A multi-agency rescue team worked into the night to evacuate a seriously injured tramper, trapped in an underground cave in a remote and rugged area west of Waitomo.
The police were alerted just after 2.30pm on Thursday that the woman was injured inside the Lucky Strike Cave at Ngapaenga.
She was between 40 and 60 minutes into the cave when she fell, suffering a broken hip and losing three of her teeth before falling into a stream.
The police say a companion managed to pull her from the stream and cover her in a survivial blanket before getting help.
Caving experts, the police, a Search and Rescue crew and paramedics expected it to be at least midnight before the woman could be brought to the surface. A rescue helicopter was on standby.