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The Federal Falls area has now been searched twice, but still no sign of Esther Wallace

December 4, 2022

Federal Falls, generic image. VisitNSW.

By Peter Holmes

The search for missing bushwalker Esther Wallace continued through Saturday, but will be paused at sunset.

Today’s search involved officers attached to Central West Police District along with officers from Police Rescue, Rural Crime Investigators in ATVs, NSW Police Force trail bike riders, assisted by member of the NSW SES, RFS, and staff from NSW Forestry and National Parks.

Esther Wallace and an SES vehicle. NSW Police/SES.

There were some 15 vehicles at the campground staging post, and the SES had members from Orange, Bathurst, Blayney and Western Zone.

According to a source, accessible areas around Federal Falls have now been thoroughly swept twice, with no sign of Wallace.

"We're persevering," said one person involved in today's search.

Asked for the exact location of the search, they said: "I can say it's centred in the general Federal Falls area - I can't go any more specific than that."

The land search will resume tomorrow morning (Sunday December 4, 2022), with similar resources expected to be involved.

It is unknown how long the search will continue. Police would not comment, but it is understood the ready access to water at numerous locations within the search area will be factored into decision making.


Wallace has been missing since Wednesday morning.

About 8am on Wednesday emergency services responded to reports that a woman had become separated from a companion while bushwalking at Federal Falls through the Mount Canobolas State Recreation Area, approximately 20km southwest of Orange.

Paul Beard from SES Orange, who was one of about 30 people involved in the search on Wednesday, told The Orange News Examiner on Thursday: “We covered a fair bit of ground with PolAir, ATVs [all terrain vehicles] and multiple SES and police vehicles.

“We covered the majority of Federal Falls and Glenwood area."

According to social media posts members of the community headed to Federal Falls and surrounds on Thursday to try and help with the search. Some had taken food and drink in case they located Wallace.

Hazardous conditions forced the search to be called off on Thursday night.

The Orange News Examiner has been told by NSW Police that the search "wound back" at 7pm.

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