Walking is one of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of K’gari, slowly taking in the sights and sounds of the beaches, woodlands and rainforests.
Walkers carrying a stick, an umbrella or something similar, can use them to deter a wongari (dingo) from approaching, and in the event of a negative interaction may prevent serious injury from occurring.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service & Partnerships (QPWS&P) are now trialling the provision of re-useable walking sticks at strategic beach entrance visitor locations on K’gari, including Eurong, Happy Valley, Waddy Point and Kingfisher Bay. The sticks can be collected by visitors, utilised on their walk and then returned to a collection point bin ready for the next person to use.
Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation Community Rangers recently worked with QPWS&P staff to patiently prepare the specifically designed stickers for hundreds of safety sticks.
The sticks are ideal for keeping a healthy distance between an overly interested or potentially aggressive wongari (dingo) and the visitor. By waving the stick, hitting the ground, and making a lot of noise, the majority of wongari (dingoes) will be encouraged to move away.
These sticks are not intended to cause injury or harm to any wildlife, but to provide a barrier and a deterrent if needed.
By walking in groups, keeping children within arm’s reach and carrying a stick, visitors can ensure the safety to themselves, their families and the K’gari wongari.
Contributed by: Jenna Tapply, QPWS&P, NRM Community Engagement Ranger