The Secret Creek Cafe and Wildlife Sanctuary  is hidden away in Lithgow. My friend Louise found out about this place because she was looking for vegetarian options in the area. We then found out that it has a big bonus – a  wildlife sanctuary! There are kangaroos, emus, wallabies and even an extremely rare white dingo. Using google maps we were able to find the cafe, but we weren’t sure because there isn’t much signage. I guess that’s why it’s secret! I would recommend ringing ahead of time – 6352 1133 – to make a booking, especially if it’s a weekend. It takes about 2 hours to drive from Sydney. The food is all vegan and the menu is extremely creative.

In this post I’ll focus on the Wildlife Sanctuary itself and their prized alpine dingos. I love dingos and I think they should be cherished as a unique Australian species.

What is an Alpine Dingo?

Dingos are related to the domestic dogs but have some distinct differences in behaviour and physical characteristics. They have strong large jaws, a big head, wolf-like almond eyes and erect ears. They’re extremely good at climbing and traversing the Australian landscape, so they have superior balance partly due to their large bottle shaped tail. Dingos have adapted to Australian conditions over thousands of years and survive in most climates. They are about 50cm tall at the shoulder and weigh 13-20kg, which makes them the size of a medium to large dog.

The alpine dingo in particular has a thicker coat, made up of two layers. This helps them survive the harsh winters of regions like the blue mountains towards the snowy mountains. Unfortunately all dingos are facing extinction because of loss of prey and habitat, hunting and cross breeding with wild dogs.

How are Dingos different to dogs?

They are wild animals, somewhere between a dog and a wolf in behaviour. They are a beautiful lithe creature that is able to climb like a cat and fit into small gaps. This all means they are hard to keep as pets, and you shouldn’t try petting the dingos here. Unfortunately dingos have a bad reputation since the ‘dingo stole my baby’ story.

More Wildlife

There are birds and marsupials to meet at the Secret Garden Wildlife Sanctuary.

A dusky woodswallow doing what birds do best – looking fat and disgruntled!

Note: Most of these photos are by me but some were taken by my good friends Glenn and Louise.

More in the Blue Mountains

Check out my post about hiking to Lockley’s Pylon!