Further campground closures on K’gari

Issued: 5 Feb 2021

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) has closed two campgrounds on K’gari (Fraser Island) following recent incidents between wongari (dingo) and people.

Regional Director Mick Cubis said the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) had closed Wathumba campground, Teebing (Wathumba Spit) camping area and Wathumba Road until February 28.

“We’re taking this action now to reduce the potential for further negative interactions and ensure the long-term viability of the wongari population on K’gari,” Mr Cubis said.

“This will have long-term benefits for our iconic natural ecosystems and tourism, with many people coming to K’gari hoping to see or get long-range photographs of the wongari.

“Unfortunately, some day visitors and campers in the Wathumba area have been deliberately or inadvertently feeding the wongari or interacting with them for selfies.

“Some wongari at Wathumba have lost their natural wariness of people and have been loitering around campers and day visitors or seeking food.

“Unfortunately, some residents and visitors to the island are directly impacting on the wongari natural role in the ecosystem, which increases the risk of negative interactions.”

Mr Cubis said K’gari is one of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations, with campgrounds almost fully booked for Easter.

“Unfortunately, Wathumba and Teebing are the sixth campgrounds to be temporarily closed on K’gari, after four campgrounds were temporarily closed in September last year,” he said.

“Those campgrounds were closed for safety reasons in September and aren’t scheduled to be reopened until June 30.

“During K’gari’s COVID-19 closure, wongari across the island quickly grew accustomed to the absence of people and continued to source their own, natural food.

“Since the island reopened, we have seen a return to the thoughtless and potentially dangerous behaviour of some day visitors, campers and residents.

“I’d like to remind all people on the island that anyone who breaks the wongari laws can expect a hefty fine or to appear in court.”

“Tour group operators, campers and residents have been supplying information and photos about wongari offences to QPWS.

“Rangers also check social media posts to determine whether people have been interacting or feeding the wongari.”

Current campgrounds temporarily closed on K’gari:

  • Wathumba
  • Eli
  • Maheno
  • Guluri
  • Wahba.

DES reminds people to remain vigilant and report any negative dingo encounters to a QPWS ranger or phone 07 4127 9150 or email dingo.ranger@des.qld.gov.au as soon as possible.

For people with camping bookings over the closure period, a booking change, refund or system credit will be available via the online booking system.