Australia tourist information on accommodation, tours, cheap flights and car hire. Accommodation | International Flights | Domestic Flights | Tours | Travel Insurance | Car Hire | Visas | Shopping | Dating | Humour
follow Amazing Australia on Facebook

Dingo attacks

Dingoes are usually shy and will keep away from people, but in some places, mainly Fraser Island, people have been feeding them against all advice and regulations, and they have got used to people and at times become aggressive, mainly when they are hungry. Don't let the stories below put you off from visiting Fraser Island, it is one of Australia's most spectacularly beautiful places, and considering the fact that around 400,000 people visit the sland every year the chance of actually having a negative experience with a dingo is pretty small.

Dinky, the singing dingo

As you can see above, dingoes have some awesome jaws. Fortunately this is a friendly dingo having a bit of a yawn after a singing performance at Stuart’s Well Roadhouse, also known as Jim’s Place, 100 km south of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway. Whenever the piano is played at Jim's place, Dinkie jumps up on the piano, plays some four pawed notes and howls along with the tune.

Ayers Rock, Northern Territory, August 1980

the dingo lives in the outback of mainly queensland, northern territory and west australia
Photo courtesy of

On August 17, 1980 the Chamberlain family went camping at Ayres Rock. This turned into the camping trip from hell when nine weeks old baby Azaria disappeared from the tent. Mother Lindy claimed a dingo had dragged the baby away but (as this had never happened before) authorities did not believe her and after two years of courtcases convicted her to life imprisonment for the murder of her daughter, father Michael was convicted of being an acessory to murder. Three years later another inquiry overturned the sentence and they were released from jail. All sorts of wild theories had developed around this case, including the baby having been sacrificed in a religious ritual. The whole scenario was later made into a book and movie, Evil Angels, starring Meryl Streep and they did various book deals with publishers to bring their side of the story to the world. The case also led to a multitude of dingo jokes ( what do you call a baby in a pram at Ayres Rock? Meals on wheels) and T-shirts doing the rounds and the cartoonist Wicking had a field day drawing dingo cartoons in the Northern Territory News. Recent attacks by dingos on tourists and children, particularly on Fraser Island, support the claim made by Lindy all those years ago. Lindy Chamberlain told her version of the story in her 1990 autobiography, Through My Eyes, which is now being turned into a movie.

A new twist to the story...

In July 2004 an elderly Melbourne man claimed he knew what had happened that fateful night. 78 year old Frank Cole told reporters that he and three mates were camping at Uluru in 1980 when he went out with his rifle to shoot some food for his dog. Around dusk he thought he saw a rabbit in the bush and shot it, to find he had shot a dingo that had a baby in his mouth. He then took the baby, which had several puncture wounds to her head and an ear missing, back to his mates. As the guys had broken several laws having a gun in the park and having shot a dingo, they decided that two would drive back to Melbourne with the gun and the other two would talk to the police and tell them they had hit the dingo on the road and discovered the baby in its mouth. The two, however, never did talk to police and as time passed on, all the men died one by one. This left Frank Cole as the sole survivor, who now wanted to tell his story before he would die too, taking this mystery to the grave with him. He thought one of the other men might have buried the baby in his backyard in Melbourne. The current owner of the house was driven nuts by journalists banging on his door and another possible house yard where the body could be could not be dug up as the site was now occupied by a large block of units. Police are investigating his claims, the police man that was on duty on the fateful night said there were a few holes in Frank's story, Lindy's lawyers of the time seemed to believe him, but Lindy herself did not. The plot thickened even more when it was reported on the TV show 'A current affair' in July 2004 that Azaria could still be alive and Lindy was investigating a claim that a fair skinned woman in her twenties was living with Aborigines in the central Australian desert.

Yet another twist...

In August 2005, 25 year old Alice Springs woman Erin Horsburgh contacted her local newspaper the Centralian Advocate with the message that she is Azaria Chamberlain!
She claims she was found by an Aboriginal man, passed to an Aboriginal woman and then handed on to a white woman. Also she says her skin bears dingo teeth scars, and she has frequent dingo nightmares and a family resemblance. Both police and the Alice Springs locals found her story a bit hard to believe but Erin insists on a DNA test to prove her claims. It was reported in the media that Erin wanted money for her story but she contacted us with a strongly worded email that this was not the case and she simply wanted people to know the truth. So we invited her to tell her story but have not heard from her again.

Fraser Island, May 2001

dingoes on fraser island
Photo by Rob Lapaer of Rainforest Hideaway B&B, Cape Tribulation, N.Qld.
Dingoes on the road on Fraser island

Another camping trip from hell occurred on Fraser Island where in May 2001 a dingo attack killed nine year old Brisbane boy Clinton Gage . The boy's seven-year-old brother was also bitten in the attack, but survived the ordeal.
The brothers were walking near the Waddy Point camping ground when they were attacked by two dingoes after the nine-year-old boy tripped over. By the time the boys' father reached the scene the nine-year-old had died. After this incident it came in the news that as many as 500 people had been bitten by dingoes on Fraser Island over the last few years and many people called for a culling of dingoes but rangers only shot some of the dingoes thought responsible for the attack and some others that ventured into camping areas a bit too much.

Fraser Island, March 1997

In March 1997, a five-year-old boy was attacked by two dingoes only eight metres away from where his parents were sitting. He was attacked by one dingo and pinned to the ground by the second one which mauled him on the lower left leg and groin.

Fraser Island, January 1998

Eye witness account:

My girlfriend and me were swimming in Lake McKenzie when she decided to head back to shore. I was somewhere in the middle of the lake when I saw in the distance how there were lots of people running around her on the beach. When I got back to the tent later I asked her what all the commotion was and she said that as soon as she got out of the water a dingo came up behind her and bit her in the calf muscle, nothing too serious but enough to scare the hell out of her, luckily other people witnessed the event and ran over which scared the dingo away.

Story by Rob Lapaer who now runs Rainforest Hideaway B&B in Cape Tribulation

Fraser Island, March 1998

In March 1998, 25 year old Pommie backpacker Sarah Chillands was attacked by a dingo while she stood at the water's edge with a friend. She started running to the camp site, but the dingo got her and knocked her to the ground, ripping off her shorts and biting her legs. She was treated at the local hospital.

Fraser Island, April 1998

In April 1998, in a scenario very similar to the famous Azaria story, a 13-month old girl was grabbed and dragged from a picnic blanket at the Waddy Point camping area by a dingo. The girl was dropped when her father intervened.

Fraser Island, August 1998

In August 1998, a four-year-old boy was rushed to the Hervey Bay Hospital after being attacked by a dingo.

Fraser Island, February 1999

In February, 1999, two young dingos attacked a 63 year old German woman as she was sun bathing on the beach at Fraser Island's Lake McKenzie.After the attack she was flown to Hervey Bay Hospital with bites to the shoulder, buttocks and legs.

Fraser Island , November 2004

Belinda and David Corke from Brisbane were on holidays at Kingfisher Bay resort on Fraser Island with their 5 year old daughter Georgia and 14 week old baby Scarlett. She was in the bathroom when she heard Georgia scream. Kids do tend to do a bit of screaming anytime but the severity of the scream made her go to the children's bedroom to investigate and she found a dingo in the room that had pushed open an unlocked door. She tried to shoo the dingo away but got scared when the dingo stood its ground. Belinda believes the dingo would have gone for the baby if it had not been for Georgia alerting them with her screams.
Rangers later found the dingo and caught it and put it down with a lethal injection.

Fraser Island, April 2007

A four year old girl was playing close to her family on the beach near the township of Eurong, on the eastern side of the island, when a dingo attacked her and bit her on the thigh, buttocks and lower back.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers identified the animal and destroyed it in line with Fraser Island's Dingo Management Strategy, this was the third dingo attack on the island in nine months.

Fraser Island, January 2011

A Korean woman was bitten on the leg, hands and arms at Eurong Beach early on Sunday morning by a dingo. There were four more in the pack but fortunately only one was aggressive.
Although she had multiple bites none of them were serious enough to be taken to hospital and she was treated at the scene.


Have you been bitten by a dingo or know of a dingo attack? Then tell us!

Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the User Agreement for this website
Contact us | Advertise on this site | Link to this site |Add your photos or stories to this site | Webmasters | Affiliates