Tourists lost for a week in Australian wilderness after Google Maps leads them astray

The pair became lost in the wilderness of north Queensland after their car became stuck.
The pair became lost in the wilderness of north Queensland after their car became stuck. Photo credit: Getty Images

Two German tourists who spent more than a week lost in Australia's wilderness say they're lucky to be alive. 

The two men, Phillip Maier and Marcel Schoene, became lost in Queensland's Cape York where they dodged crocodiles and endured severe weather conditions. 

The friends were driving from Cairns to Bamaga and decided to follow Google Maps directions once they reached Coen. 

They were taken off Peninsular Development Road and onto a dirt track leading them to Oyala Thumotang National Park. 

"We decided, 'OK, let's follow Google Maps because Google Maps knows maybe more than we know'," Maier told 9News. 

After 60 kilometres of travel, their car became stuck in mud and the pair decided to continue their journey on foot. 

However, they soon realised they were in serious trouble, describing it as feeling like they were "in a bad movie". 

"We tried to build a shelter but that didn't work really well," Maier said. "We slept under the sky. It was raining the whole time but it was okay." 

The pair said they had to dodge crocodiles when crossing over rivers and creeks. 

"We just ran through the creek because it was our only opportunity," he said. 

For over a week, the two men walked their way back to Coen where they sheltered from heat and heavy rain.

On arrival, they asked for help where Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger Roger James helped the pair retrieve their bogged vehicle. 

"Once they realised they were being led up a dry gully they pulled back and stayed with the vehicle as long as they could before making the decision to walk out," James said. 

Rangers who helped pull the vehicle out of the mud told 9News it wasn't the first reported mishap in the Cape linked to Google Maps.