Detective Inspector Russell Halfpenny said the man apparently armed himself with a knife from the woman’s kitchen when she arrived home in suburban Kallangur, north of Brisbane, before stabbing her in the face, chest and legs.
She is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
Neighbours rushed to her aid after hearing her screams.
One neighbour and others tried to help her before paramedics arrived.
“She was kind of in and out,” he said.
“She wasn’t very good, so we were just kind of trying to stop the bleeding and wait for the ambulance.”
The woman was rushed to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, where Insp Halfpenny said doctors had deemed her injuries serious but not life-threatening.
She is undergoing assessment to determine if she requires surgery.
Insp Halfpenny declined to comment on whether the man and the woman knew each other.
“At this point in time we have a number of leads, we are fairly confident we will resolve the matter fairly quickly,” he said.
The dog squad had been called in to track the man, following his scent before losing it, Insp Halfpenny said.
The woman’s house remains a crime scene as forensic officers comb the area for clues.
Neighbours told Nine News the woman told them a man with a black hoodie attacked her, but Insp Halfpenny declined to give a description of the offender.
He appealed for anyone with dashcam or CCTV footage from the area around the time of the attack to come forward.
He said the woman had given them a brief version of events.
“She’s given us a very limited story, a very limited statement, we’ll have to wait until she’s had further treatment before we can speak with her again,” he said. Anyone with information is asked to urgently contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000