Police say a group of kayakers undoubtedly saved the life of a tourist who fell at a waterfall near Murchison while taking photographs.
The Belgian, aged 60, had crossed over the barriers at Maruia Falls when he slipped and fell into a crevasse at about midday on Wednesday.
The kayakers used ropes and other climbing equipment to lower one of their party down into the crevasse.
They then created a harness out of straps and were able to pull the man up out of the crevasse and on to rocks above the falls.
Constable Willy Squires said the man was airlifted to hospital with shoulder, spine and head injuries.