Molly has guts. She can also think quickly, and she has confidence in the choices she makes. She assesses the situation at Moore River Native Settlement and immediately decides she and her cousins should leave. Because she is a natural leader, Molly easily persuades the other two girls to escape with her the next day. In the weeks that follow, she is able to encourage and inspire the two younger girls with her determination. Molly is blessed with excellent navigational skills. It takes weeks for her to find the rabbit-proof fence, but she never doubts her ability to do it. She also has good organizational skills and bushcraft, or wilderness skills. She knows how to establish comfortable campsites each night. For example, she finds a burrow to sleep in and notices that it faces east, meaning the girls will be protected from a west-advancing storm.
Gracie's character seems less strong than Molly's. At one point she is described as "trying rather feebly" not to think about food. She is not as sure as Molly that the trek to Jigalong is a good idea; she's harder to motivate than Daisy, and she complains when things become difficult. When the girls are about two-thirds of the way home, Gracie impetuously leaves to find her mother—an ill-considered choice.
Daisy is young enough that she trustingly accepts Molly as her guide. She is easily frightened, but becomes braver as the trek advances. Close to the end of the journey, she even chases away an intruder by throwing rocks at him. For a girl her age, Daisy has good reflexes and hunting skills. She's curious and asks Molly a lot of questions.