A single tea bag and a burned sock were vital clues that led to finding trampers Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds alive and well.
The pair was found hungry and exhausted last week in a remote part of the Kahurangi National Park, 19 days after setting off for a hike, and more than a week after they were reported overdue.
One of the volunteers who helped to find them, hiked more than 100 kilometres over the seven days he spent on the ground.
Dwayne Lohmann of Nelson says it was the most challenging search he's been involved in.
He told RNZ Re Tau Ihu reporter Tracy Neal it was also the most incredible, because of the result.