Police say a missing couple are safe and well after their four-wheel drive became stuck while crossing a flooded river north of Cairns.

A missing couple walked 20km to raise the alarm after their four-wheel drive became stuck crossing a flooded river in remote far north Queensland, police say.

Kevin Bland, 51, and his partner, Denise Schumann, 42, of Cairns, sparked an air and ground search after failing to return to their Trinity Beach home on Saturday afternoon.

To the relief of their family, they called to say they were safe and well on Monday.

The pair’s Toyota FJ Cruiser got stuck in the flooded Mitchell River between Cooktown and Port Douglas, Cairns police search and rescue co-ordinator Sergeant Andrew Ibell says.

“The only information we have at this stage is that their vehicle became flooded while attempting a river crossing,” he told reporters in Cairns.

“On Saturday the river rose very quickly from two metres to six metres over a period of a number of hours.”

The pair walked up to 20km before alerting stockmen on a nearby cattle station.

They were being flown back to Cairns later on Monday.

Sgt Ibell says the incident is a warning to other motorists to think twice before crossing flooded rivers.

“And the main thing is if you’re travelling to these remote areas that you have a way to signal for distress.”