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Two Norwegian women who became lost in the Snowdon Forest, near Te Anau, on Monday were lucky they could call for help, police said.
The pair, aged in their late 20s, took a wrong turn while walking the Kiwiburn circuit and ended up in the Whitestone River catchment.
With the help of a commercial hunter, Te Anau LandSAR volunteers found them, cold but uninjured, about 9pm.
Search and rescue incident controller Detective Alun Griffiths said in a statement the women were extremely lucky to have been able to raise the alarm.
They would otherwise have faced a ''grim night'', with snow on the ground in the area.
''We urge people to be adequately prepared for exploring the outdoors, and to plan for the unexpected.''
The women, who did not have torches, called for help as night fell.
The Kiwiburn circuit track is about 30km northeast of Te Anau.