Sydney women Thelma Walker and Pam Law were among only a few customers and staff who survived the gunman's initial onslaught at the Broad Arrow cafe, where 20 people died.
Last night, they were in Royal Hobart Hospital recovering from shrapnel wounds. The pair, who work as puppeteers to entertain children with cancer, owe thier lives the their tour guide Peter Crosswell, who was shot as he lay on top of the women and played dead to trick the gunman.
Mr Crosswell, the coordinator of the Tasmanian Camp Quality, spoke yesterday about the horror of the scene.
"We were sitting in the restaurant just going to eat lunch when I heard three loud bangs which I recognised as gunshots," he said.
"I leapt up, walked to the front door of the restaurant, this guy walked in with long blond hair and shot dead the guy sitting at the nearest table. Then he shot everyone at the table.
"I jumped on the two women and held them to the floor and told them to lay dead-still. I could see the feet of the guy as he walked around the room and just proceeded to shoot everybody.
"He walked across the room past us into the serving area where I heard more gunshots and then came back and shot at myself and the two ladies and thankfully missed that time.
"He then walked up to somebody was still alive who yelled, 'no, no' and then shot him.
"Another person was also moving nearby, screaming. He walked up and shot her. He walked back past us, I thought he was going to kill us and he went to the door where he hesitated for 15 second and then reloaded the gun and went outside."
Mr Crosswell said he went to the back door and could hear more gunfire. He then saw the gunman get into a car.
He went back inside, helped Mrs Walker and Mrs Law out the back of the building and told them to hide in the bushes. He then returned to the scene of the carnarge to see if you could help other victims.
"I walked back inside, I could see two other people alive," he said.
"Everyone else had horrific head wounds and were obviously dead. There was not much I could do."
Mr Crosswell said the only reason the three survived was that, unlike the panic of others in the restaurant, they did not move.
"That's the only rational reason I can think of why we lived," he said.
"We were very lucky. I don't know why he did not come back to shoot us. Those memories will be with me forever.
Judy Walker, who flew to Hobart to be with her mother, said she was in good spirits but remained in shock.
"They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.