Children found “safe and well” after spending 20 hours missing in bush

UPDATE 12:30PM | Two seven-year-old girls who vanished from a campsite near Orange in Central West NSW on Saturday afternoon have been found.

The two children disappeared around 4pm on Saturday while exploring bush tracks with family in the Ophir Reserve, around 25km west of Orange.

After almost 20 frantic hours of searching, the girls were found “safe and well” at around 11.30am this morning.


Police said the two girls were winched out of the bush by the police helicopter.

They had spent the night lost in the reserve where temperatures had dropped to just one degrees Celcius overnight.

Police said the girls would be taken to Orange Hospital for medical checks.

Dozens of police officers, SES volunteers and members of the Rural Fire Service were involved in the search.

EARLIER: A LARGE-scale search has resumed this morning for two 7-year-old girls who vanished from a campsite near Orange, in Central West NSW yesterday afternoon.

The children’s family had set up camp at Ophir Reserve, about 25 kilometres north of Orange, on Saturday and spent the day exploring bush tracks.

Police said everyone had returned to the campsite by 4pm, except the two 7-year-old girls.

According to police, the girl’s had been climbing the nearby hills and at around 4pm they were seen on the opposite bank of a fast flowing creek.

“When the girls failed to return the family commenced a search for them while an adult travelled to a location where she was able to obtain mobile phone coverage and contacted police,” police said in a statement.

At around 6pm, officers from the Canobolas Local Area Command arrived on the scene.

Despite conducting an extensive search of the area with the assistance of SES volunteers and members of the Rural Fire Service, the children could not be found.

Emergency services and family remained in the area overnight.

Police said this morning they were seriously concerned for the welfare and safety of the girls.

Temperatures dipped to a near freezing one degrees Celcius in and around the town of Orange overnight.

An SES flood boat has been brought in this morning to search the river, while a police helicopter has also joined the search efforts.