IT was the scene everyone hoped for.
Mother and son climbing out of a car yesterday afternoon, weary but unhurt, and into the arms of their loved one after going missing for 10 hours in rough bush near Mount Beauty.
Thurgoona woman Tamara Binder, 43, called police on Sunday night when her mother Ruth Binder, 77, from Canberra, and brother Sam Binder, 45, from Springhurst, failed to turn up on Sunday afternoon after their 30-kilometre, three-day hike.
They are a family of experienced hikers but mother and son did not predict a severe change in weather and how much the thick scrub would slow them down.
“They went three kilometres in a day-and-a-half, that’s how thick the scrub was,” Ms Binder said.
And her fit mother, nicknamed “Duracell”, was being knocked over by the strong winds.
There was no way the pair could contact Ms Binder, who was waiting at their meeting spot off the Mountain Creek Road at Tawonga, after their mobile phone was left in their car.
The pair camped for the night on the Bogong Creek Saddle, only a kilometre from where police were forced to end their search late on Sunday night before it started up again yesterday morning.
Just before 2pm, mother and son, sunburnt and weary, were met by Bright SES volunteers on Moncrieffs Gap Track, the track they planned to come back on.
“They saw two SES vehicles coming towards them, mum said: ‘Oh is something going on? Is there some trouble?” Ms Binder said.
The trio were reunited before waiting media and police, SES and Parks Victoria personnel involved in the search.
“I gave them a hug and that’s it, you’re bawling in front of all these cameras,” Ms Binder said.
Mr Binder said he was more worried about his sister than their own safety.
“Bit nervous sometimes but more worried about Tamara than anything,” he said.
Ms Binder said she was worried she overreacted but emergency services assured her she reacted “perfectly”.
“It was nice to have that back-up. They (her mother and brother) were a bit put out that they’ve caused this fuss, but I would never have forgiven myself if I hadn’t jumped in and if you love someone you have to,” Ms Binder said.
She thanked police, SES and Parks Victoria for their efforts.
Mount Beauty Leading Sen-Constable Peter Dilley said it served as a reminder for hikers to take mobile phones, an extra day’s food, correct clothing and to let people know where they’re planning to go.