A Tea Gardens photographer captures the moment a cheeky dingo takes off with her footwear


Louise got in touch with the Great Lakes Advocate earlier this week to let us know her stolen shoe had been returned, in the 'exact' same place it had been taken from.

"(I) was shocked to see my shoes there on the beach when I went back to take photos again," Louise said.

Research has discovered dingoes are smarter than domestic dogs and have in fact been described as "the most intelligent animal in Australia apart from man".


Tea Gardens landscape and nature photographer, Louise Richards was doing what she does most mornings - capturing the sunrise over Bennetts Beach at Hawks Nest - when a cheeky dingo took off with her shoe.

Louise had left her shoes on the beach - just in front of the surf club - when the curious animal decided the footwear would be a fun object to play with taking off over the sandhills never to be seen again.

The shoe that is.

"Heaps of people have talked about losing shoes in the past," she said.

Not wanting to scare the pup, or maybe disturb a den if she further investigated the whereabouts of the stolen shoe, Louise was happy to lose her footwear to nature.

"They are such beautiful creatures," she said.

While Louise has seen plenty of dingoes over the 50 plus years she has been visiting and living in the Great Lakes, this was a first in the lost shoe department.

Though she does suspect her husband had a similar encounter while fishing, later recovering his footwear covered in bite marks.

Louise Richards

Louise Richards

"Unique and very Australian," she said.

Dingoes are often spotted strolling or playing along the beach, mainly in the early hours of daylight.

"Generally when there are not a lot of people around."

By nature, they are curious creatures, and there is no need to fear them, Louise said.

"Just keep your distance and don't feed them."

She believed fish bait, left by anglers, along with other foodstuffs attracted the native dogs to the beach.

Shortlisted as in the 2018 Australian Photography Magazine photographer of the year award, Louise's talent has brought her close and unique encounters with many native and marine animals.

While camping in the Myall National Park a rare and endangered spotted quoll decided to take up residence in her tent, while she recently captured a humpback whale frolicking close to shore.

Louise said sunrise was her favourite part of the day, a time when she could capture the beauty of nature.

"It is my peaceful time; it is ever changing; I love to be surrounded by nature.

"I get to see these amazing things and to share these moments with people who do not get to."

Last month Louise opened her photography gallery/store in Hawks Nest where her work is always on display.

"I offer quality wall art and gifts all featuring my works.

"All my images are limited to five prints which are numbered and signed, making them unique pieces."

Or, you can view Louise's amazing body of work by visiting Photoscape Adventures website.

Ten per cent of all sales is donated to research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an incurable genetic disease which her young son has.