| 06.11,19. 01:12 AM |
Two bodies found at Far North Queensland waterfall believed to be missing Townsville couple
Photo: Townsville couple Simon Walker and Sherei Anderson failed to show up to work after going camping in Far North Queensland. (Facebook)
Police say a couple found dead at Goldsborough, 46 kilometres south-west of Cairns, had fallen down a waterfall.
The two bodies are believed to belong to Sherei Anderson, 32, and Simon Walker, 24, from Townsville.
On Facebook, Mr Walker's family member Lincoln Walker wrote, "we are shocked and filled with grief".
"You may be gone but you will never be forgotten."
The couple was reported missing in the Cairns area on Monday after they both failed to show up for work.
When the alarm was raised, a friend let police know the area they were camping in and a search began.
Police said the bodies were found at the bottom of Kearney's Falls late on Monday.
Acting Detective Inspector Ed Kinbacher said it appeared they had slipped and fallen to their deaths.
"We believe this incident is a direct consequence of misadventure rather than any third party involvement," he said.
"It appears at the preliminary stages they have fallen making the unwise decision to climb the quite steep falls, which were in fact closed."
Inspector Kinbacher said police were still trying to work out exactly when they fell and were seeking more witnesses.
He said the woman had flown into Cairns from Japan on Thursday morning and her partner had picked her up to drive home to Townsville together, stopping to camp along the way.
"Their vehicle was sighted on the Friday morning," he said.
"It appears possible, and it is an assumption at this stage, they've arrived after dark [on Thursday] and they've chosen to go for an early morning swim and this event unfolded tragically."
He said the couple appeared to have climbed up a steep section of rock sloping at about 45 degrees or more.
"There are stages of it where it's a direct 3-metre cliff-type scenario, so it's probable they have fallen and tumbled down a whole series of circumstances to come ultimately to where they were," he said.
"They had left the lower portion of the creek and climbed up higher and they had fallen into the vicinity of a small pool that was above the immediate lower levels of Kearney's Falls.
"They've certainly made some effort to scale what is a quite dangerous, precipitous bit of rock and it has ended tragically."
'These waterfalls routinely claim lives'
Kearney's Falls is a popular attraction near the Goldsborough Valley campground in the Wooroonooran National Park, but the walking track had been temporarily closed for maintenance work.
"Certainly where these people have scaled is off-limits. It is normally closed for the specific risks we have found occur here," Inspector Kinbacher said.
"This is a dangerous environment and what we would do is just caution anybody, these waterfalls in north Queensland routinely claim lives.
"It is not uncommon and simply people do not appreciate the risks this granite rock represents when it is slippery and has moss on it.
"It is like ice and routinely we lose people."
Their bodies were spotted near the falls by a search and rescue helicopter late on Monday and were recovered on Tuesday.
Acting Detective Inspector Kinbacher said the man was with the Australian Defence Force in Townsville while the woman worked for Queensland Health.
"Her family has had a tragic history recently. Loss of family members … very unfortunate story and she was the oldest member of the family group who was providing support to younger family members," he said.
"The young man was a 24-year-old man with the military in Townsville, had his life to lead, so it's obviously a very sad event for all concerned."
Police will prepare a report for the coroner.