A mother and her two sons, aged 10 and 12, have spent the night in the bush in the Tararua ranges after being hit by stormy conditions.
Police said the family had activated their personal locator becon about 6.30pm after getting into trouble on the Marchant Ridge Track.
Bad weather prevented a search and rescue team from reaching the family last night, but the team went in early this morning and found the family this morning.
Rescuers said overnight they had been in telephone contact with the mother and although the family are cold and wet, they are safe and well.
Rescue coordinator John Ashby said the boys became cold and exhausted on the walk from Kaitoke to Alpha Hut on what was intended to be a four-day tramp.
He said the family were well prepared, but they would have been much worse off without a locator beacon.
"They have had a cold wait in very uncomfortable, wet conditions but they had sufficient equipment for a four-day tramp and that has helped them get through the night," Mr Ashby said.
"Without an emergency locator beacon to call for help, this would have been an extremely challenging situation for them."
The three were flown out by helicopter to Kaitoke this morning.