A motorcyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a car at Palmerston in the South Island.

The man was thrown onto the back of the car in the smash, which took place on State Highway 1 at 3pm.

He was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital with serious injuries.

A second man was taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries, an ambulance spokesman said.

Advertisement

It was unclear whether he was from the car or the motorcycle.

Inspector Murray Hurst said the road was likely to be closed for up to three hours.