Madeleine Nowak after she was found.
Madeleine Nowak after she was found.

UPDATE: How hiker lost her way in island forest

UPDATE: A LifeFlight pilot says the woman who spent three days missing on Fraser Island was quite embarrassed about getting lost.

Shaun Gillespie said it was a relief to get the call to pick up the woman this morning after she was found by campers on the beach.

He described 73-year-old Madeleine Nowak as an extremely fit woman who did all the right things.

Mr Gillespie told the Chronicle she was an extremely experienced walker who walked to high point on the island to help navigate herself to the eastern side of the island.

Hervey Bay police officer, Acting Inspector Brooke Flood, said it was remarkable Mrs Nowak was found alive and well.

Act Insp Flood said police would have held grave concerns had she not been found today.

The hiker told emergency service workers a tree had fallen over the track and she lost her way while navigating the obstacle.

"This morning we were all on edge and we thought we have to find her today," she said.

Police said seeing Mrs Nowak reunited with her husband, who was also a part of the hiking group, was extremely emotional.

The woman who was lost on Fraser Island for three nights has been found
The woman who was lost on Fraser Island for three nights has been found

Act Insp Flood said the most difficult part of the search was the difficult terrain.

"The woman said she could hear the helicopters overhead but due to the tree canopy were unable to flag them down."

EARLIER: A missing 73-year-old hiker has been reunited with her husband after spending three nights lost on Fraser Island.

Madeleine Nowak became separated from a group of walkers along the Great Walk around 3pm on Thursday although her travelling companions did not raise the alarm until after dark.

When she failed to arrive at a designated location, the group, who are experienced hikers, retraced their steps in the hope of finding the woman before they alerted emergency services around 7pm.