Accidents, medical events and lost trampers around Tongariro National Park resulted in a busy week for a rescue helicopter crew.

The Taupō-based Greenlea Rescue Helicopter flew in to assist at a range of incidents around the Tongariro area last week.

On Tuesday the crew headed to the Tongariro Crossing to assist an American woman who had fractured/dislocated her ankle. She was flown to Rotorua Hospital for treatment.

In the late afternoon, the crew was tasked to find a tourist who was lost near the Northern Circuit in Tongariro National Park.


"He had a GPS locator beacon so was found quickly, much to his relief," a crew member said.

"While still in the National Park, the team was tasked to assist another tramper on the Tongariro Crossing who had injured her ankle and was unable to walk out. She was transported to Taupo Emergency Department."

Mid-morning on Saturday the crew flew in to the carpark of 42 Traverse where a teenager had come off his motorbike. He received serious chest and abdominal injuries and was treated at the scene before being flown to Waikato Hospital.

That afternoon the crew helped out two competitors who were taking part in an off-road running event. Both had minor injuries but were unable to continue on foot and were 8km from vehicle access. The pair were transported to Whakapapa Village by helicopter.

Greenlea rescue helicopter loss could result in 50 minute waits for rescues
Turangi realtor pledges to Greenlea Rescue Helicopter: 'Boys were only minutes from perishing'
Potential loss of Rotorua rescue helicopter a 'slap in the face'
Greenlea Rescue Helicopter open day in Taupo this weekend

At midday on Sunday the crew went to the Northern Circuit in Tongariro National Park for a male in his 50s with chest pain. He was treated and transported to Rotorua Hospital.

Earlier in January German tourist Gerd Wilde, a 75-year-old dentist from Berlin, died while walking the Tongariro Crossing with his son, Simon Wilde. Gerd Wilde, who had prostate cancer, was believed to have had a heart attack.

A Chinese tourist died at Red Crater on Mt Tongariro in October after separating from her group.


The Mountain Safety Council (MSC) recommends anyone planning an outdoor adventure should:

• Check, and understand, the official weather forecast.
• Be prepared to change your plans, or turn around, if the conditions aren't suitable.
• Be prepared for the unexpected. Always take a waterproof jacket, head torch and emergency communication device - even on day walks.
• Never split up. If you set off as a group, always stay together and support each other.
• Stay on the marked track. Wait for other group members at track junctions and regularly check your position on the map.
• Leave details of your plans with a trusted contact.

The MSC has a free online tool, Plan My Trip, which includes MetService weather forecasts, Department of Conservation alerts and NZ Avalanche Advisory forecasts. It can also help with gear lists, trip suggestions and other resources.
The tool is available online at