Two nine-year-old girls have been airlifted out of the Kaimai Ranges after a kayaking trip they were on with their fathers got into difficulty.
Bay of Plenty police say the party of four set out for a short kayaking trip on Saturday yesterday but ran out of daylight and had to spend the night in the bush.
Because they intended to be away for only a few hours they had no spare food with them and the girls had only wetsuits and thermals.
Search and Rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Craig Madden says the group sent a text asking for help but conditions in the steep gorge were too dangerous for rescuers to reach them during the hours of darkness.
He says the girls were airlifted out of the area this morning by helicopter, cold but in good spirits.
Their fathers opted to kayak out.
Sergeant Madden says the incident highlights the need for people to be prepred for the worst-case scenario when taking trips into the bush.