National News

Qld hiker crawls to safety with broken leg

A bushwalker who plunged six metres down a Queensland waterfall and fractured his leg was forced to crawl for two days to survive after his phone fell in a creek.

With no way of calling for help, Neil Parker, 54, realised he would have to rescue himself despite a badly fractured leg and wrist from the fall on Sunday.

The trail walk at Cabbage Tree Creek on Mt Nebo, northwest of Brisbane, was only meant to be a three-hour trip, Mr Parker told reporters from his hospital bed on Wednesday.

"A lot of things I did wrong. I didn't tell anyone where I was going and I didn't have an EPIRB (emergency beacon)", he said.

Mr Parker usually has an emergency beacon but says it stayed with his ex-wife when they split up.

He hadn't bought a new one before setting out alone on the walk he knew well.

"I climbed the waterfall many times before, and this time, with it being so dry, the lichen on the rock, instead of sticking, slipped and gave way," Mr Parker said.

"I slid about 20 feet, cartwheeled and slammed into the rock and then landed in the creek on the bottom."

He realised the gully was too deep for a phone signal so he needed to move to find one.

"I went to put my phone into my pocket and missed and (it went) into the drink."

Mr Parker, who is an experienced guide with Brisbane Bushwalkers, splinted his leg with snake bite bandages and walking poles from his kit.

Then he began to crawl, lifting his damaged leg over rocks, alongside the creek towards a junction where he knew people passed by.

"My left foot just below my ankle, clean snapped in half," he said.

"So the whole bottom of my leg came loose."

"I had to carry my leg, and legs are very heavy when they're not connected to anything, and trying to pick it up and get over rocks.

"I would get about a metre, a metre-and-a-half before I needed a break."

A search party was launched on Monday after he failed to turn up for work and his boss rang his ex-wife, who raised the alarm.

In the meantime, Mr Parker was still slowly crawling but he says that wasn't so painful, possibly because adrenaline had kicked in.

The thought of never seeing his children again kept him going.

"I was getting very emotional thinking this is not a nice way to die, just lying here," he said.

A rescue helicopter finally spotted him on Tuesday afternoon and winched him to safety.

He was taken to Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital where he was to undergo surgery on Wednesday.

He credits his survival to his preparedness and his family, who set out to find him with the support of the Brisbane Bushwalkers group.

© AAP 2019