Frequently Asked Questions
Why camel trek?
It's official -- spending time outside is good for you!
The combination of being in nature and with the camels makes for a unique getaway adventure. The food we supply is healthy and fresh, it's not an intentional health retreat, but we hope you'll leave us feeling refreshed for the time you spent off the grid, away from noise, light and air pollution with a team dedictaed to your well being.
'The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes' is published in the journal Environmental Research on 6 July 2018 -
Are Camel Treks Australia experienced?
Camel Treks Australia Pty Ltd is owned and operated by Paul and Karen Ellis with the assistance of their Cameleer crew. Paul and Karen met competing against each other at a Camel race in April 1996. Both of them have been mentored by Cameleers of the past. To read more about Camel Treks Australia's crew and mentors on our Cameleers page, click the 'CTA Cameleers' box below.Since meeting, Paul and Karen's Camel business has been awarded South Australia's 'Best Tour Operator' award and most recently the 2017 South Australia Tourism Commission 'Silver Medallion for Adventure Tourism'. They also received a 2017 Trip Advisor 'Certificate of Excellence'. They are ranked no.#41 in Australia's must do experiences and Qantas Magazine's 'Top 6 Outback Adventures'! Camel Treks Australia is the only remaining extended camel riding company in Australia.Camel Treks Australia used to be called 'Camel Tours & Treks S.A' and 'Blue Sky Camel Charters' in the year 2000. The business name changed again when the Camels moved permanently in 2013 to the Flinders Ranges trekking in semi arid and arid desert regions north of Adelaide City in Outback South Australia. Paul and Karen operated short camel rides on the Victor Harbour Beach, along with an average of six annual extended treks in the coastal Coorong National Park.
They also held contracts with the Royal Zoological Society to operate within Monarto Zoological Park and Foresty S.A. They found that as they and their camels aged, neither animal nor handler enjoyed operating short rides. At the same time, they loved the rugged Flinders Ranges environment in contrast to the Fleurieu Pennisula where they had been based for over 10 years. They started visiting the Flinders Ranges to work, eventually deciding to move there after providing camels for an Afghan descendant's wedding in the historic Beltana township in 2007. Paul and Karen have never been able to part with camels. Once they sold sixteen of their best workers to a trusted colleague operating on the beach at Broome. Without their companionship, they quickly felt displaced and they have since vowed to forever live and work with camels!
Where are we located?
We are located Outback South Australia's dramatic Far North Flinders Ranges.
Far North Flinders Ranges - April ~ October 2021
The rugged, weathered peaks and river red gum lined rocky creek beds of the Flinders Ranges in outback South Australia form some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes in the country. Soak up the true beauty of the sun setting against the Flinders Ranges and over the magnificent Lake Torrens,the second largest salt lake in the southern hemisphere. Fall in love with the red, orange coloured sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see in this semi-arid bush wilderness.
It's a place rich in Aboriginal history and home to a vast array of wildlife. The Aboriginal people of the Northern Flinders Ranges at the time of European settlement were the Wailpi, Guyani, Jadliaura and Pilatapa. These four language groups are now collectively referred to as the Adnyamathanha. Camel Treks Australia acknowledge the Adnyamathanha Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nation of the lands and waters we live and work upon and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal have with the land.
Trekking guests meet the cameleers and camels at Beltana Station, S.A
For more detailed information please visit our websites 'Location' page or download the Information PDF below.
Bookings, deposits and cancellation policy
What's included -
We provide you with a Aussie Swag .. what's a swag? In Australia, a swag is a portable sleeping unit. Historically it was a bundle of belongings typically rolled in a sheet of canvas to be carried by a foot traveller in the bush. Before motor transport was common, foot travel over long distances was essential to agriculture in the Australian bush. Today our modern swags are freestanding almost like a single man tent, tested to guarantee you the most comfortable and convenient outdoor experience ever. Made of thick, tough high quality hard coat waterproofed canvas with a 70mm thick posture foam mattress they are much warmer than a tent and far more comfortable. Ventilation windows at both ends with full length super fine mesh on side entry doors and both ends of the swag offer fantastic ventilation and star gazing at night.
Bring your own sleeping bag and bedding. Sadly after years of hiring our sleeping bags this is no longer an option due to covid-19 remote tourism guidelines.
On day one the evening meal is provided and all meals thereafter completed with breakfast on the morning of departure.
Generous meal portions including breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as unlimited access to fresh fruit and clean drinking water.
Coffee, assorted teas and cordial are provided with dairy and alternative milks.
Toilet tents provide privacy with all toiletries including hand wipes and sanitiser.
Riding camels with padded seats ensuring maximum comfort.
Safety helmets for riding.
With advance notification we can cater for all dietary requirements including vegetarian, vegan, gluten /egg / nut and dairy free diets.
Return transfer in our four wheel drive vehicles to meet Genesis Tour & Charter bus service, or a safe place to park your vehicle
Up to date communications systems and support vehicles to ensure guest safety.
We trek with the Royal Flying Doctor Medical Chest and First Aid supplies.
We always have a generous staff / crew to guest ratio.
We provide basic training for guests interested in assisting closely with the camels.
Evening campfires with comfortable camp chairs.
Is camel riding difficult?
Many guests have said riding is like being on a comfortable moving armchair. The rhythm is gentle and we have had mature aged guests riding with hip and knee replacements as well as youngsters seated in front of their parents on family themed camel treks. If you can sit to watch the T.V, you can most likely Camel ride.
How fit do I need to be?
Camel treks are designed for anyone who is in good general health. Guests can choose to ride or walk, and if tired they can in the morning decide to travel via four wheel drive with the camp shift crew. We are located a maximum of 1 - 2 hours service away from medical assistance by vehicle and less than one hour support from the Royal Flying Doctor Service who have permanent bases located in close proximity to our trekking locations.
Whilst camel treks fortunately attract friendly people, we do have policies and procedures in place to ensure your safety and well being is never compromised. In order to provide our guests with a memorable experience we have zero tolerance for any staff or guests who behave inappropriately. This may include: verbal harassment that intimidates, offends or humiliates a person because of a particular personal characteristic such as age, race, gender, disability, religion or sexuality. The same applies for any of our staff or guests presenting as drug or alcohol intoxicated. Please be aware that in order to provide a safe environment for everyone trekking we will remove intolerable or intoxicated persons immediately and at their own expense.
Finishing on a positive note all guests are welcome to BYO their favourite drink to enjoy around the evening campfire.
Are camel treks suited to all ages?
Most of our guests are retired with the average age being 65, and guests generally no younger or older than between 35 - 85 years, with the exception of our school camp program.
Parents of children aged between 4 - 12 years are encouraged to join treks listed during the school holiday periods. We have accepted children aged under 4 years after communicating suitability with parents, these youngsters ride in the same saddle seat as a parent. We request that parents and guardians trekking with young children make the most of the spacious camping sites which will allow for children to be children without interfering with adults seeking solitude.
How far do we travel each day on a camel trek?
The distance we cover varies between 8 - 15km maximum depending on the terrain, weather conditions and available camel feed at the spot we choose to camp each night.
Camels move at a slow walking speed which is a comfortable riding pace, frequently stopping at their favourite bushes to snack on the move. Unlike riding a horse which requires a reasonable amount of rider alertness and balance, riding a camel is easy.
The camel strings stop for a picnic lunch, which allows for easy switching between riding and walking if desired.
What should I bring? Bedding Hire?
Camel Treks Australia had previously hired sleeping bags, silk / cotton liners, pillows and blankets for guests. Sadly due to COVID we have been advised by tourism authorities everything must be washed in a professional / full time laundry. This we cannot provide given our remote location and guests now need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow. Check your trekking month and choose the correct temperature rating.
Afternoon snacks upon camp site arrival
Afternoon snacks & evening meal on arrival day
Breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner on full days
Generous meal portions
Unlimited access to fresh fruit and clean drinking
Coffee, assorted teas and cordial
Dairy and alternative milks
Vegan and vegetarian options
Gluten free and diabetic options
With advance notice we support dietary needs
Unlimited luggage carrying capacity
Walking or camel riding options
Camels have padded seats for maximum comfort
Clean and comfortable camping equipment
Tidy, private toilet tents and toiletries
Comfortable camping in spacious deluxe swags
Generous staff-guest ratio
Small trekking groups between of 8 - 10 adult guests
Evening campfires with comfortable camp chairs
All meals prepared over camp fires
Long pants for riding
Shorts in warmer months for walking
Many guests bring gaiters & sock savers
Long and short sleeve shirts / t- shirts
Layered clothing is recommended temperatures vary
Padded bicycle shorts for camel riding recommended
Warm water-proof jacket
Head beanie / socks / gloves
Comfortable outdoor wear suited to riding/ walking
Broad brimmed sun hat / fly net / sunglasses
Suncreen and insect repellant if desired
Comfortable walking boots or walking shoes
Basic toiletries / hand or face baby wipes
Camera / spare batteries / memory cards / charger / battery pack
Back-pack for carrying daily trekking needs
Head torch and larger hand torch if desired
Sleeping bag rated from 0 to -5 degrees Celcius
2 x 1 litre drink water bottles
BYO your favourite drop of liquor
Travel / health insurance
Outdoor gloves if you want to help the cameleers!
UHF handset if you really want to be a cameleer!
Do I need special footwear?
Expensive new hiking shoes and boots are not necessary for trekking. If you do need to buy new shoes, please allow enough time to wear them in. Being equipped with comfortable shoes will ensure your feet remain blister-free and you have an enjoyable time.
We receommend packing bandaids or strapping tape if you are in doubt.
Cameleer staff wear closed walking boots ( elastic sided work boots or hiking boots, sneakers are okay ) that allow good ankle and foot movement. Outdoor style sandals are not advised for walking due to spiky ground covers and rocky terrain, however some guests like to wear sandals around the campsite area in the evenings and mornings before the days activities.
What happens in a medical emergency?
We are equipped with two Satellite phones and UHF radio handsets. In the event of an emergency, we can be in immediate contact with Station Homesteads, The Royal Flying Doctor Service and the closest Hospitals which may include Marree, Leigh Creek, Hawker or Port Augusta Hospitals.
Additionally, we carry the comprehensive Royal Flying Doctor Chest which gives us direct phone access to a RFD Medical Doctor who offers immediate advise. Cameleer staff are first aid trained and Senior cameleers have remote first aid and four wheel drive training.
If you reside in Australia, we recommend the purchase of Ambulance insurance cover. In the event of an emergency this insurance covers all travel expenses to a Hospital, without which would be expensive from any remote location in Australia. International guests should obtain comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses and evacuation.
We recommend travel insurance
Camel Treks Australia strongly recommends travel insurance, especially for our International guests. All Australian tourism operators are encouraged to recommend their guests obtain insurance.
It is highly unlikely that any treks will be cancelled as we operate in an environment that experiences stable weather conditions. In the rare event of negative weather affecting booked flights or hired cars, it offers peace of mind to be covered. Personal illness and extended family illness cannot be planned for, and travel insurance covers you for the unexpected so that you can reschedule without loss.
Equipment we carry and back-up vehicles
We are fully equipped for travelling in outback conditions. On treks, we carry two charged satellite phones and comprehensive first aid kits including the specialised Royal Flying Doctor Chest. All staff carry a UHF handset that they can use to communicate with each other as well as with Outback Station Homesteads. We have four wheel drive vehicles at each base camp that can be used in the event of any emergency. Senior Cameleers also trek with GPS Handsets and Epirbs.
Our camping equipment is easy to use and of the highest quality, offering maximum comfort. We provide large easy to construct swags which have insect proof screens and plenty of head room. Each swag has a mattress and allows for complete vision of the evening stars which is often a highlight for guests.
What do we eat on camel treks?
The meals served on camel treks are fresh, varied and plentiful using seasonal fruits and vegetables. Special diets including gluten, dairy and nut free, vegetarian and vegan can be catered for with notification.
We believe great meals plays a really important role in any travel experience. If you are keen to join in creating your own camp oven damper we are happy to help you with ingredients and guidance. We provide unlimited drinking water, and a wide variety of teas including herbal blends, instant coffee as well as morning plunger coffee.
How do we sleep on camel treks?
All of our Camel treks are 100% camping in swags under the stars.
We provide toilet tent surrounds placed over covered drop pits at each campsite. We also have a plentitude of sanitary wipes and hand washing water available for guests usage. When out and about during the day moving from one camp to the other we carry toiletries to make going in the bush both private and easy.
What is the weather like on camel treks?
We operate all Camel riding treks between April and October during Australia's cooler months.
Weather can vary throughout our camel trekking season. Expect warmer weather in April / early May and late September / October. The cooler months are June, July and August.
The below chart offers averages of what to expect. The night time temperatures can drop below zero in June / July and having the right sleeping bag is important. A good coat / jacket, beanie and socks for around the evening campfire will also be appreciated. If you feel the cold, pack a minus five rated sleeping bag.
Months / Warmest - Coldest
April : 25.5°C - 13.2°C
May : 20.4°C - 9.5°C
June : 17.3°C - 6.6°C
July : 16.8°C - 5.9°C
August : 18.6°C - 6.7°C
September : 22.2°C - 9.3°C
October : 26.3°C - 12.4°C
Secondary school camps
Camel Treks Australia hosts School camps each year from between April - October. Each camp offers varied themes including Photography, Astonomy, Aboriginal Culture, Mapping, Flora and Fauna identification with respective guides. Further information can be found at our web site that is devoted to school camps, please click HERE.
Purchasing trained camels
Camel Treks Australia Pty Ltd are Commercial Camel Trainers in Australia and have previously trained Camels for International export; these Camels have gone to excellent properties in the United Arab Emirates and are more comfortable than the average human in Australia! We only sell and educate Camels that are destined for experienced Camel hands.
How Does Camel Treks Australia Care About the Environment?
Camel Treks Australia Pty Ltd is proud to support South Australia’s Climate Change Strategy 2015 – 2050: Towards a low carbon economy effort.
Why do we wear helmets?
Due to our unique position being Australia’s only extended camel riding tek provider, our public liability operating policies demand that a helmet must be worn at all times when riding. Guests can bring their own preferred riding helmets or borrow ours.