Dingo Safety Guide | K’gari (Fraser Island)
Dingoes play an important role as an apex predator in Australia, but you must always appreciate them from a distance and follow a few simple rules if in their habitat.
When touring in the outback and other areas of Australia — such as K’gari (Fraser Island) which has the purest strain of dingo in the country — it is very likely you will run into a dingo. The dingo (Canis lupus dingo) was introduced to Australia between 3000 and 8000 years ago and has been here long enough to be considered a native animal. They are our only native canine and play an important role as an apex predator, keeping natural systems in balance. They are a protected species and are found in all states and territories apart from Tasmania.
It is important to remember that a dingo is not like the family pet and deserves the same respect we show to all other wild, carnivorous animals. And although they have a natural fear of humans, they are unpredictable and can be aggressive, which is especially dangerous for small children. While local government and wildlife bodies do their part to ensure dingoes can’t penetrate camping areas and the like, to help keep you and your loved ones safe in areas where dingoes live, you must follow a few simple rules.
We recommend abiding by the below rules from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service:
1. Never feed or attempt to feed dingoes — to do so may earn you a bite, as well as a hefty fine. This is also an offence because it teaches dingoes to become reliant on humans for food and thus weakens their hunting abilities and they become more aggressive towards humans.
2. Don’t take food to lake shores and beaches where dingoes live — a picnic puts food at ‘dingo level’ and is hard to resist for an animal that is always on the lookout for an easy meal.
3. Don’t store food or food containers in tents when camping where dingoes live — keep it in strong, lockable containers and iceboxes (even on a boat) or in a closed vehicle. Leaving food in places that are accessible to dingoes — even accidentally — can also be fined.
4. Camp in fenced areas where possible if it’s known dingoes live in that area.
Dispose of all rubbish responsibly and keep a clean and tidy camp — secure all food scraps, fish and bait.
5. Always stay close to your children, even small teenagers — never let children sleep in a tent or camper trailer without adults or wander alone on tracks, lakes or beaches where dingoes may be present.
6. Stay alert in known dingo areas — walk in groups or carry a stick when walking alone. Always keep food in an airtight container.
7. Always keep a respectful distance — watch dingos quietly from a distance and never try to engage or interact with them.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service recommends the following when experiencing a potentially threatening encounter with a dingo.
If you feel threatened by a dingo:
- Stay calm
- Stand up to your full height
- Keep your arms close to your body
- Face the dingo
- Maintain eye contact
- Calmly back away to a safe area, such as a vehicle or fenced enclosure
- Do not run or wave your arms
If attacked, defend yourself aggressively. Dingoes are wild animals, not like domestic dogs. Strike the dingo with anything you can reach, such as a stick, backpack or coat. If you can, take note of identifying features such as ear tags (males in the left ear, females in the right) and any distinctive markings (white leg ‘socks,’ other fur patterns, injuries, etc.).
If you or someone else has been injured by a dingo, call Triple Zero (000) and get immediate medical help. For non-urgent medical attention, call 13 12 33.
At Hema Maps, we strive to provide the most comprehensive and accurate maps and guides for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Australia's natural wonders.
Did you find this information useful? If so, please share it with your fellow explorers. Whether it's by SMS, social media, or email, your friends and fellow adventurers will appreciate the valuable tips and insights we've shared.
Let's work together to make the most of every adventure.