A hunter went without food and sheltered in a cave during a miserable two days in the Kaimanawa Ranges.
A New Zealand Defence Force helicopter crew spotted the 60-year-old on a riverbed, waving a survival blanket, shortly before 11am today.
His friend notified police yesterday morning they became separated during a trip in the central North Island ranges on Saturday.
Flight Lieutenant Peter Familton said the hunter had not eaten anything since Saturday and was relieved to see them.
He was winched on board.
Mr Familton said the hunter told them he took shelter in a cave and lit a fire to keep warm.
An air force doctor checked him before he was taken to a police command post in Turangi.