A rescue operation is under way for an injured man who went missing on a walk yesterday.

The 30-year-old had set off on a walk to the Cobb Dam, northwest of Nelson in the Kahurangi National Park, about 8.30am on Monday with another man and a woman.

He became separated from the group about 1.30pm after deciding to take another route out of the area. When he failed to meet the others he was reported missing about 6.30pm yesterday.

A helicopter flow over the area yesterday evening, but failed to find any trace of the man. Ground search teams, including a specialist cave rescue team entered the area shortly before 6am today. He was found, injured, at 7.30am and arrangements are being made to winch him out by helicopter.


Search coordinator Constable Dave Cogger said the man was not equipped for a night outside and did not appear to have tramping experience.

"His companions have told us he took the alternate route because he was experiencing difficulties due to his fitness level. Unfortunately the route he has taken was significantly more challenging and would have been difficult for experienced trampers to complete."

Constable Cogger said the group had broken a golden rule of tramping by separating.