New Year's celebrations turned to disaster for a man who had to crawl for help after he fell onto rocks and was knocked unconscious.

A man in his 50s fell from a track onto rocks in Waihi in the early hours of New Year's Day.

He was knocked unconscious for an unknown length of time.

"It would have been hours rather than minutes," said Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter paramedic Casey Drum.


When the man came round, he crawled to a nearby road where he was found by a passing motorist.

"He crawled because he was too badly injured to walk and was worried he wouldn't be found where he was," Drum said.

The man was in serious condition and suffered chest injuries and a bad back injury.

"He had a big lump in the centre of his back, which usually indicates a potential spinal injury," said Drum.

Drum said he believed the accident was alcohol related.

The man was transported by ambulance to a local sports ground, where he was picked up by rescue chopper and taken to Waikato Hospital.

Drum said the man remained stable during the flight but struggled to communicate with paramedics.

On New Year's Day, the rescue helicopter were called out 10 times, beating their previous record of nine.

Incidents included: accidental skateboarding, dislocations and a man lost most of his hand after an accident with an industrial planer.

Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust communications advisor Kerrie Spicer said the service was three times busier with 1100 call outs this year than they were in 2006 when they only got around 400.