A man has been airlifted to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition following a stabbing outside a Tauranga bar early this morning.

The 28-year-old, believed to be a foreign tourist, was stabbed in the heart about 3.30am outside the Crown and Badger bar in Tauranga.

He was flown by the Westpac Waikato Air Ambulance from Tauranga Hospital to Waikato Hospital. He was attended to by the Waikato Intensive Care Unit transport team during the flight.

A hospital spokesperson says the man is in a stable condition and will be transferred to a ward after surgery.

Police have cordoned off the crime scene and an investigation is underway.

They say the man collapsed on the street and it became apparent he had been stabbed.

No arrest has been made.