My partner and I were now engaged to be married and living together, so the next obvious life stage was to invest in camping equipment and hit the great outdoors.
Next stop – K’gari (Fraser Island). Having already experienced a convenient dingo enclosed camping site like Central Station (with all the nice amenities), it was time to be wild and adventurous and beach camp on the open eastern 75 Mile Beach. With permits in hand, we found a lovely spot over a mound with amazing sea views, no one in cooee, and plenty of shade from the beach she-oak trees.
We set up camp with our tent, fly screened gazebo tent, gas BBQ, table & chairs, bedding, food, esky & drinks, check check! Argh the serenity, and how amazing we were beach camping like real experienced K’gari (Fraser Island) campers, AND we had the Toyota Hilux to prove it (back in the day if you didn’t drive a Hilux or Prado on Australia’s largest sand island you just weren’t serious).
This being only my third visit to K’gari (Fraser Island), I was still learning both about the island and how to successfully camp there. So it was time for the serious talk about the dingoes. My partner who had grown up in Hervey Bay and was a regular to the island explained that they aren’t dogs, they are protected wild wolves. You can’t feed them, it’s against the law and actually causes trouble to both them (natural behaviours)& us (makes them seek human interaction and become dangerous). All food and rubbish must be locked in the car at all times. Even when we had our rubbish up high in the back of the Hilux (tail gate open) while we were sitting a couple of metres away, sure enough at dusk a small pack of wolves sussed out that car real close and were not scared off by us at all!
So with all our preparations done, there was nothing more to do than relax and enjoy this very special experience. That was until the morning arrived and like most people, we needed a loo, but it was the one thing we had forgot to pack! Quickly needing a solution, one of us jumped in the Hilux and 4WD’d up the beach a few km’s to the public toilets at Eurong. Easy and comfortable, no problem. The other person who was happy to honour true bush camping instead insisted on digging a hole far yonder from the campsite.
All sorted, everyone was happy and relaxed, enjoying a cuppa reflecting on how lucky we were to be there as we planned the day ahead.
But as I looked up, I was startled once again by the sand island’s wolf, a dingo followed by another was running right past us. But not stopping this time to suss out what opportunities there might be at our camp site, they instead already had something in their mouth and were on a mission! I thought what was all that white paper hanging out of their mouth? Oh no holy poo, we then realised they had dug the bush dunny and were pretty happy with their morning tea. That was a lesson I didn’t expect to learn!
PS. This is actually a serious problem for K’gari (Fraser Island) with too many campers leaving their waste to spoil the environment, always use a loo & lock up your food and rubbish.
Dingoes – everyone wants to spot K’gari’s most wild wolf inhabitants and there’s every chance you will. Just like us they love to travel, swim, and spend a lot of time on the beach often walking up to 40 kilometres a day. K’gari dingoes are protected and unlike domestic dogs they don’t bark but howl like wolves. They are most active at dawn and dusk when they hunt for food alone or in small packs. There is estimated to be around 25 to 30 packs on K’gari, each containing 3 to 12 dingoes.
To protect our dingoes and keep all visitors safe, we ask you to follow a few safety precautions:
- Always stay within arm’s reach of children.
- Always walk in groups.
- Never feed dingoes (this is an offence).
- Secure all food and rubbish, especially when camping.
- Watch them from a distance.