Two trampers have been located after heading into the Tararua Range on Saturday night.

The "well prepared" trampers got into difficulty because of adverse weather conditions some time later but they had a personal locator beacon and activated it while seeking shelter.

Due to the adverse weather, their general location was identified only, not an exact location.

At about 9pm last night, with the assistance of a crew from the Royal New Zealand Air Force's No.3 Squadron, New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) staff managed severe turbulence and low cloud to transport three police-led search teams into the search area on an NH90 helicopter.


Sergeant Fiona Read from Police Search and Rescue said they located the emergency beacon activated by the trampers, helping rescuers to find them at 1.30am this morning.

"They were located cold tired and exhausted by SAR staff and a rescue dog," Read said.

"This morning the men have been taken to a nearby Department of Conservation hut - Dundas Hut, where further assistance has been given to them, such as food and dry clothing. "

They had been assessed medically and appeared to be in good condition.

Another assessment was made during the night on their physical condition and the forecasted weather, and as a result, the plan is to use further assistance from the NZDF squadron to airlift them from the ranges. However, the weather has not been ideal and this is yet to happen.

Police said beacons could be "a lifesaving tool" as emergency services would be aware that something had happened much faster if people got injured or lost, which they did in this case.

"These beacons don't have to be purchased, they can be hired out on a day-by-day basis."