Mt Cook rescue for Australian climbers

07:04, Jan 05 2013

Two Australian climbers who fell 200 metres on Mt Cook early this morning have praised their rescuers for getting them off the mountain.

The pair were walking in the dark on the mountain when they were hit by ice which caused them to fall.

Search and Rescue coordinator Senior Constable Brent Swanson said they were both hurt but not seriously and so they managed to make it back down to the Plateau hut, where they called for help.

A helicopter flew up to rescue the pair off New Zealand's tallest peak at first light this morning.

Both were taken to Timaru Hospital suffering from injuries to the head and chest.

They were described as being in a "comfortable and stable condition" while still  being assessed by  doctors.

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.

The pair praised police and Search and Rescue for helping them off the mountain.