New Zealand double Olympic gold medallist Valerie Adams had a scare when a plane she was on started to skid off a runway in Tonga.

Adams is on holiday in the kingdom with her partner Gabriel Price, and the couple were planning to fly to the island of 'Eua on the aircraft over the weekend.

On a photo they posted just before boarding, the caption said: " ... the real Tonga Airlines on their way to 'Eua only to find out the breaks [sic] don't work as the plane started to slide off the runway ...

"Thank goodness everyone was safe and no one got hurt."

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It drew comments from others, including one who said: "Only in Tonga can the Olympic gold medallist go home to relax and almost ends up in a plane crash."

Adams wrote on her Instagram account: "Back in Tonga cause problems with brakes haha so waiting on eta for our flight zzzzz."

While in Tonga, Adams and her partner were invited to a New Year's Day reception hosted by the King, Tupou VI.

Tongan media reported that the shot-putting great was the star of the reception, which was attended by about 200 guests including the new Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva.

She was dressed in a bright-red island-style pula taha (two-piece dress) with the traditional ta'uvala mat wrapped around.

Adams could not be reached for comment.