A hunter who broke his leg falling off a waterfall was airlifted to safety after a dramatic seven-hour rescue mission in the Wakatipu.
The Christchurch man, 30, suffered a compound fracture of his left thighbone – which means the broken bone had pierced through the skin.
Emergency services were called to Skippers Canyon by his friend at around 9.45pm on Saturday.
A Southern Lakes helicopter with night vision equipment flew in from Te Anau to help with the operation.
A doctor was winched down to the injured man, found near Crystal Hut in Swayers Creek, at midnight.
Queenstown police acting sergeant Blair Duffy says: “He suffered a compound fracture to his left femur and was obviously in some discomfort.
“It was extremely tough and challenging terrain.
“Not only was he lying in a creek near the bottom of a waterfall but there were a lot of fallen trees about as well as the bush canopy to contend with.
“The doctor was winched in and was able to stabilise the patient.
“It was technical terrain which made for quite an involved recovery.”
A member of the Queenstown-based Alpine Cliff Rescue was also winched down to the site – about 3km from Skippers Bridge – to assist.
He found another site about 150m away from where the injured man could be winched into the helicopter, piloted by Richard “Hannibal” Hayes.
Another two members of ACR were flown in to help carry him on a stretcher to the extraction point.
The injured man was rushed to Invercargill Hospital shortly after 5am, where he is believed to have undergone surgery on Sunday.
Hospital staff say he is in a “very stable” condition.