A golfer was in a serious but stable condition in hospital last night after falling 30m down a cliff while looking for his golfball.

The 66-year-old fell at Howick Golf Course, Musick Point, near Bucklands Beach in Auckland, yesterday afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 3pm.

A groundsman had earlier seen a lone golf cart - which belonged to the injured golfer - not far from the cliff and noticed about 15 minutes later that it had not moved.

The groundsman went to investigate and noticed the man's arm among rocks when he looked over the side.

Advanced paramedic Chris Deacon, who was part of the Westpac Helicopter Rescue team called out to the emergency, said: "He's just gone looking for his golfball and then slipped and fallen.

"I felt really sorry for the guy - I mean, you go out to play golf, you don't expect this."

Mr Deacon said the man's injuries were serious.

He said it was lucky that he had been spotted by the groundsman, given he was wearing dark clothing.

Because the tide was out, the helicopter was able to land on the rocks near the man, meaning that he did not have to be winched up - therefore preventing more discomfort for him.

The golfer, who is Chinese, was still able to speak, but there was a language barrier.

Mr Deacon said the cliff fall was not an unusual callout for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, even just around the Auckland region.

The man was airlifted to Auckland City Hospital.