Tourists warned after shock find at Aussie holiday hotspot

Authorities have shared important advice with K'gari visitors following the incident.

An Aussie mum has issued a warning for tourists at K'gari to "stay vigilant" after an unwanted intruder broke into her family's camper. The woman was on a week-long trip at the holiday hotspot with her family and said they'd taken all the necessary precautions.

"My partner has gone every year for 15 years and is super anal about packing things away," the mum of two told Yahoo News Australia, saying refrigerated food and a stainless steel pantry were stored in under the camper.

But it wasn’t enough to deter a hungry dingo from making his way in. In a series of images shared online, large holes can be seen in the lower section of the camper awning wall, a fully enclosed canvas and mesh, where the animal chewed through.

Beach on K'Gari; Hole in camper made by dingo
The family returned to their camper on Friday night to discover it had been bitten open by a dingo. Source: Facebook

The 42-year-old explained that you could even "see the outline of the teeth next to the hole" in the awning. "I only posted it because I was shocked the bugger tried that hard to get in and didn't take anything," she said.

Dingoes 'target bags'

The Sunshine coast family had been camping at the site, five kilometres north of the famed Maheno wreck, for five nights before the incident occurred. "It happened Friday night and we'd been there since Sunday," the mother said, before adding that they'd seen a couple of dingoes around.

"We watched them target bags left unattended at Waddy Point, and every morning and arvo the same few dingoes would cruise through but they usually just scoped it out and laid in the dunes to wait to see if you were going to leave or move on. Obviously one saw an opportunity since we weren't there at the time.

The woman believes the dingo had spotted her son's bag, which had nothing but clothes in it, and urged fellow visitors to "stay vigilant".

After the incident, the family made sure to keep all of the canvas down over the windows and zipped up. "Not much else to do really," she explained. "If they want in, they could dig in."

Hole in camper awning made by dingo; Close-up of teeth marks in awning
The mum said you could see the outline of the dingo's teeth next to the hole in the awning. Source: Facebook

Tent walls 'no protection' from dingoes

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Queensland's Department of Environment and Science explained that a dingo's nose is 14 times larger and its sense of smell is thousands of times more acute than ours, and even a tiny morsel of food left lying around a barbecue can attract them from quite a distance.

"Wongari (dingoes) are always on the prowl for food and will chew through or tear into anything — unsecured iceboxes, tents, thin plastic boxes, plastic bags — when following the scent of food," a spokesperson said. "Tent walls are no protection from wongari if they are following a food scent."

Guests on K'gari are encouraged to store food in secure metal or very thick plastic boxes, keep campsites tidy and wipe down tables and barbecues. Leaving food or rubbish available for wongari or any wildlife is also an offence and penalties apply.

"Wongari that lose their natural fear of humans will ignore threats and come close to people," the spokesperson added. "Habituated wongari expect food from everyone. Pups of habituated wongari may not be taught to hunt property."

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