A woman who rolled her vehicle in the Waioeka Gorge near Opotiki suffered back injuries and was flown to hospital by helicopter.

Low cloud made the rescue operation difficult this afternoon and the 61-year-old, who was local, was initially driven by St John ambulance to Opotiki Airport.

From there the Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter took her to Whakatane. The woman's lower back was injured when her "small truck" rolled, a helicopter spokeswoman said.

The chopper was required because of the seriousness of the crash and the distance to the nearest hospital.