A rescue helicopter using night vision equipment has winched a pair of alpine trampers to safety from Mt Hopeless in the Nelson Lakes National Park.
Police say the Auckland couple lost their way on Thursday and became stranded without a rope more than 2000 metres up the mountain's steep southern face.
Search and rescue coordinator Sherp Tucker says the pair used a cellphone to call for help as night fell and were picked up by the helicopter at about 9pm.
Mr Tucker says the experienced pair were well equipped but had accidentally strayed from the route they had selected.
They were found in good health and flown back to their car in St Arnaud.