Bushwalker Rescue

Bushwalker Rescue

By helicopter after getting lost on overgrown tracks on Mount Wellington

Posted on 05.03.2020

Avid bushwalker Erin Hext set out on her 76th hike expecting a challenging track, but she did not think she would be making the return journey in a helicopter.

Her story illustrates how quickly things can go wrong in the bush, even just half an hour’s drive from the city, and when to make the call to seek help.

The 40-year-old set out on Saturday to walk from the back of Hobart’s Mount Wellington/kunanyi to Mount Montagu, a six-hour return walk.

On the way back, she became completely lost.

“It was like I was trapped; I couldn’t go any further,” she told Leon Compton on ABC Radio Hobart.

Overgrown tracks and confusing cairns and markers saw her climb the summit of a different mountain known as Montagu Thumbs, before eventually finding her way across to Mount Montagu.

By the time she started making her way back, she had been walking for five hours and was rapidly losing daylight and becoming exhausted and dehydrated.

“I felt like I was starting to become disoriented and before long I had a feeling I was no longer headed in the right direction when I started to come upon unbroken cobwebs across the trail,” she said.

“I tried to retrace my steps a little bit but ended up somewhere where I had no idea where I was.

Key Points

  • An experienced bushwalker had to be rescued by helicopter half an hour’s drive from Hobart
  • Erin Hext became lost due to overgrown tracks and confusing route markers
  • Wellington Park Management Trust praised her for being well prepared, and pledged to improve the tracks

“Erin is a poster person on how to walk in this area, she packed perfectly.”

(Mt Wellington Park Management) recommended walkers install the phone application Emergency Plus and learn how to use it.


Georgie Burgess

ABC News





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