Heavenly azure lakes, endless beaches, ancient rainforests, haunting moonlit nights and the soul-stirring howls of dingoes. Owooooo. Owooooo. We are camping on Fraser Island. A World Heritage site and the world’s largest sand island. Aborigines call it K’gari meaning Paradise.

dingo in our camp while camping on fraser island
Fraser Island is home to the native dingo.

Wanggoolba Creek Ferry Landing

We arrive on the late ferry and make our first camp at Central Station It’s the closest camp to the ferry landing. The sandy track takes us through the great diversity of plant life that is unique to Fraser Island. We drive through eucalyptus and scribbly gums forest, with red gums, smooth-barked apple and lemon-scented native flowers. The landscape morphs into a lush green rainforest of towering palm trees, kauri pines, fern trees and rare ferns. Our vehicle is dwarfed by mythical giant trees that flourish in the only place on earth where rainforest grows in sand.

rainforest fraser island
Driving through the rainforest

Fraser Island Camping

Camping is the best way to experience the raw, rugged and wild beauty of Fraser Island. From fenced campgrounds with facilities to unfenced remote camping, there’s something for every adventurer. With 45 campsites, visitors can choose to sit around a campfire meeting other campers or camp on a deserted beach they have all to themselves. Some of the more remote sites require self-sufficiency and planning in advance. Because it’s a World Heritage site vehicle access and camping permits are required.

Dingoes Fraser Island
Dingo pups visit our tent at the unfenced Wongai camp.

Central Station

Nestled in the rainforest, wooden stairs lead to our tent on a raised platform, surrounded by centuries-old forest and fallen logs covered in green moss. The birdlife, such as kookaburras and cockatoos are abundant. A few mosquitos buzz around, so don’t forget the insect repellent!

Our campsite and tent at central station while camping on Fraser Island
Our camp at Central Station

The fenced campground has toilet and shower facilities. There is also a separate area with tables and gas barbeques for day use. A great base if you want to explore the inland lakes or rainforest walking tracks. Some of the best walks on Fraser Island start from here. The boardwalk beside the crystal clear Wanggoolba Creek is the start of the 11 km walk to Lake McKenzie.

rainforest boardwalk
Some island walking tracks start from Central Station.

Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie is the most popular of the 40 lakes on the island. It looks exactly like it does in the travel brochures. The sandy beach is silky soft and the ice-blue water shimmers in the shallows and turns azure blue in the deeper part. It’s invigorating and refreshing and once in, it’s hard to get out! It gets busy here during the middle of the day, but a quiet spot can always be found. The lesser-known Lake Birrabeen is also pretty and you will probably have it to yourself as no tour buses visit here.

Fraser Island
Lake McKenzie

Wongai Camp

Our next camp is Wongai on the east side of the island near Eurong. Known as 75-mile beach, an expanse of pure white sand that stretches the entire length of the east side. This is the ‘highway’ as Fraser has no sealed roads.

dingos on fraser island
Most visitors hope to spot a dingo.

Wongai camp is a basic bush camp with no amenities, typical of most camps on the east side. We pitch our tent on the sand dunes that overlook the ocean. What a view! To top this off we see our first dingo while setting up camp. Most visitors to Fraser hope to see at least one dingo during their stay. We go to sleep listening to the crashing waves and the sneaky pitter-patter of paws that check out our camp…

Fraser Island sunrise
Sunrise at Wongai camp

We wake to a sunrise that illuminates the beach with an orange glow and a pack of dingoes with five pups frolic and play on the water’s edge. Wongai is definitely our favourite campsite while camping on Fraser Island!

dingo fraser island
Big brother

The pups have not long left their den and appear to be in the care of an older brother. He’s so gentle and the pups walk all over him. They spend the majority of their time with him. Their mum and dad appear on the sand dunes every now and again to check on them. When the pups see them they get so excited and rush over, they lick each other and howl. We watch in amazement at the greetings.

Dingos rest in the shade outside our tent on Fraser Island
Dingoes rest in the shade outside our tent.

Dingoes, like wolves, are social. They have a tawny coat with white feet (pure-breed dingoes have white feet and a tiny white tip on their tail). Their intense dark eyes show intelligence and cunning. Fraser Island dingoes are the purest strain of dingo in Australia. Their conservation is significant to the Island’s ecosystem.

Dingo pups sit outside our tent
Dingo pups outside our tent

Eli Creek

We travel further up the east coast to Eli Camp near Eli Creek. Once our tent is set up, we have a refreshing swim in the clear freshwater creek. Surrounded by overhanging paperbark eucalyptus and ferns the picturesque spring-fed creek is the largest freshwater creek on the island. When the tour buses arrive here it gets busy. Our camp is close, so we go for an early morning swim before the crowds arrive.

Eli Creek

White-bellied sea eagles, Pied oystercatchers, Crested terns, sandpipers and pelicans are but a few of the birds on the beach. Hundreds of mutton birds are washed up on the beach. Every year they migrate from Siberia to rookeries as far as Tasmania. Some years they fly into severe storms and fall into the ocean from sheer exhaustion. It’s sad to see but nothing can be done for them and we can only hope they recuperate and recover. It makes us think about the grueling and harsh journey these little birds make every year. They have incredible endurance and spirit.

mutton bird
An exhausted migrating mutton bird

Further up from Eli Creek, the Maheno wreck rests in the shallow waters. Once used as a hospital ship by New Zealand to transport wounded troops from Gallipoli during World War 1, it was washed ashore during a cyclone in 1935. Magnificent in its day, it’s now a rusty and disintegrating skeleton. We pass Dingoes searching and scavenging on the shoreline. Fraser Island is known for its great fishing and some hang around popular fishing spots in the hope of getting fish from the fishermen.

A dingo that was in our camp while camping on fraser island
A dingo takes an early morning walk on the shoreline.

Not far from Maheno wreck are The Pinnacles. Significant to the local Aboriginals, the coloured sands have formed over 1000s of years from minerals leached through the sand. To fully appreciate the rainbow of colours it’s best to visit here during the soft morning or afternoon light.

champagne pools at sunrise
Champagne Pools

The Champagne Pools

Further up is another natural wonder. A scenic boardwalk leads down to the bubbly pools. Depending on the tide, the waves crash or cascade over volcanic rocks creating a sparkling effect into shallow sandy pools. Because of rips, undertows, stingers and sharks, the pools are the only safe place to swim in the ocean on Fraser Island. The boardwalk above the pools loops around the rocks and there are great views of the Indian Headland. The Champagne Pools at sunrise the next morning are worth the early wake-up. The sun dips into the ocean leaving a pool of gold below and a pod of Humpback whales breach in in the distance.

view of indian head from champagne pools
View of the Indian headland from Champagne Pools

Marloo Camp

Our next camp is Marloo, about a 10-minute drive north of Waddy Point. We want to be close to Champagne Pools for sunrise. It’s windy here so we set our tent up behind the sand dunes for protection. The zipper on one of our tent screens snaps and it’s not until later when trying to sleep that the buzzing of mosquitos becomes unbearable. There’s no breeze behind the sand dunes, the stillness is stifling, made worse by the fact that we have the sheet over our heads to stop the mozzies from biting! Mozzie coils and insect spray don’t help.

Dingo footprint
Dingo footprint

In desperation, we drag the mattress down to the beach. The breeze keeps the mosquitoes away and we have a beautiful cool sleep under the stars. We wake in the morning and dingo footprints surround our mattress. Unknown to us they came and checked us out through the night…

dingo on the beach on fraser island
The dingoes make Fraser Island a unique place to visit.

West Coast

We drive the inland sandy track through the Northern Scenic Drive past pink bloodwood, banksia flowering with lemon-yellow spikey flowers, scribbly and blue gum trees. Our last camp is on the remote west coast of the island at Woralie Creek.

Dingo visits our tent
A dingo visits our tent.

We pitch our tent on the beach and it feels like a deserted island. The west coast is one of the best parts of our Fraser Island camping trip. The turbulent ocean, the salty breeze, the powdery white sand scattered with seashells and the sunsets are romantic. There are no amenities, but the creek is fresh water and sparkly clean for swimming.

fraser island camping and sunset on the west coast
Fraser Island camping

The only company we have is a dingo. We see dingo footprints in the sand and hear them howling in the bush at night but only one comes close to our camp. While camping on Fraser Island we are lucky that not only do we see the dingoes, but we also witness them socialising and interacting with each other. Fraser Island wouldn’t have the same attraction and charm without them. We hope many other people get to see this vanishing icon in the future.

dingo pup on fraser island
A lot of Fraser’s charm is about the dingoes.

Fraser Island is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in Australia. The raw beauty, sandy beaches, tropical rainforests, translucent lakes, wild dingoes, epic sunrises and sunsets make this island one of the world’s natural wonders.

West Coast sunset

Fraser Island Dingoes

Dingoes have a social hierarchy system. As with all wild animals, they have their own individual personalities. Some are more cunning, dominant, mischievous and playful than others. They have to feed themselves on an island where food is scarce, protect their pups and survive in a place overtaken by humans. People can avoid negative encounters if they act appropriately and follow the guidelines. While camping on Fraser Island we are in their territory and doing so should be at our own risk.

dingoes on fraser island
Fraser Island is their home.

Fraser Island was listed as World Heritage in 1992 and the State Government realised the money-making potential and took control. They implemented practices to control the dingoes so they wouldn’t be an inconvenience or nuisance to the growing number of visitors. The dingoes were living a happy and harmonious life on the island interacting with visitors and locals before this.

Management practices in the past and present include culling, hazing, ear tagging of puppies, shock collars, non-lethal poisoned baits, electrified grates, fences and euthanasia.

Demonised by the media and mismanaged by authorities the dingo population on Fraser Island is dwindling.

A vanishing icon...
A vanishing icon…
Read More of our Australia Blogs

The Complete Guide to Fraser Island
4 Blissful Days Camping on Whitehaven Beach

26 Responses to “Our Awesome 4 Day Fraser Island (K’gari) Camping Trip: Dingoes Visit Our Campsite!”

  1. Outstanding! It is so good to see someone sticking up for the much maligned Dingo. You show them as comparable to any other exotic species in danger of extinction. I agree, our native dog should be preserved, not considered a feral threat. Good on you! It is so easy to see your love of the animals you highlight. And obviously they return the empathy. Such a spectacular Island! You’ve certainly shown how to get the most out of a camping experience.

    • Ray & Sue

      Thanks for your comments again Marie. We love Fraser and we love camping. The two just go together! It is one of our favourite places in Australia. We have always had a soft spot for the Dingo and think they have been mismanaged and treated unfairly. We have so many animals in Australia that need preserving and the Dingo is one of them.

  2. Cheryl Bryant

    Thank you Ray and Sue for such a wonderful blog and beautiful photography, it only goes to prove that encounters with our FI dingoes can be a positive and inspiring experience.

    • Ray & Sue

      Cheryl we agree it can be a positive experience if you respect and treat them like the wild animals they are. Most people we spoke to said they hope to spot a Dingo during their visit. They are certainly the main attraction. Thanks for reading our blog and your lovely comment.

  3. What joy to see these photos of the dingoes on Fraser Island. Thankyou for sharing and updating us on your experience.

    • Ray & Sue

      Thanks for reading and commenting Marilyn. It was a great experience for us.

  4. Amazing photos and details about your stay on Fraser Island, the dingoes all look happy, healthy and relaxed which is great to see. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  5. Ray & Sue

    Nicola we had an amazing subject! Thanks so much for your comment.

  6. Gwen Turner

    WOW!!! Amazing photos and what an amazing time you must have had.

    • Ray & Sue

      Thanks Gwen it sure was an amazing experience. We love to hear your comments.

  7. Vicky Schell

    Absolutely amazing! inspires me to go back to Fraser Island! the dingoes are beautiful and I just hope there are still some left on Fraser Island next time I go!

    • Ray & Sue

      Hi Vicky. Thanks for your comments. We are glad to inspire you to go back to Fraser Island. Don’t leave it to long, because the population of Dingoes are dwindling!

  8. Jesse Wachner

    Beautiful photo’s! Really shows people the humble nature of dingoes. I’ve never been to Fraser Island before but these photos are absolutely breath taking. Looks like the perfect place to relax!

    • Ray & Sue

      Thanks for your comments Jesse. Fraser Island is a beautiful place for nature & relaxation. One place to have on your list!

  9. Michael Lambie

    Fabulous images with many taking a very unique perspective compared to those you typically see… or I could just say WOW!

    Thanks so much for your assistance with our trip to Australia this November. Hopefully we’ll have a bit of luck with the Dingoes ourselves.

    • Ray & Sue

      Thanks Michael. Any other questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

  10. century campers

    The dingo’s so cute. Are there still many of them? The place is quite an uplift though.

    • Ray & Sue

      Chris, they certainly are cute! They are still around, and you will see them for sure if you camp for a few days. We went in November and the pups were leaving the dens and gaining their independence, so there were a few around. Fraser is beautiful and one of our favourite places to camp in Queensland.

  11. Hi Ray and Sue,

    I came across your blog the other day and oh wow, you have the most stunning photos of dingoes!! They are so gorgeous, how lucky were you that you got to be so close to them!!

    We recently went to Fraser and I only saw one measly dingo. I would have loved to see more and see them up close like you did. What time of the year did you go? And did you see more on the west coast or around the eastern beach?

    I’ve looked at your dingo photos a few times now, so jealous. 🙂 They are just beautiful!!

    • Ray & Sue

      Hi Kati.Thank you so much. We had some of the best subjects ever! We went in November which was a good time as the dingo pups were leaving their dens and gaining independence. Though they are more scarce now because of the mismanagement of them, we found Wongai camp was one of the best places. A pack of them live in the bush behind the camp. We hope this helps and good luck for next time!

      • We spoke with a ranger while we were there at Christmas and he said that there are some 200 dingoes on the island at present. But apparently they’re not real keen on all the noise (who can blame them) so they weren’t as visible as at other times.

        November sounds like a much better time to go! 🙂 We spent a lot more time up in the north so maybe we’ll need to stay around Wongai next time.


        • The figure the ranger gave you is more than likely a historical figure. The dingoes are declining due to the treatment of them from authorities that include culling, hazing, shock collars and non-lethal baits. Once they would be more out and about no matter how many people on the island. They possibly now have a fear of humans due to their treatment from the rangers.

          Anyhow, we wish you luck for your next visit. It is an amazing experience to have a pack of dingoes living in your camp!

  12. Hello Ray and Sue, was really nice to see some great photos of fraser island, we are doing a post on top 10 things to do in fraser island, can i use some of your pictures in our article.. i will reference your pictures in our blog as well..

    is that ok?


    • Ray & Sue

      Hi Ben. Thanks! Yes of course you can use them. Let us know the link to your post. We would love to see it.

  13. Seymour Balling

    Looks stunning! Camping fraser island is definitely somewhere we would love to visit!

  14. Robert Onfray

    Hello Ray and Sue. You have some great photos of the dingoes! And I love your candid discussion of your interaction and experience with them.

    I will be writing a story about the “dingo dilemma” on Fraser Island as a sidelight to my book on the forestry history of Fraser Island.

    Can I have permission to use some of your dingo photos in that story (and in my book) please? I will of course attribute the photos to yourselves and happy to provide a link to your website. Kind Regards Robert.


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