A dad and his two children have survived ten days stranded in the Australian outback after he accidentally took a wrong turn. The trio disappeared on the 11th of December after embarking on the 1,000 mile journey from Lota in Queensland to Cairns.


When they did not arrive at their destination to meet their mum and wife, she contacted police and search was begun. The dad, Steven van Lonkhuyzen and his two young sons, Ethan and Timothy, had very little food which was rationed over their ten days in the wilderness. Lack of food and extreme weather such as flooding, storms and 38 degree heat made things very trying for them.


Thankfully, on Saturday, ten days after their disappearance, the dad and his two sons were found 300 miles from their home where their car had gotten stuck in the mud. They were found by a farmer, Tom Wagner who had undertaken his own search for them in the Expedition National Park.


When he found them, Tom says they were starving and dehydrated: “They were pretty hungry by the time I got to them, and pretty happy to see me. Luckily it rained, otherwise they would have perished.”


Steven described how he had tried to attract attention by building fires and laying out bright objects around the car, but made the decision to stay with the car rather than attempt to wander even further. It was also reported that he tried his best to get a routine going with the children in order to keep them occupied and spirits as high as possible in such condition. The dad was also praised for managing to conduct a way of collecting water, when it fell. 


The family are currently recovering in a hospital in Taroom.