Directions from a global positioning system (GPS) this morning sent three Chinese students from Australia off the beaten track, near Hokitika.

A police spokesman said the visitors should have been on State Highway 6, but their GPS told them to drive along Golf Links Road, Southside.

"They got into trouble when they were driving over some moss and slid off the road, almost ending up in a creek."

However, they were not the only ones to end up in the wrong place. Greymouth police were initially sent to Golf Links Road, Kaiata, to investigate the crash.

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When officers failed to find it, they realised it was not in their patch, but Hokitika's.