On Saturday a couple were airlifted from Dynamo Hut, in the Skippers area near Queenstown.

The pair were found after activating their personal location beacon.

Queenstown Senior Sergeant Paula Enoka said they were concerned they were ill-equipped for the terrain.

She warned those considering tramping in the area to take care and prepare appropriately - even for a short walk.