One person has been airlifted to hospital in a critical condition following a serious crash near Taupō.

The two-car crash happened on State Highway 1 near Waitahanui about 9.45pm yesterday, a police spokeswoman said.

A lane on State Highway 1 was blocked and the road was closed for about five hours, reopening about 3am, she said.

One person was airlifted to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition, while another two were taken to Rotorua Hospital with moderate injuries, a St John spokeswoman said.

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Police, ambulance and fire crews all attended the scene.

The Serious Crash Unit was investigating.

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