Three men have had an unexpected stay at a local marae after a late night rescue on the western side of Lake Taupo.
The men, all aged 25, were heading for a waterfall when the track became overgrown and they decided to jump into the Waihaha River and swim the 3km back to the lake, police said.
However, they soon became tired and cold and got out of the water.
They then became stuck in dense bush.
The police said the men contacted a relative who alerted the police and rescue teams were sent in.
Conditions made a rescue impossible initially, but police said the men were found at about 10.30 last night and taken to the Waihaha Marae.