It cost more than $80,000 to help find trampers Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, who were lost in dense bush for nearly three weeks.
The rescue - dubbed Operation Cowin by the defence force - made headlines after the pair entered the remote forest near the Anatori River carpark on May 9.
Both aged 23, the duo became lost early on in their tramp due to fog.
They spent 19 days hunkered down in rugged terrain, desperate for water and running out of food.
Despite both suffering injuries during their dramatic ordeal, they survived freezing temperatures, with rescuers crediting the pair for carrying good equipment.
They were finally found on May 27 after smoke from their fire drew the attention of a civilian helicopter above.
A New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) helicopter was then tasked with lifting O'Connor and Reynolds - visible as just small specks of colour from above - from a tiny clearing through the tree canopy to safety onboard.
The 13 searchers and three dogs who remained in the area overnight were winched out the following day by the NH90 helicopter crew.
Defence Force documents released to the Herald under the Official Information Act show the total cost of military involvement - spanning from May 21 to 28 - was $62,156.
This included the operating costs of the NH90, food, accommodation, travel costs and miscellaneous items.
The NH90 flights alone cost $57,070 - an amount calculated using a modelled short-run tasking rate.
This rate includes marginal personnel costs, fuel, airport charges and other related costs.
According to the Defence Force the cost of army participating in the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation was minor, and therefore was absorbed as being part of "business as usual".
According to police, as of June 23 the estimated SAR costs from May 22 to June 15 were about $21,508.
That number could be broken down into $2480 for accommodation, $1191 for food and $17,387 for helicopter rental to conduct sea and air searching.
A Givealittle page created by O'Connor's brother to show appreciation for the incredible efforts of LandSAR raised more than $34,000.
After the rescue, O'Connor herself posted on the page thanking the community for an overwhelmingly beautiful response.
"What we went through is something that you never think would happen to yourself, but I am eternally grateful for the emergency response that led to us being found," she said on the page.
"At the end of the day we wouldn't be here if it weren't for the efforts of the police, LandSAR, Fire Service, Defence Force, all the volunteers, friends and family, donors and the power of positive energy.
"While I would never wish this experience upon anyone, there has been a lot learnt and I'm hoping to use this experience to educate others that explore this beautiful country.
"I have so much gratitude for this precious life we all live and I just cannot express enough my love for you all.
"I could feel the positive energy and although it was difficult, I never lost hope. It really is amazing what you can do when your life depends on it!
"Again, a huge thank you to everyone. This doesn't come close to repaying everyone for your support, but please know I will be eternally grateful."
The pair had first entered the bush while alert level 3 restrictions were in place in the fight against Covid-19.
These rules came into force at 11.59pm on April 27 before the country moved to alert level 2 at 11.59pm on May 13.
Criminal charges against the rescued trampers were ruled out soon after the rescue, with Nelson Bays Area Commander Inspector Paul Borrell telling Checkpoint getting lost is not an offence.
Police never wanted to create a situation where people were reluctant to ring for help, and they did not do not charge rescued people for that reason, he said.
In an internal briefing memo the flight captain, Royal New Zealand Air Force flight lieutenant Loic Ifrah, reflected the result was "far more positive than most imagined given the length of time the pair were missing".
He said the squadron had "clearly poured a lot of effort" into this task before his crew made the rescue.
He then continued to graciously heap praise on others.
"However, credit really needs to go to the NZ Police and LandSAR for their tenacious,
systematic and professional approach to this search. Credit where it's due."