Three trampers have been rescued from Mt Ruapehu after they were forced to find shelter in a snow cave for a night when bad weather hit.

Two men and a woman climbed the mountain on Friday but when bad weather closed in they spent the night in a snow cave.

They reached Dome Hut on Saturday but activated their beacon on Sunday afternoon when the continuing bad weather prevented them descending, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand said.

The weather kept them hut-bound for another night and a planned helicopter rescue today was also halted because of the weather.


Members of the Whakapapa ski patrol finally reached the trio about 8pm today and guided them down the mountain.

One man is from Brisbane and the other, his brother, and his partner are from Wellington.

Search and rescue mission co-ordinator Kevin Banaghan said the trio were in good spirits but hungry.

"They were very pleased not to be spending another night on the mountain,'' he said.

"It shows the benefit of carrying an emergency beacon but it's also a reminder to keep an eye on weather forecasts when planning trips like this.''