The Department of Environment and Science has reopened two camping areas and two beach camping zones on K’gari (Fraser Island), just in time for the upcoming school holidays.
Acting Regional Director Stephen Price said the camping areas were temporarily closed due to inappropriate behaviour by visitors and residents, who were feeding or interacting with wongari (dingoes).
“The closures have helped prevent negative interactions between people and dingoes, and I’m pleased to say camping areas are ready to go,” he said.
“Camping Zones 4 and 5, from Happy Valley to Eli Creek and Eli Creek to The Pinnacles are open, while the Wathumba campground and Teebing camping area are scheduled to reopen on June 30.
“Rangers have conducted regular patrols during the closure, and whilst wongari activity in the Eli Creek area and Wathumba has been low, visitors and residents are reminded to be vigilant and be dingo-safe.
“We are coming into wongari whelping season. There are dens around the Eli Creek area, and I’d like to remind people that wongari can become aggressive during whelping season.
“Any visitors to the island or residents are urged to keep their distance from all wongari.
“Rangers will be conducting regular patrols across the island during the holidays, to remind residents and visitors to be dingo-safe.”
The following camping areas which were closed for wongari management purposes, are now open, or will open soon:
- Beach camping zone 4 – Guluri and Eli
- Beach camping zone 5 – Maheno and Wahba
- Wathumba camping area (June 30)
- Teebing (Wathumba spit) camping area (June 30)
Mr Price said people planning on visiting the island should check the Department’s park alerts page, and camping area bookings can be made online.
“People can also find our dingo-safe messaging online, and I encourage everyone who is booking a camping area to read it,” he said.
“Rangers take a zero-tolerance approach to people who deliberately or inadvertently feed or interact with dingoes, and an on the spot fine of $2135 can be issued.
“If you’re planning on visiting or camping on the island, please don’t feed the wongari and don’t entice them for selfies or close-up photos.
“We are about to enter tailor season and as past years have shown, the area between Eli Creek and the Maheno are the place to be during the tailor run.
“Fishers are reminded to bury fish frames and discarded bait at least 50cm deep, and be aware that wongari may try to steal bait and fish as they are being reeled in.
“Dingoes on K’gari are not starving and have access to plenty of natural food. Feeding dingoes can result in the animals becoming habituated, and they can lose their natural wariness of people.”