A man has a suspected shoulder injury after falling down a cliff on a west Auckland walking track this afternoon.

The man is believed to have been near a watering hole on the Taraire Track at Karekare and somehow slipped or fallen around 15m down a cliff shortly before 3.30pm, Inspector Jason Greenhalgh of the police Northern Communications Centre said.

He was unable to get himself back up the cliff, and had reported a severe pain in his shoulder, Mr Greenhalgh said.

The man was in an area that was inaccessible by vehicle, Mr Greenhalgh said, so St John Ambulance had tasked a rescue helicopter to the scene to winch the man out.