Two Australians climbing on Mt Cook have escaped with minor injuries after being hit by falling ice in the middle of the night and then plummeting down the mountain.
A helicopter flew up to rescue the pair off New Zealand's tallest peak at first light this morning.
Both were being taken to Timaru Hospital suffering from injuries to the head and chest.
They were hit by the ice about 1am and then both fell about 200 metres, police said.
Search and Rescue coordinator Senior Constable Brent Swanson said the injuries were not life threatening, and the pair managed to make it back down to the Plateau hut, where they called for help.
It was first thought only one of the pair suffered injuries, but the rescue team realised both had been injured when it got there.
Good weather conditions on the mountain meant there were a large number of groups taking the opportunity to explore, said Swanson.