Man mysteriously missing after car broke down in Australian outback

There are grave fears for a 27-year-old man missing in the Northern Territory outback after becoming separated from companions when their car broke down.

The car was travelling on an unmaintained track between Mataranka and Beswick, more than 400km southeast of Darwin, earlier this week.

A man and woman decided to walk to Beswick, a remote indigenous community which was 12km away, while the rest of their group stayed.

A map of the Northern Territory.
The man is said to be missing between Beswick and Mataranka. Source: Google Maps (file pic)

The woman arrived dehydrated and in poor physical condition but the man did not, Acting Superintendent Tanya Woodcock said.

A land search is underway for the Beswick man, described as Aboriginal, 165cm tall and wearing only dark shorts, no shirt and carrying a blue backpack.

Search conditions are difficult, with temperatures around 40 degrees.

"Local police and community had grave concerns for the wellbeing of the missing man ... this is a reminder for anyone lost in the bush to stay with your vehicle until help arrives," Supt Woodcock said.

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