The police say a German woman who fell about 20 metres into a river near Milford Sound is lucky to have escaped uninjured.
Sergeant Todd Hollobon of Te Anau police said it appeared the 25-year-old went around a barrier to take a photograph while walking on The Chasm track in Fiordland National Park yesterday afternoon.
The tourist was perched on a rock when she slipped. She was kneedeep in water after her plunge but did not suffer any injuries.
"She was carried downstream for some distance, then managed to scramble to a ledge where she could basically hold herself there while she was awaiting rescue."
Mr Hollobon said what would have been a straightforward helicopter rescue was made difficult by an overhanging rock.
The woman had to wait about five hours for the rescue to be carried out, he said.
The area where the woman fell was a short walk into a track and was a popular spot for taking photographs.