With its diverse and inspiring landscape, pleasant climate and extraordinary wildlife, there are hundreds of incredible adventures to be had in Australia. This month we take a look at a very unique way to take in the beauty of South Australia via camel. Yes you heard us correctly. Get totally in touch with nature as you discover the outback from a different perspective, as they proudly tread the land at a relaxing pace.
You can trek through the Flinders Ranges of South Australia on the back of a camel with Camel Treks Australia, with a variety of rides and tours to suit all. Stretching from one to five days, these treks can cover long distances and incorporate hobbies such as photography, from March to October. The photography trek is taken with professional photographer, Pete Dobre, who will teach you how to capture the beauty of the Ranges. He will also give you tips on lighting, composition and more, and answer any questions you have, so you will soon become an expert in photographing landscape images and close-ups
of resting camels – just remember to bring your camera!
Located four hours from Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges is older than the Himalayas, so you’ll be touring one of the most ancient landscapes in the world. Obviously, the longer the tour you opt for, the more of the area you’ll see, but even on the five-hour day tour, you’ll be able to witness the dramatic panoramas, serene gorges, rock formations and wildlife unique to Australia on a truly unbeaten track. Look out for emus, kangaroos, wallabies and eagles in their natural habitat, and relish the surroundings of the Old Ghan railway.
A special one-off tour of the year is the trek to the Marree Camel Races; five days across 270km, you’ll be able to get behind-the-scenes access with interaction with the camel racing teams and all of the excitement of the races in the Outback. From 3rd – 7th July, there are only four places available of the tour, so now’s the time to express your interest.
The people that will guide you on every trek are Paul and Karen Ellis, a couple with over 25 years of experience with camels. Renowned in the tourism industry for their dedication and success, they are passionate about offering individuals like you an exceptional time in the bush. All tours depart from Wonoka Station and overnight tours include accommodation in swags, tents or a homestead. Any meals included are cooked over a campfire in a cast iron pot for rustic living that really puts you in touch with the rugged outdoors.
Per person, tours cost from $210 for a full day and $468 overnight, through to three-day treks at $1,268 and five days at $2,068. With tours booking up months in advance, now’s the time to secure your spot to explore the Flinders Ranges on the back of a camel. This i the ultimate way to finish up your Perth to Adelaide Tours!
Find the tour for you and get booking now at www.cameltreksaustralia.com.au.
Know Your Camel
While they may roam the Outback freely, camels aren’t native to Australia. The very first arrived from the Canary Islands back in 1840, which was followed by between 10,000 and 12,000 in the following 70 years. The majority of the camels were one-humped dromedaries and came from India and Palestine, but Australians also started to breed their own camels for transport and work, as they were perfect for the desert landscape.
The first camel studs were in South Australia in 1866, and they were surprisingly of a much higher quality than those imported. They were ideal for work, as they can go without water for long periods of time, walk over soft sand with their huge feet, work from the age of three all the way up to 40, and have a high tolerance for heavy loads. As a result, the Australian Outback was opened up to more people than ever, enabling camel drivers or cameleers to travel. In fact, The Ghan railway is named after the tracks of the Afghan camel drivers.
Despite the uses of the camel, once motorised transportation was introduced, their days were numbered, and working camels were released into the wild to live freely in the desert. The latest recording of feral camels was estimated at around 300,000 in 2013, but these numbers are disputed and too difficult to be precise.