A van full of tourists that escaped an 8-metre plunge into a riverbed are said to be lucky to be alive.

Stuff have reported that a van went off a bridge on the Hurunui's Inland Kaikoura Rd about 9.45am on Friday.

The crash resulted in two people being hospitalised with moderate injuries, while the rest of the passengers remained relatively unscathed.

Kaikoura Fire Brigade chief fire officer Ian Walker told Stuff that a van "carrying six tourists went through the bridge rails and fell approximately 8m to the riverbed".


Occupants of the vehicle were lucky to escape last week's flood waters, with the van landing on its roof in the dry riverbed.

Stuff reported that a male and a female were flown to Christchurch Hospital with moderate injuries, while the other four passengers were checked by St John paramedics at the scene.

It was "pure luck" there were no serious injuries, Walker told the Fairfax reporter.

"They're just very, very lucky people."

The road was cut down to one lane for several hours, but reopened by 2pm.