8 Jul 2018

Instagram hunters keeping search and rescue busy

6:33 pm on 8 July 2018

Land Search and Rescue (LandSAR) is experiencing a rise in call-outs as people get into trouble while searching for Instagram hot spots.

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Lake Wanaka was one of Instagram's top 10 locations in 2017. Photo: 123rf

The rise in social media, particularly the photo-sharing application Instagram, has put plenty of New Zealand locations on the radar of tourists around the globe.

Last December, Instagram released its top 10 New Zealand locations which included Milford Sound, Aoraki/Mt Cook, Lake Wanaka and Tongariro Alpine Crossing for 2017.

LandSAR group support manager Mike Ambrose said the organisation had received a rise in call-outs as more people headed on trips without having the right skills, experience or equipment.

"We have seen, with the emergence of social media, people seeing highlight photos of places to go and perhaps taking on a trip to that place without fully understanding the experience level required," he said.

"They should always actually consider more than just what the view is like. They should do a bit more research about what's involved in getting to that place."

Being properly clothed and equipped, with knowledge of the weather forecast and a personal locator beacon were important factors before heading on a trip, Mr Ambrose said.

People needed to match the skill and experience levels with the adventure they were undertaking, he said.

There was a drop in calls out during winter, but they were likely to be more urgent, due to temperatures and weather, he said.