A woman had to be rescued by a police search and rescue team after she was left behind by friends during a bush walk.

The group was tramping in the Wairere Falls area in the Waikato on Thursday evening when the woman was separated from her friends.

A spokesperson for Waikato Police said she was left behind because she could not keep up with her friends.

"It appears they left the Wairere carpark heading towards the falls about 6pm when the woman became separated from her group and ultimately missed a turn-off from the main track and became lost," said district search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Vince Ranger.


Police were notified of the incident at 9.45pm and Mr Ranger said it was fortunate the group had raised the alarm and the woman had not panicked.

"She had the presence of mind that, on darkness, she settled down in the bush and remained in the same spot where she was found overnight by responding civilian volunteers belonging to the Hamilton Search and Rescue Group.

"Located safe and well, the woman was walked back out at first light, just as other teams were entering the bush to help in the search."

A similar incident was also reported at about 7.30pm in bush on the lower part of the Kaimai Range, where a separate group found themselves lost after an afternoon walk.

"A group had entered the bush about 4pm for an afternoon's walk. They became lost but fortunately had taken a cellphone with them and made contact with family and advised them of their predicament.

"The family then raised the alarm and we were able to vector in on their position via their cellphone and three members of our Search and Rescue Squad were able to walk them out to their car by 11.30pm."

Mr Ranger said the incidents illustrated the need to be prepared on bush walks - no matter how short - and the importance of staying together as a group.