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The Canterbury Air Rescue Helicopter attended the incident about noon on Wednesday.
A spokesman said the man was with a group of people, all taking part in walking New Zealand's Te Araroa trail, a 3000km route from Cape Reinga to Bluff.
As they attempted to cross the river, the man was swept away until he was able to climb on to a bank where he activated a safety locator beacon.
According to Environment Canterbury data, the river flow was more than 250 cubic metres as of noon today.
He suffered no injuries and was in dry clothing.