Sydney: An elderly German couple have been found dead in Australia's outback after becoming disorientated and wandering from the official path, police said today, following a record-breaking heatwave in the country.
The body of Gisela Thor, 73, was found near the remote Trephina Gorge in the Northern Territory (NT) Tuesday several kilometres away from her 76-year-old husband Wilfred, discovered a day earlier.
The couple had been missing for days and as Australia battled some of the hottest conditions on record, with authorities warning of "catastrophic" fire conditions on the east coast.
Trephina Gorge is located near the popular tourist hotspot Alice Springs, where temperatures reached 40 C (104 F) over the weekend.
NT Police Sergeant Philip Emmett said the couple became lost not long after entering the gorge, and while trying to leave had made a stop and discovered water.
"After that, for reasons unbeknown to me, they have parted company, and one of them has moved to the west, and the other has moved... In a south easterly direction," he said.
"I would like to convey my condolences (to the family). Such a sad end to a lifetime of endeavour and of planning to come and visit Australia. What a tragic end."
A cause of death is yet to be determined but police said there were no suspicious circumstances.
They uncovered a camera on Wilfred containing a photo of his wife inside the gorge, which was used to help identify the deceased.
"She was apparently in good spirits," Emmett said.
Northern Territory police began searching for the couple on Sunday after a wildlife ranger noticed their car parked at the gorge had not moved since Friday.