Lost Asian tourists 'feared dingo attack' in outback ordeal

Three Asian tourists who spent days stranded in the harsh Australian Outback said on Wednesday they had feared being attacked by dingoes and had a close encounter with a snake.

The travellers -- a man and woman from South Korea and a woman from Hong Kong -- were found Tuesday by police in the Finke Gorge National Park, near the central Australian town of Alice Springs, safe and well.

They were marooned in the area -- where temperatures climb well over 30 degrees Celsius -- after their car got bogged on a sandy hill Sunday. They waited two nights in the vehicle in the hope that someone would rescue them.

"We just, at first, waited for rescue and for two days no one came so we tried to walk to the main road," 27-year-old Korean Areum Yoon explained.

"We walked 15 kilometres."

The park in which they were found, about 140 kilometres west of Alice Springs and accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles, is famous for its plant life but is also home to unique native fauna.

"We saw the dingoes at night in front of our car so we made them scared and go away," said Yoon.

But with only three days of food and water, the trio decided to abandon the vehicle and attempt to walk the estimated 30 kilometres to the nearest main road.

"The day that we decided to walk we saw dingoes and kangaroos... and then we saw a snake," said Yoon, who said she had been lucky the reptile had fallen onto the path from a bush just after she passed by.

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Australia is home to some of the most venomous snakes in the world, while native wild dogs, or dingoes, have been responsible for more than 200 attacks on people that caused injury over the last two decades.

"I just believe that they will not attack us in the daytime," said Yoon.

The three, who are on working holidays, had left Alice Springs on Friday morning for Uluru, or Ayers Rocks, and were due back at 7:00 pm on Monday. A friend raised the alarm when they failed to return.

Police, who had been concerned about the tourists given the soaring temperatures in the central outback, said the three had been right to let a friend know when to expect them back so they could alert authorities.

Yoon said she was due to head home in about two weeks, but the experience would not deter her from holidaying Down Under in the future.

"Yes I want to. But no more off-road," she said.

AFP