A Japanese driver found by a roadworker down a steep bank 24 hours after his car crashed is in a stable condition in Dunedin Hospital.
The man's car plunged 10 metres in the Kawarau Gorge near Queenstown on Wednesday afternoon.
Roadworker Hami Smiler found him on Thursday morning when he investigated a broken fencepost.
Mr Smiler says he immediately sensed something was wrong.
He discovered sunglasses and a cellphone as he scaled the bank and then the car, with the man inside.
Mr Smiler yelled to his work mate to call 111 while he held the victim's head up so he could keep breathing.
He says it took 20 minutes for emergency services to arrive, but it felt like forever.
He says he's not a hero and it was a fluke that he came across the accident.