Australian father and 9-year-old daughter survive two nights clinging to tree surrounded by floodwaters

The flood was expected to reach over 10m.
The flood was expected to reach over 10m. Photo credit: Getty images

A Queensland father has kept his promise of survival to his daughter after floods in their hometown threatened to claim their lives.

After 36 hours clinging to a tree, Craig Mortensen and his nine-year-old daughter Kira were finally able to escape flooding in Maryborough, 300km north of Brisbane.

The pair endured two long nights in the freezing cold, fighting off bugs and two snakes.

Mortensen told 7NEWS his vow to keep his daughter alive was "a hard promise to keep". He said Kira had told him she didn't think they would make it.

The incredible story of survival came to light after Queensland Fire and Emergency issued an emergency alert for Maryborough on Saturday, as its nearby river was expected to exceed the major flooding level.

Fraser Coast Regional Council said in a statement the flood was expected to reach a peak of 10.3m and all residents were to evacuate.

Mortensen and his daughter, Kira, had been driving on the Friday night when they encountered a flooded rural road. He told 7NEWS within 10-15 minutes there was water in the car.

They climbed up onto the roof and Kira tried to call emergency services, but there was no reception.

The pair hung onto a nearby tree for safety, where they stayed for two nights until the water had subsided enough to swim to dry land.

"I usually don't have much luck. But I saved it all up for this time," Mortensen told 7NEWS.

Not everyone has been as lucky as Mortensen.

According to, two people have died and a 14-year-old girl has gone missing in the floods.