Five tourists from Asia, only in the country for a matter of hours after flying into Christchurch, crashed on a West Coast highway over the weekend.

The crash happened on State Highway 73 at Turiwhate, east of Hokitika, on Saturday afternoon.

Kumara Volunteer Fire Brigade fire chief Gary Lindbom said the westbound vehicle clipped a culvert and tipped on its side, possibly after the driver became blinded by the sun.

None of the occupants was seriously injured, save for seatbelt bruising.


"I'd say they were lucky people, obviously," Mr Lindbom said.

A doctor and nurse from Christchurch and a member of Mines Rescue were already on the scene when the fire brigade arrived.

All five occupants were transported to Grey Base Hospital for assessment.

One was transferred to Christchurch Hospital with suspected broken ribs.

Police are following up with the driver.