(07) 4082 7470

Are There Dingoes In Cairns?

Author Image
Gabby Boucher
Updated Tue 01 Aug 2023

Australia is famous for its unique wildlife. From fuzzy koalas to bouncy kangaroos, to colourful birds and ancient reptiles, Australia's wildlife is incredibly special. Australia's most famous mammal may be the dingo. Dingoes are gorgeous wild dogs that serve as the main land-dwelling predator in the food chain. These dogs are majestic, and they are one of many unique creatures that are endemic to Australia. 

This article will answer the question: "Are there dingoes in Cairns?". Cairns is a vibrant city in northern Queensland that is surrounded by wildlife-rich rainforests and coral reefs. You can see so much wildlife in Cairns, so it's only natural to wonder whether or not you can see dingoes in Cairns. Here is a brief overview of dingoes including what they are, where they live, and where you can see them in and around Cairns

Dingo on K'gari (Fraser Island)

What Are Dingoes?

Dingoes are Australian wild dogs that are supposedly descended from South East Asian wolves. Dingoes are thought to have arrived in Australia around 4,000 years ago, and today they are the largest carnivorous mammals in the country. They play a crucial role in Australia's habitat, history, and indigenous culture. 

These medium-sized wild dogs usually have sandy brown or red fur and pointed ears. Dingo populations began to change during European settlement, as domestic dogs often breed with wild dingos. So there are lots of hybrid wild dogs around Australia. But the purest breeds of wild dingos can be found near the Outback and on K'gari (Fraser Island). Dingoes themselves can be found in all states of Australia except Tasmania. 

Read more about dingoes on the Queensland Government website

Close up shot of a wild dingo

Are There Dingoes In Cairns?

Though you won't find wild dingoes roaming around downtown Cairns, the Australian canines do live in the wild outside the city. Dingoes have been spotted along the Captain Cook Highway between Cairns and Port Douglas. Wild dingoes also live in the Daintree Rainforest, the vast sprawling wilderness area that is the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth. The Daintree is about 3 hours north of Cairns. So anywhere on the outskirts of Cairns and up towards the Daintree, there are wild dingoes living in nature. 

Daintree Rainforest

Where To Spot Wild Dingoes 

It's very difficult to spot dingoes near Cairns, simply because they are wild animals. They tend to avoid humans and highly settled areas, though they might be more common near farms and areas where there is livestock. Australian farmers have been at war with wild dingoes throughout history because of the threat they pose to livestock. Even if you go on rainforest hikes through the Daintree or a road trip along the Captain Cook Highway, your chances of seeing a dingo in the wild are very slim. 

However, there is a location in Queensland where travellers commonly spot wild dingoes. K'gari, formerly known as Fraser Island, is the world's largest sand island. Located off the coast of Hervey Bay in southeast Queensland, this island has a thriving population of incredibly pure wild dingoes. Their isolated location on the island prevents them from breeding with domestic dogs.

So if you decide to fly or road trip down to K'gari from Cairns, you will probably see some wild dingoes while exploring this fascinating island. Just remember that they are wild animals and they can be dangerous, so never approach them!

Wild dingo on K'gari

Wildlife Sanctuaries Near Cairns

If you are super keen to see dingoes near Cairns, your best bet is visiting a local wildlife centre. Wild animal sightings are never guaranteed, so you can be sure you'll lay eyes on a dingo and other unique Australian animals if you head to a wildlife sanctuary. There are some top-rated organisations around Cairns and Port Douglas that specialise in animal conservation and education, though there is only one that has dingoes on its property. 

Rainforestation Nature Park in Kuranda is one of the best attractions and wildlife organisations that is only about 40 minutes from Cairns. There is a dingo section here where you can see these beautiful wild canines up close! Other animals at the park include tree kangaroos, koalas, cassowaries, and Tasmanian devils. You can also take part in an army duck tour through the forest's waterways, or join a Pamigirri Aboriginal Experience to learn about the indigenous history and culture. This is one of the top places to visit near Cairns, especially if you want to see a dingo!

Rainforestation Cairns

Ready to plan your trip to Cairns? Live chat with our travel experts online and we'll help you organise the perfect adventure!

Click To Chat


  • Can answer all your Cairns questions
  • We will build you exclusive packages to save you money
  • Available by email or chat 24/7

Quick Enquiry

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.