Dingos on Fraser Island

Submitted: Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 13:50
ThreadID: 133801 Views:2838 Replies:14 FollowUps:3
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Hi all, looking for some feedback from people who have been to Fraser Island, particularly with kids.
We are contemplating a trip up there next January for 2 weeks but reading the info on Queensland National Parks site about Dingos on the Island, they make it sound like you take your life in your own hands by going there, especially with kids and my wife is a bit concerned. They say never let kids or small teenagers out of arms reach. Now, I love my kids,(will be 9 and 12 when we're planning to go) as does everyone, but to not be able to let them out of arms reach for 2 weeks is a bit much.
So, is it really that bad or just something to be aware of???
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Reply By: spanner1969 - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 14:54

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 14:54
Hi Shane,
Funny but I feel I heard this story before, I had the same questions now some months ago. Some comments you are hearing are for you to be careful not scared by any stretch.
We went for 7 days in Aug this year, we saw lots of dingo tracks especially on the main beach but didn't see a dingo in 7 days. Noting yes you need to be careful as they are around and are scavengers but take a stick where ever you go just in case.
We walked up the sand hill at Cathedral beach, this took two hours return and no dingos were seen. Make sure you book if staying in school holidays its a little busy and take as much food in as you can, not cheap to buy food/grog as everything is trucked in.
We had a ball and will return when time permits, go and enjoy its truly spectacular if you haven't been before that is.

Paul
AnswerID: 606058

Reply By: Genny - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:08

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:08
Dingoes on Fraser can and have killed children before. Rarely, but it is a possibility. Even adults have been harassed. This is a possibility in any area where dingoes have been conditioned to not fear man. Google on the subject. The wikipedia article below has some metion of dingo attacks generally, and does mention some, including the fatal attack on a nine year old on Fraser Island.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingo_attack
AnswerID: 606059

Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:31

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:31
I reckon there would be a greater chance of you having a car accident and one of the kids getting hurt than getting bit by a dingo. Just be aware they are there and follow the advice on the signs. Cant keep kids wrapped up in cotton wool all the time but you can set them straight on what they need to know to enjoy their holiday and behave in appropriate manner with regards to the island. Like everything else...there is a risk...negating the likely hood of this risk is the trick. Whatever you do...do not leave food scraps or fish frames around and ensure the kids stick together when walking on beach or at camp. Carrying a stick isnt a bad idea. Go and enjoy the place.Tens of thousands do every year without incidence.
AnswerID: 606060

Follow Up By: oetkb - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 17:02

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 17:02
Pretty much what big fish said, at 9 and 12 I would assume you're kids are able to be worded up about dingos and be able to wander around the camp site/beach etc in relative safety. A stick is always a good idea and making sure the kids aren't walking off with food in their hands or pockets is probably a good idea too. Personally I was more worried about all the vehicles flying along the beach than I was the dingos.
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Reply By: Simon C7 - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:58

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:58
I was up there in June this year at Orchid Beach. They were coming up to and in to the shed we were in (one pulled on my sleeping bag at 2.30 in the morning). They were also on the beach digging up fish frames (Stupid rule they have with having to bury fish waste)...so my experance with them is that there are a few, and I would not trust them. They would also come down to where we were fishing, and wonder around. There are fenced camp grounds which are safer. Just be aware on the beach or where ever you are with the kids. It is a beautiful place, and I am going back next June. Do be put off...but just be mindful of your surrounds wheather with kids or not.
AnswerID: 606061

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:59

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 15:59
Hi Shane,

We live on the Sunshine Coast and visit Fraser Island often.

Our first visit with our son who had his 4th birthday on the island was in 1984 when the dingos were not an acknowledged problem. Even so, one was standing a few metres from our camp watching our 4yo and from that moment our son was never more than a metre from us!

Since then they have become more pesky and less afraid of humans so we always camp in one of the fenced campgrounds. This link will identify the National Park campgrounds with dingo deterrent fences. We prefer Cathederals on Fraser, the only private fenced campground which has excellent shower and toilet facilities and a shop.

The only direct problem we have experienced was a couple of years ago when I foolishly left a 50 litre plastic box with a clip-on lid outside. It contained mostly canned food and packet soups. Overnight it had been carried about 10 metres then dragged a further 10 metres. The upper lip was broken where the dingo teeth held it and the lid removed. No-one could now convince me that a dingo would be incapable of carrying a baby (re Azaria Chamberlain)

Take appropriate care and you should have no problem. Keep watch and do not turn your back to a dingo. On no account run away as it will more likely attack.

Fraser Island is a delightful place. Enjoy your visit.
Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 606062

Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 16:25

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 16:25
The rangers are more concerned about you approaching the dingos than the reverse, as the animals lose their fear of humans and that's when trouble happens. The fences are all about that.

Just follow the official advice.
AnswerID: 606063

Reply By: dad1340 - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 16:42

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 16:42
Shane, use a little homework and common sense, read all the NPWS notes and have fun.
Life can be a form of mathematics, car fatalities, disease, plane crashes, shark attack, drowning etc etc all are a much higher probability than Dingo attack.

I won't delve into some correlated research facts on Fraser 'attacks' and subsequent slaughter of Dingos, just to say there is always reasons.
Just keep an eye on the Kids and lock up your Tucker. Ice Boxes are easy to open for this smart animal and we watched as a bitch jumped up on a Ute at Wathumba and popped the clip on an Engel - easy

My first trip to Fraser was on the West Coast in the 70's when the kids were little and been going back fairly regularly up to 2015. The Kids now take their kids and we all love the experience as yours will.

The East Coast is far too touristy for us. We stayed at Eurong Resort for the ANZAC show last year but missed the camping. Do your research and you'll be fine.
Low pressures, Low speeds and plenty of Bushmans .... Oh and lots of photos.

Enjoy

Cheers

dad
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AnswerID: 606064

Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 17:01

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 17:01
We have not long returned from Fraser. Spent 7 days camping on the eastern beach, but travelled all over the island as well. Did not see one dingo the entire time !!! The trip before some years ago, we might have seen perhaps 4 or 5.

I think it is the old story - be alert, not alarmed. Set some ground rules and boundaries with your kids. Make them fully aware of the risks and dangers involved.

We made sure we left nothing out that might attract dingoes, we closed our camper kitchen nightly and cleaned everything up regularly, particularly putting rubbish in bags and not leaving them anywhere a dingo could find etc.
AnswerID: 606066

Reply By: gbc - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 18:31

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 18:31
I was there recently again. I don't know what the parkies have done to them but I didn't see one for the first time since the 70's.
Treat dingos with respect and caution when they are around, especially during whelping season in spring. I and members of my family have all had run ins with individuals and groups of them over the years. Do not assume they behave like dogs - they don't. I have been taking my kids there each year for the last 10 but we are dingo aware and certainly have rules about wandering off as I would suggest you do. The npws has a simple brochure which will bring you up to speed.
AnswerID: 606068

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 08:15

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 08:15
Two years ago the Parks thinking was that too-friendly dingos should get the bullet, a tactic they'd studied as used with bears in Yellowstone.

Maybe they've gone ahead.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 08:23

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 08:23
I don't doubt it mate. Fraser's dingos have been subject to ever changing and piss poor management by the parkies for years. Shoot the knobs who feed them and treat them like pets and results will start to happen.
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FollowupID: 875823

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 21:01

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 21:01
Shane
The last Dingo attack I remember being publicised in capital city media on Fraser Island was my daughter's Year 10 school excursion which would be about 7-8 years ago. My daughter said it was blown out of total proportion, from memory the Dingo was destroyed.

Mark


AnswerID: 606071

Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 21:44

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 21:44
Shane,
We visited Fraser Island many years ago with my two children. It was probably in the late 1990's. I think my daughter was playing some distance from us when she was approached by a dingo which managed to take her hat from her hand. Of course we chased the dingo away and I think we got the hat back. Obviously that was many years ago but it certainly gave us a good indication as to what dingos are capable of. Again it is probably not the dingos fault but rather the tourists who in the past have treated them like domestic dogs which of course they are not. My advice would be to take care, however Fraser Island is certainly worth a visit.
Remember to lower your tyre pressures on the sand. It makes your travels so much easier.
Robert
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AnswerID: 606072

Reply By: Tony H15 - Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 21:48

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 at 21:48
Dingos are definitely something to be aware of - remember Azaria? There have been a number of cases on Fraser where dingos have gone after kids.
AnswerID: 606073

Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 18:36

Tuesday, Nov 22, 2016 at 18:36
There are a whole pile of facets to this issue.

1/ dingoes are very very smart and crafty ........ that kid who had their hat stolen ..... the dingo was not after the hat ....... they are wild animals and have absolutely no concept of right and wrong ...... if they think they can get a food item including you or your child they will give it a go. If they think they can do it they will take on prey much bigger vthan themselves

2/ there are a lot of people who have no idea of putting lids on stuff, putting away and cleaning up straight away ....... these people have a very high chance of having problem.

3/ dingoes or no dingoes, ya just don't let ya kids wander around unsupervised in a place you do not know and have no idea of the hazards that may be around.
Do ya thing there is a fence and a permit system that keeps theves and pedophiles off the island

cheers
AnswerID: 606104

Reply By: Batt's - Friday, Nov 25, 2016 at 19:33

Friday, Nov 25, 2016 at 19:33
Having never been there with my child I've never had any trouble but the wife insists she is escorted to the loo at night especially when you can hear them moving around the campground at night. If an area looks suspicious don't go there if playing or walking stay together or near other family groups like they do at eli creek.

http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/fraser/dingo-interactions.html
AnswerID: 606221

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