The first Alice Springs Camel Farm was started in the 1970s to give locals and visitors the chance to see how camels performed in the 50 years prior to the railway arriving in 1929. Before the rail, just about everything went into and out of the Red Centre by camel train from Oodnadatta. Camels and their Afghan masters carried great burdens over long distances, and both were perfectly at home in the isolated conditions.
When it was decided to introduce the Ghan train, camels were used to carry the equipment to build the line, which was actually going to do them out of a job. On completion of their work, many of the animals were released into the wild and the population of wild camels is now around 700,000. They store fat in their humps and can go without food and water for weeks.
Frontier Camel Farm has 15 working camels and nine in training. Camel to Breakfast tours are a great way to explore the Territory in the cool of the morning in a most unusual way.
Riders are collected from their accommodation for the hour-long ride along the dry Todd River bed in the soft morning light. The animals walk slowly enough for you to enjoy colourful birdlife and take in views of the MacDonnell Ranges.
A much-anticipated barbecue breakfast is worth the wait. Feast on barbecued bacon and eggs, beer bread, native peach jam, juice, tea and coffee.
After that there is time to enjoy a visit to the Camel Museum and Camel Shop.
Each year the Imparja Camel Cup is held in Alice Springs. The first race was held in 1970 and the next one will be run on July 11, 2009. While the animals travel at a slow pace during breakfast tours, they can gallop up to around 50kpm 400m in 28 seconds. Race day is a load of fun for everyone.
The Frontier Camel Farm has camels available for rides and safaris, a museum of cameleering equipment, historical photographs and memorabilia.
Alice Springs in the centre of Australia.
Frontier Camel Tours cost $89 for adults and $53 for children 5-15 years old. Tours include transfers, one hour camel ride, breakfast, tea, coffee and juice. They run between 6.30am to 9.30am. It is recommended riders wear comfortable clothing, sunglasses, hat and sunscreen.
Prices correct September 4, 2008.
For further information
Frontier Camel Tours
Operated by Anangu Waai
Alice Springs 0871
Ph: (08) 8950 3030
Fax: (08) 8950 3034
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