A farmer missing overnight on Mt Pisa arrived home safely this morning, police said.

Sergeant Derek Ealson of Alexandra police said the 61-year-old man was able to make his own way home and walked through the door at about 7.30am while his wife was on the phone to police.

The man had been mustering sheep yesterday but failed to return, and a search was launched at 9pm.

A helicopter with night-vision equipment was used and about 12 people, including Wanaka Search and Rescue personnel, police, the man's family and neighbours were involved.

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The temperatures were `"well below freezing'' and fears were held for the man's safety, Mr Ealson said.

A "fresh'' team of searchers was about to continue the land and air search this morning when the man arrived safely home.

He had yet to talk to the farmer and had no further details about the man's night out in the open.