Sydney - Stranded by floods and lost, a German backpacker survived for nearly two weeks in Australia's harsh Outback on a diet of insects, police said on Thursday.
Daniel Dudzisz, aged 26, went missing in February on a walking trip south-west of Longreach in remote Queensland.
Police said a motorist picked up the bedraggled tourist on Thursday afternoon near Cooper Creek outside Windorah.
Dudzisz - who is diabetic and insulin-dependent - told police he waded through the floods and ate flies to survive his ordeal.
"If you hadn't heard it with your own ears - and my officers have - you certainly wouldn't believe it," Inspector Mark Henderson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"He joked about never going hungry in the Australian Outback because of the amount of flies you can eat for their protein apparently."
The German had been walking through New South Wales and Queensland for several months and kept in regular contact with police.
But when he set off from Windorah on 17 February heading to Jundah, about 90km away, he lost his way and became stranded between two flooded areas of the Barcoo River.
"He had some baked beans and cereal when he left Windorah and exhausted that pretty quickly, and said he'd been eating flies ever since," Henderson said
Aerial and ground searches were launched when the tourist failed to reach Jundah.
"He did see the choppers looking for him but they couldn't see him due to the tree coverage," the inspector said.
Dudzisz spurned medical treatment.
"He certainly was hungry, but other than that he was in reasonable spirits," Henderson said.
Dudzisz told police he was determined to continue his walk to Australia's Northern Territory.