‘A Miracle’: Backpacker Survives Six Days In Rugged Bush

Joohee Hanm left for a bushwalk almost a week ago. Six days later, she was found with barely a scratch.

What you need to know
  • A 25-year-old Korean backpacker has been found safe and well after spending six days in rugged Queensland bushland
  • Joohee Han was last seen on Friday in Tully, south of Cairns, later telling a friend she was going on a bushwalk
  • An extensive search involving police, SES crews and park staff found Han on Thursday suffering dehydration

A Korean backpacker has a miraculous tale of survival to tell, emerging from almost a week in dense bushland with no food and in temperatures below ten degrees.

Joohee Han, 25, was winched to safety from a narrow ravine just after midday on Thursday, six days after she left for a bushwalk in far north Queensland.

She had last been seen walking along a street in Tully, south of Cairns, last Friday,  later sending a message to a friend that she was heading to Mount Tyson.

Joohee Han was been found alive after spending six days in rugged bushland. Source: Queensland Police

Police said Han's friends raised the alarm on Wednesday, almost a week after she failed to return to her backpacker's accommodation.

Twenty SES crews along with police, defence, National Parks and Wildlife, and a rescue helicopter commenced a search on Thursday, finding Han trapped on a ledge.

"She was found on a rocky waterfall in quite a narrow ravine that was unreachable for searchers on the ground," flight paramedic Hannah Gaulke said.

"We had been fearing for the worst for a while."

The chopper crew lowered a 60-foot winch to reach the tourist, who was assessed on board for dehydration before being taken to Tully Hospital in a stable condition.

Gaulke said Han suffered a few minor injuries, but was otherwise "in good spirits".

Authorities said Han reached the Mount Tyson summit to take photographs before falling from Scout Rock, a main outlook area.

"She had knocked herself out and believes she had been unconscious for several hours. When she came to, she was quite disorientated," Gaulke said.

The 25-year-old managed to crawl through bushland before reaching the waterfall.

"She got to a point where she couldn't proceed any further -- that's where she stayed for days."

Han was wearing minimal warm gear, just a rain jacket, and endured temperatures below ten degrees -- leaving her chances of survival at near-zero, according to the rescue crew.

"From all the data that is know, this is a first for someone in these conditions," Gaulke said.

Backpacker Survives Six Days In Rugged Bush