A Swiss tourist died yesterday morning while walking the Tongariro Crossing.

The 63-year-old man suffered a likely "medical event" and died at the scene as he walked the crossing with his wife, police spokeswoman Sara Stavropoulos said.

Emergency services were called out mid-morning and the man's body was airlifted away.

A French tourist who was also completing the crossing was able to help translate between the man's wife and emergency personnel.

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The man's death has been referred to the coroner.