We enjoy sharing our lifestyle and characteristic camels with guests in the beautiful Flinders Ranges landscape. Some guests have become like extended family, choosing to keep in contact and return again.
“Marvellous all round!”
Reviewed 28 January 2015
“Don't think about it, just do it!”
Reviewed 28 January 2015
Reviewed 2 February 2015
“Absolutely could not get better.”
Reviewed 3 February 2015
Hi Karen, Paul and family,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all from myself, Jimmy and the team for being such a joy to film.
It was truly a special experience for all of us and I watched the footage back today - it's spectacular.
Anyway thanks again - it was great and we all wished we could have stayed longer.
Cassie, Bala, Jimmy and the rest of the Outback Food Adventure crew xx
Jimmy Docherty's Australian Food Adventure. ( BBC and UK T.V ). October 2014
Rhayne and I made it home safely last night, it was a long drive lol.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to take Rhayne on a trek, he didn’t want to leave.
(He's already saving to go again, he pulled 2 teeth out so the tooth fairy would come ... they were loose! )
If there is ever anything I can do to help you out in anyway please let me know as I am just so grateful.
Thanks again and please stay in touch. Have a wonderful day and happy trekking.
Kind regards, Lisa. May and August 2014
Just a wee parcel for you all, the 'Ant' book I promised for Luke and a few others. Salt and some bead bling you can put on your swag zips! ( for the girls ).
A big thank you once more to you all for making our adventure memorable. Give all those beautiful camels a big hug from us!
Much love and light,
Rochelle and Robert xxxxxxxx. August 2014
Hi Karen and Paul,
We're back in Sydney after an epic road trip (for us anyway), 3,700 km total! Happily, we still have a few days before return to work / school / uni. Our hearts and minds are still with the beauty and stillness of the Flinders Ranges.
Thanks again for being such warm and wonderful hosts at such a sad time for you with the recent passing of your dear old camelman Jim.
Xx Annabel. June 2014
Hello again Karen,
After leaving Mt Little I went via Glass Gorge/Blinman (no hops) to Brachina Gorge, and late in afternoon was by myself there when the yellow footed rock wallabies really turned it on for me. There was about a dozen bouncing around in one area.
Hope you enjoy my images. I am going through other trek photos, got some nice ones, will send a few that might be of interest.
Thanks again for a great experience, I was impressed by your concern for welfare of guests, and camels! My experience was made memorable also by such a nice group of people.
Regards John. August 2014
So glad you received the camel watercolor, and that you like it! I enjoyed working on it; there are all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings and memories swirling around our camel holiday with you.
The new accommodations for Photography treks look deluxe, indeed! I hope your business -- and lives -- are thriving.
We're fine here, and keeping an eye on the weather as Hurricane Iselle heads our way.
With love to the family,
Elizabeth and Steve. May 2014
Dear Karen, Paul, Sara & Luke,
(But not forgetting Ava, Milly, Treva, Snowy, Mumpy, Zac, Hoover & Scruffy)
Many thanks for a great trek and sharing your part of the Outback in such a friendly and generous way; really enjoyed your company.
On heading back to Adelaide, and dreaming of camels, I was passing through Jamestown and a road train truck caught my eye for a double take.........it was loaded with camels!
Simon. October 2014
We're home safe, and cant believe we are home already, it feels like we just left home and met you, you guys touched our hearts. Take care hope it rains soon for you.
Lynda and Pete. October 2014
I hope this email finds you well and safe!
Thank you for your generous donation to our fundraising auction at Wilpena Under the Stars 2015!
It is through your support, along with our fantastic event sponsors, community partners and volunteers that net proceeds in excess of $100,000 were raised from the event.
This was further bolstered by the $20,000 cash donation from our friends Allan Amber and John George, MGA Whittles Group of Companies, which capped off a remarkable night of fundraising.
Please feel proud of your contribution to this outstanding outcome, which will directly benefit our capital-raising program for the replacement of aircraft and medical equipment to help keep our medical crews in the sky.
On behalf of the tens of thousands of families who will rely on the ‘Flying Doctor’ again this year, thank you.
I look forward to working with you again and letting you know how the Wings for Life ‘Riviera’ ball goes.
All the best,
Kirsten March 2015
Thanks to you and Paul & the team for a wonderful few days off the beaten track.
Jenni & I enjoyed it immensely.
It is really hard getting wound up again to our normal routine!
Warren Foreman April / May 2015
Just a short note to say thanks for my wonderful experience in the Flinders Ranges. Absolutely enjoyed the trek and meeting you, your family and helpers. It was a trip I will remember with great affection. Looking forward to going through my photos over the weekend and will definitely check out your facebook page when you get your photos uploaded.
A great way to spend a few days with lovely people and beautiful scenery.
Lyn McQuade April 2015
What a great trek we had! Thankyou and Paul so much! The only problem I had was that it wasn't long enough. I was just getting into the groove - it took a couple of days- and then we had to leave.
It's magnificent country out there, everything I thought it would be. You and Paul run a great outfit Karen and I'm already thinking about something more comprehensive, taking in more of Wilpena pound. Karen the food was really good and the way you improvised and got things done was terrific. I have to say that all our needs were attended to with great country warmth. Gabbi is a great young woman to have on board. And a big thank you to Keerti and Guillame who were wonderful.
Please keep me informed of others treks either here or o/s e.g.. Gobi and India
Kerry Quirk ( first trek this year in April)
Dear Karen & Paul,
Thanks so much for a fantastic Camel Trek - we had a wonderful relaxing time in a beautiful part of Australia. I must say it was hard to get back to work after such an experience. Here's a few photos for you to start with. I haven't downloaded my iphone pics yet.
Love Del & Tom (aka camel rider extraordinaire). August 2014
Karen, the remainder of our Australian vacation was marvelous, especially Cape Tribulation and the Great Barrier Reef. But the highlight of the 3 weeks was the time we spent on the camel trek with you folks. We will attach some of the photos we took, especially of the flood. I know you have limited data, so we will only attach a few. If you want to view more, they will be on Patty's Facebook page in a week.
Dave and Patty Best April 2015
Thanks for a top holiday and welcoming us into your family - Curls was glad it was all perfect. And keep aiming high dream team!
Lindsay Yelland May 2015
Dear Paul & Karen,
Thanks for a wonderful holiday & for sharing your backyard with us!
There are a few photos on this CD, they are all yours.
With a bit of luck I'll see you in January on the beach - with Kate!
Enjoy the Simpson Desert & other treks between now & then.
Nick Goodhew May 2015
Dear Camel Treks Australia,
THANK YOU ... FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE!
The Royal Flying Doctor Service ( RFDS ) would like to say a mighty thank you for donating a fundraising prize to our annual Wings for Life Gala Ball - A night on the Riviera.
You should feel proud of your contribution. It is through your support, along with our generous event sponsors, prize donors, guests and volunteers that net proceeds of over $170,000 were generated from the event.
On behalf of the tens of thousands of families who will rely on the 'Flying Doctor' for assistance this year, thank you for your suuport.
All the very best.
Charlie, General Manager
Hi Karen and Paul,
Thank you so much for a great adventure. You have helped me to regenerate my soul by re connecting with our vast land. I have really learnt so much about camels and I have been trying to share my knowledge with all those people who passed negative comments about them before the trip. I have such admiration for you both and appreciated your openness and genuineness in sharing your life stories. Thank you so much once again and I would love to catch up for coffee if you are in Melbourne.
Karen Psychologist Melbourne, Victoria August 2015
Karen, good morning!
As the festive season approaches (rather rapidly) I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your valuable support over this past year.
It's been a busy year and I close the 2015 chapter with so many fond memories! From my very first 'Wilpena Under the Stars' to cupcake making, Christmas light displays, beard shaving, a 'Night on the Riviera' and ute musters, I've had the privilege to be a part of so many engaging events for the RFDS!
Your support of our work means that we can keep providing our emergency aeromedical and primary health care services to all who live, work or travel in rural remote and regional Australia. As you may well know the RFDS assists more than 290,000 Australians every year – that's one person every two minutes!
Please feel proud of your contribution and on behalf of the tens of thousands of patients – and their families – who will rely on the ‘Flying Doctor’ again this year, thank you.
I finish up for the Christmas break this afternoon and return on Monday 11 January for yet another fantastic year!
Wishing you a healthy and happy Christmas!
All the very best,
Kirsten, Adelaide, December 2015
What an experience! The perfect way to see the Flinders Rangers. Thank you Paul & Karen for your perfect organisation and wonderful food.
gabrielle scherrer, Adelaide, April 2016
Our camel trek (April 16-23) seems to have seeped into my psyche. We've been home for over a week and I wake up at 3 am every morning thinking I'm zipped into my swag and begin to strategize un-cocooning my self and finding a bush. Bill (Mr. Eastwood) enjoyed himself mightily (a high compliment since he usually avoids group activities) and I find myself wishing our camel wandering had continued for another 5 days. The camels, staff, fellow adventurers and locations more than fulfilled my expectations. I loved listening to Gayle talk about alpacas and especially about Alice, it was kind of magical to see Alice begin to sense her role in the whole camel line.
I've been pouring over the two Mongolian travel guides that we have in the library, reading up on the challenges to traveling to a totally different culture and environment, it has increased my temptation to sign up. The reality of the bank account though....... There is still time!!! I may be peppering you with questions. If that doesn't materialize I'lll definitely return for another trek in the future, perhaps with a sister or two.
Attached are a few photos of Luke & Paul. And a photo of the camel that Mr. Eastwood bought me for my 65th birthday (thank you for mentioning that Paul bought you camels for your birthdays). We made our way out to Glenelg and asked around and found the Goldsmithery and the wonderful and kind Volker (he says hi). He had just one camel necklace (made by his mother). It's such a a super special way to remember out trip. And and unexpected gift since birthdays gifts are usually something very practical (tea kettle, bicycle seat).
I realize how crazy busy you are this time of year but do you have a email address for Jared or Tiffany so I can send them some photos?
Thank you for all the love & care you share with the camels & treks.
Katherine Anderson (Mr. Eastwood's wrangler) April 2016
Just a quick note to say that Lesley & I enjoyed the trek just so much, and can’t wait to do another one!
Ian , Adelaide, May 2016 ( Two time trek participant )
I thought the trek went very well and exceeded my goal expectations. I said that I was inspired by the Tracks book.
My goals were to simply:
1. Spend time in my own country in the Flinders Ranges
2. Spend time with large animals in the form of camels
3. Learn a little about Aboriginal culture
4. Spend some time away from the city in the bush
5. Have an adventure
1. Seeing the Flinders Ranges was simply stunning. I was amazed at the ever changing landscape that we trekked through and just loved all of the subtle variations in colour. The dry river beds, the ranges, the colours of the various terrains, the history, the blue sky, the dryness, the rockiness, the red sands, the variety of kangaroos, the families of wild goats, birds, rabbits, the healthiness of the bush flora, all stunning to my senses. Even though our trekking pace was gentle, I had to keep swivelling my head to make sure that I saw the landscape from all angles and didn't miss anything. I made comment that we needed rear vision mirrors on the camels so that I could see behind me !! I was in total awe of the beauty of this environment. Landscape painters and photographers must love coming to the Flinders Ranges to get new material. A painting to be had everywhere that you look. Its funny but my camera just couldn't pickup on what my eyes could see. My camera broke down and I had the pleasure of putting it away and taking pictures with my eyes.
2. I loved being with and learning about your camels. It might be a surprise to you but I didn't realise until this trek that all of the camels would look different and have their own personalities. Even down the point of how they stand. Your camels are very well looked after. I love how you treat them. Both you and Paul are so gentle and loving with them. I believe that you made the guests feel very comfortable around the camels but at the same time we knew to have a little bit of caution. I made comment “How could you not love a camel” as a consequence to the passive way the camels responded to being hand fed and brushed. I know that the camels are this way as a result of great training, nurturing and loving from both you and Paul. The great thing about going on this length of a trek is that you get plenty of time to observe the camels going about their business. I personally took the time to watch and observe each camel individually. The Koosh fascinated me. The mechanics of how the camel folds itself under its own body weight is truly amazing. I am not even sure how bones and ligaments don't snap, especially when 6-700kg is transferring back and down onto the back legs. To me the camel looks like a proud beast. I just love how they smile when they are walking along in the string. There seems to be an air of aloofness about them as well. Its like they know a secret and they are keeping it to themselves !!! Especially when you look at Trevor and how she conducts herself. That is why I was referring to her as the matriarch. Even though I spent my riding time on Tanami and Ava, I really didn't have a favourite camel. I did have a soft spot for Mission though. I just loved his look when he was staring out into space and chewing on his cud. I really did enjoy when Ava’s line parted and she departed the camp site and she got dobbed in by Mumpy and Snowy. My goodness that throat sound from a camel is deep !!! I am not sure that I enjoyed seeing Milly laying on Snowy with her full weight. That was scary. I didn't know how I felt about the camel dance at the sand dunes. It all look a bit scary especially when the string leaders were put to the test. Well done to Sam. She became my hero. I did enjoy seeing some of the camels run free at the end of the trek in the yards. Not sure why the rest just hung around. Those stirrups that you bought in for me did the trick. My feet must be a little wider than normal.
3. I am a city boy, born and bred. Use to hot and cold running everything. My bush skills are almost zero, I am embarrassed to say. Yes, I can light a fire. Yes, I can cook on an open fire. But could I survive in the bush. Not a hope in hell. I just couldn't kill anything to save myself. This was the first time that I have slept in a swag and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially when Paul advised me that there was a flap at the back that I could open to get more air around me. I loved looking through the mesh at the stars and watching the sun rise. Although the crows spoilt the serenity at this time every morning. I understand the want to throw rocks at them. Now Karen, I assume that I am not the first one to come on a trek that hasn't slept in a swag. You may wish to put something in your blog about their setup and construction. I absolutely loved the first camp site. That was a wonderful spot in the bush. I loved the reliance on the fire for warmth and cooking. I loved seeing all of the cooking utensils and their use. The long cylindrical kettle fascinated me. Although all of the meals were outstanding, I thought that the camp oven casserole was the most authentic meal for that environment and the best. I understand the need for the second campsite. Location and some comfort levels for the guests. I thought that it wasn't as good as the first camp because of this comfort factor, although I did very much enjoy the hot shower and toilets. Sorry that doesn't make sense. It was great to have the variation in comfort levels between the 2 sites. The rain on the last night certainly brought the comfort levels back a wee bit. I did enjoy sleeping in the rain but when the wind changed directions late in the sleep then it was impossible for me to keep the blue tarp securely in place. It was time to get up anyway. I don't think that I heard a single complaint from any of the guests concerning anything to do with the camping arrangements. They just got on with it. Thanks for an authentic as possible experience.
4. I was looking for an adventure that was out of the ordinary. A chance to trek with camels in the Flinders Ranges was too good an opportunity to be missed. It ticked a lot of boxes for me. Australian outback, big animals, trekking, camp fires, sleeping under the stars, great food, like minded travellers. I certainly got all of that. I guess that there is a certain human instinct within me that needed to be scratched and bought to the surface. More and more I am learning about myself; being enlightened; its the simple things in nature that I really enjoy the most. The sun, the wind, the rain, the water, animals, food, sky, human interaction, adventure. I got all of this on this trek. A Zen moment in nature. In fact, my sensors went into overload. At the end of each day, I felt absolutely exhausted, even though I had barely exerted much effort at all.
5. I have mentioned to you before Karen, that I thought your staff were amazing. Just watching them run about the place made me tired. I just couldn't comprehend how they had so much energy in them to get up early, setup, cook breakfast, prepare lunches, clean-up, prepare themselves, lead a camel string over miles and miles of terrain, koosh/unkoosh, run around looking after the guests and keeping them organised, answer a million questions, arrive back at camp and swing straight into action setting up, cooking dinner, cleaning up after the guests etc. Special mention to Ioanna for her cooking skills. Each meal was tasty and plentiful. Filling my stomach is no mean feat and it was certainly full after each meal. I enjoyed the variety in meals too. Plenty of veg and fruit, even though I am not much of a fruit eater. Loved the snack bars that were in the lunch bags. The wraps were yumm at lunch time. I am a great one for giving a score for meals including at restaurants and Ioanna managed 10/10 for each meal. Special mention to Sam also. I enjoyed watching her skill with the camels leading the B string. Sam was also a whiz around the campsite and seemed to be keeping everything and everyone on track. Great job with the eggs especially my runny ones !!! Both girls have lovely and very friendly dispositions. Very well suited to this type of work when guests are a variety of ages and come from all walks of life. I appreciate that Daniel was on his first trek but it was most enjoyable to watch him jump in with the chores and either succeed or not succeed. Feedback always being very quick to arrive for the poor man !!!!
6. Karen, I enjoyed my time with you and Paul. You are both what I call salt of the earth people and a pleasure to be with. I know that you know what this means. I enjoyed my one on one time with each of you. Thanks for answering my one million questions. I appreciate that this is your business but I felt that you genuinely cared about me having a great experience.I really enjoyed being with Paul. He is a mans man, a bushy, an expert cameleer and a tireless worker. I enjoyed watching him expertly employ his craft. He is great with the camels. He loves them and they obviously love and respect him right back. He has boundless energy. Paul gave me a lot of time and I really appreciated it. Being it on the trek answering my endless questions or back in the social environment chatting socially with me and the rest of the guests. Paul also took an interest in my life and what I do. I could sense it was real and not contrived. We were very short for men on this trek. Is that normal? Where are the men Karen?Karen, you were fantastic. I appreciated how quickly you summed me up. I guess it took you the best part of a nanosecond to do that!!!! Thanks for bouncing things off me with the other guests, I do enjoy the attention !!! You too are an expert at your craft and a pleasure to watch handling the camels and the staff. Your dry sense of humour is infectious. Thanks for letting me come back to your home and take a shower at the end of the trek. I felt blessed. I had a strong sense Karen, that you had summed up each individuals needs and abilities and had modified trek proceedings as necessary to reflect. Well done, that's a great skill. Thanks also for making me hydrate !!! I will make a concerted effort from now on with the watery stuff. I assume that you are doing a hell of a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the treks moving along. And being a mother. And business dealings through social media. Managing future treks. Managing the supply chain. Dealing with real world stuff. As well as being on the treks. Super human effort. You are one special lady.
7. I gave a fair bit of myself to this trek, so that I would get a fair bit back. I didn't realise it until the drive home, but I feel that I have become part of your wider trekking family, Karen. That family is probably several thousand large of course. It was very important for me to finish the trek. I didn't want to be whizzed away at the end in a bus because of a little inclement weather. That would have meant trek failure to me. Failure was not an option. It was only rain and slush after all. As I kept repeating, we are not made of fairy floss !!! Thanks to Paul for towing me out. I wasn't going anywhere in that slush.
8. The information on your website for me to make a decision on whether to partake or not is quite comprehensive. There are some good reads and plenty of video and photos. I liked the FAQ list and especially what to bring. I went out and purchased items as a result. Yes, all purchased items got used. I probably over packed and as I told Paul, I had enough clothes to do another trek !!! The issues that need addressing is the perception in society about camel spitting and a sore backside. I see those perceptions as your main threats. I certainly didn't see any camels spitting and I also didn't get a sore backside. I don't know how the ladies went or any feedback you got there. I must admit my upper inner leg muscles got a little stretched from placing them over and around the camel for riding. When I got off the camel, then I had to wait a minute or so before they normalised and I could actually walk off. I guess this is because I am not a rider of any description and my muscles were not use to it. Whether I should have done any pre riding exercises is a question.
9. Next steps. I would like to see you guys again one day. All of you. I would like to see the camels too. Whether that is to take another trek in 12 months or so or wait for a longer adventure or if there is another option, I don't know. I don't think that I have the capacity to take a couple of camels and do a Robyn Davidson adventure. I like being with people more than she does. I am limited to May to August activities because of my work or could include January/February in drought years.
Thank you to you and Paul for making my trekking experience such a wonderful one Karen. One I will recall fondly and think often about. I will certainly recommend to suitable friends and I will also recommend to my eldest daughter who is a travel consultant. She can spread the word for you to the adventurous types.
I am done rambling. Til next time.
Best wishes and safe trekking. Look after the kids (camels).
kevx May 10th 2016
We arrived back home safely a while ago and every time we are looking back to those few days
in the Flinders Ranges, the day spent with you, your helpers and your camels stands out most.
It was a truly wonderful experience that has reinforced our affection for camels.
Wishing you ideal Spring weather and many enjoyable days trekking !
Birgit September 9th 2016
Hi Karen and Paul,
Meet the new members of the family,” She-Ghan” and” Ghan-He “. They are the product of the old Ghan Railway trip which was a really great of our Camel trek, thanks for the experience.
We both hope all is going well and Tanami, please find our bushwalking newsletter for your perusal.
Morris and Deb Mitchell October 2nd 2016
Dear Karen, Paul, Sam and all the team ( Alex, Elizabeth, Rozenn, Charlotte )at Camel Treks Australia,
What a stunning, excellent trek and a most happy few days you all gave us! Thank you!
We all greatly appreciated your efforts that went into the planning of the trek and a very happy, helpful and efficient team for all arrangements. Everything just simply happened with enthusiasm, and a great sense of enjoyment. An excellent achievement!
It was a good balance between camel riding, walking and vehicle. I appreciated the camel ride hugely as it gave me an excellent opportunity to see and take in the landscape more than by walking.
Also I enjoyed the camels so much; they are delightful, unique creatures and so beautifully cared for. Full marks on the rehabilitation of these glorious big creatures. I watched Helen so caringly groom and talk to the new and nervous camel. It was a joy to see the little animal visibly relaxing with the gently grooming and care given to her.
Very happily, I would like to do another trek with more camel riding and painting.
I came home with a good basis to work from in photos, sketches and the sheer observing of the area; now to put it into drawings and paintings with great joy!
Indi, April 2017
Hi Karen, Paul and Sam
Wanted to let you know that I really did enjoy the trek that you provided for us.
Such a wonderful place and management couldn’t have been managed better from my perspective.
Hope to be headed out that way to share that place with you again.
congratulations on a job fabulously done.
Leigh, May 10th 2017
Camel Treks Testimonial
I attended the Camel Trek 22/05/2017 to 26/05/2017. I felt like I needed to renew myself somewhat by another trip out bush. My love of Camels started when I was 17 with Robyn Davidson’s trip from Alice across Western Australia, but I did not start riding Camels until 2011 when I lived in Alice Springs. The Camel Trek was my next step in taking this further.
I can only say that this trip was brilliant and I have only praise in every way.
The Country was magnificent and the whole experience left me with this sense of Shalom/Zen that I was truly grateful for and has remained with me. It was more than the country though. Karen’s mob of Cameleers was professional, friendly and engaging. They were a true delight to be with. Karen Ellis herself took the time to teach me and let me assist with the Camels. While Karen and her Cameleers were the consummate professionals, they were more. They made you feel a part of the family and that you belonged. For that I can only say thank you.
Mick, May 21st - 25th 2017
The weeks have flown by since our adventure with you and the camels in the Tirari Desert and Clayton Station. So many happy memories and so many tales to regale friends and family with.
I was so sad on departing that I didn’t properly thank you for giving us all such a wonderful experience. Everything about the trip was fantastic – food, fellow travellers, the crew and most of all your gorgeous camels.
Thanks so much for ensuring we had a trip to remember and I look forward to trekking with you somewhere sometime in the future.
Very kind regards
Cynthia July 10th - 18th Camel trek along the Clayton River & Tirari Desert 2017
Hi Karen, Paul and Crew,
Just wanted to thank you all for an amazing most well run trip I have experienced. The care, the organisation and respect for us and the camels is highly commendable. I compliment you all for the structure of the trip and how relaxed everyone was. The crew was just amazing and worked hard to keep everyone happy , well fed and comfortable. You're passion and care for the camels was so loveable and I appreciated being well informed with regard to caring for them as well. I cant stop talking to everyone about you all and due to my love of the outback I will be looking at another trip, I hope with you. I wish you all the success in your future trips and plans with the camels in Hawker. This was such a memorable holiday and it will take some time to settle back onto this "ratrace" and work.
Thanks again, miss you all, the trip was too short!!!!!
Karina July 10th - 18th 2017
To Karen,Paul,Sam,Charlotte,Rozenn,Alex and Elisabeth,
I just want to say a massive thank you for taking us under your wings and training us to become junior cameleers. I love the camels, the countryside, the meals and everything about the trip. I can't wait to be back with you guys, trekking across the beautiful terrain, with your amazing team and camels.
Karen, Thank you very, very much you are just amazing! And i did see a snake, just not on the trek! I saw a brown snake just outside my gate at home.
Paul, Thank you also, you are just great teaching me all about the camels, what to do and what not to do. I hope you are successful in getting a new whip and learning the cracks.
Sam, I wish you all the best with future treks, your book and your own baby camel!
Charlotte,Rozenn,Alex and Elisabeth,I hope you all have a great last few weeks at Camel Treks and have a safe journey to your respective countries.
Say hi to Ollie, Matilda, Annabelle, Sara and my favourite dopey camel Zaki for me please!
Love to you all and hopefully I'll see you all again soon.
Cheers, Ash / April 2017
P.sNo hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle.
Hi Paul, Karen & Sam,
I have been meaning to write & thank you all for the wonderful trekking adventure Cynthia, Leanne & l had in July but am only now sitting down to do it. Apologies for dragging my feet!
I know l can speak for the others, but l certainly had a super time away with you & would do it again at the drop of a hat. In fact l think Leanne has done something towards this already. Thanks so much to everyone on the team who catered to our every whim. We lacked for nothing & l would highly recommend your treks to anyone.....l have already told all my mates how fabulous you were & how much l enjoyed being out with you & the camels.
I hope you are being kept busy but not outrageously so....how did the school treks go???
I'm glad we weren't as scary as you thought we might be, Karen! And thanks so much for squeezing us on board.
Hopefully you are all well & enjoying life. It was great to meet & spend time with you, & l hope we can do it again...sooner rather than later.
AJ / July 2017
Dear Paul, Karen,and the Camel Treks Australia team,
Thank you for your excellent service in providing our Camel Trek experience over the past 10 days, this has truly been a once in a lifetime event and I am sure that the students will remember it fondly for many years to come. As you know the Camel Trek has been a long-standing event at our school and the students have been looking forward to it since kindergarten, given this long anticipation it is remarkable that the trek not only lived up to their expectations but surpassed them.
The success of our camp was due to several factors which I would like to commend;
· The remarkable location – what an honour to be able to see the Ediacaran Fossil fields especially, but the challenge of moving through the landscape – across the countless sandhills to Lake Torrens, over the plains and clay pans and our night in the oasis of green at the Creek, gave the students a chance to test their limits and also just be in this harsh and beautiful place in a way that soaked into their consciousness.
· The level of challenge on the Lake Torrens leg of the journey especially - good for stretching the students – and they were so impressed at the strength and stamina of the camels and cameleers in supporting them.
· The quality of your people – they were warm, resourceful, responsive and humorous. They did their work with efficiency and were also excellent role models for the students in terms of toughness, strength and integrity without compromising on kindness to the students or the camels. It was also really appreciated having flexibility around meal prep routines – my class are used to cooking for each other in a gesture of care for their peers and your staff adapted to this effortlessly.
· The food! Excellent, fresh, diverse, nutritious!
· The set up and gear – everything thought of and supplied.
· And of course the camels; having time to take responsibility for camel care with the support of the cameleers gave the students a chance to get to know their personalities, to understand their different stories and corresponding needs and to give back to these very noble and honourable beasts.
Thank you again for your work, it obviously driven by love of what you do and connection to the place and animals you work with.
Sera K. September 2017 / School Camp
Hi Karen and Paul
Thank you for a wonderful week!
We had such a fabulous time getting to know your lovely family (the human and the camel kind).
From the first morning when we were interacting with the camels and brushing them (I first made my acquaintance with gorgeous Alice, who was gentle and so very tolerant of me as a novice).
Although it was hot, you managed our destinations and treks beautifully. We saw the stunning sights of the Flinders, learnt an enormous amount about the behaviours of the camels, and laughed. A lot!
We look back with so many fond memories. Alli is in charge of creating a photo book for myself and her, and I absolutely can’t wait to see it because we have so much to remember. I’m pretty sure she’s found an ‘Australian Outback Survivor’ logo that she’s using as the front cover!
Much respect to you both for the way you treat your camels. They are clearly loved and well cared for. We were amazed at how hard you work.
Any hoos….thanks a million for our adventures. We’ll give you a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor (‘but we won’t say why’ - haha!)
Tell Joe his Okker Tours will be a goer too! And please pass on our thanks to Joe, Sara, Carol, Julie and Tayla. We were in good care with them.
Sonia and Allison / April 2018
Hi Karen and Paul.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you both for the experience that you gave us last week. We all arrived home having thoroughly enjoyed a very different holiday. Your hospitality was amazing, and much appreciated; and your very sociable and well trained camels made the experience. Jessy has come away with new found confidence with handling animals, and when she was helping Helen draft cattle yesterday commented that “after camels the cattle seem easy, because they are smaller”.
I have always loved horses and cows, but camels have now jumped right up my list of favourites. I don’t know what it is, but the camels have left a huge impression on me, to the point where I have been missing them from the day we left- especially Bundi! The trust you put in me to ‘play around’ with Bundi was much appreciated, and just added to the enjoyment of the trip. The one on one interaction, and challenge of bonding with and developing mutual respect with an animal is what I always loved about riding horses; and I got the same feeling/ challenge with Bindu.
I am/ we are so keen to come back for another trek...I even had a look through my diary to see if I could fit in another trip soon to come and give you guys a hand. Unfortunately, or fortunately for my business, I am flat out and can’t see a space that could match up with any of your treks until possibly early October. I might see if I can book in for that, once I clarify the rest of the year’s plans (the girls will be tied up with gymnastics competitions for the rest of your trekking season), otherwise we might see if I or all of us can fit into one in autumn 2019.
Mongolia looks awesome too, and I would be really keen to do that one day...A mate of mine is really keen to book into one of your Ausy treks next year, and you never know him and I might be able to wangle Mongolia 2020? We will have to wait and see.
I have attached a couple of screen shots from my phone which you might be interested in. The first with Bindu is my Lock screen, and the other with Raj my homepage wallpaper. I love them and they remind me daily of our SA camel experience.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings. If you ever need any help, let us know and we will see what we can arrange; and if you ever come to NZ for a well earned holiday, please come and see us.
All the Best and Thanks from the Martins.
Martin Family / April 2018
Hello to my gorgeous unique & special cameleer,
Karen, words fail when I come to describe how much that last trek meant to me. Absolutely wonderful! Amazing! SO special. And everything in between.
To be with you & the camels again was a touch of heaven. To be “out there” with AJ & do so much more with the camels was bliss. Can’t stop thinking about it & revisiting all those wonderful days again. The 4 of us are hoping to meet up again next year for the Lake Torrens trek!!!
You are brilliant, hated parting from you, you put so much into caring for all your clients, & the way you treat & understand all your camels is such a treat & a great lesson for us all. Loved meeting Sara & Joe, too, what a very special family you are. Please give them my love, they are so talented, each in their own way. And a big hug to Paul!
Karen, my dear special & amazing friend, do take care. I miss you, love you, big hugs, & look forward to next time.
SO miss you. xoxo
Rosemary / April 2018
Thank you soooo much for the wonderful time Peter and I had.
Certainly we had what could only be described as a unique experience. We got to spend it with people who are passionate about their work (you, Paul, Jo and the team of girls) and with a lovely group of ‘new friends’.
I’ve taken away with me a new understanding about those magnificent creatures, their personalities and idiosyncrasies that make them who they are.
I haven’t stopped talking about the experience and sharing moments when I can.
Dianne and Peter April 2018
Dear Karen, Paul, Joe et al,
I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get to my emails and to thank you properly for our time at Beltana. I have hit the ground running and teaching since I returned and literally had no free time.
Thomas and I want to thank you for all your efforts and for your patience with my mob of artists. We had a lovely trip and everyone was very happy and inspired, with nothing but enthusiasm and kind words when we left them at the Adelaide airport. Thomas is totally enamoured with you all and central Australia and has definitely now been bitten by the camel bug too! He just loved your beautiful animals and is so keen to learn more and has been reading nothing but camel and exploration history since leaving.
I so loved seeing you again Karen, albeit under 'working' conditions for us all that are never easy to please and accomodate everyone, but it was so especially lovely for me to meet your mob and absolutely adorable and beautifully behaved camels. What an example you are of how to work with these incredible animals! Karen you are truely a legendary outback camel lady and I have no doubt that your reputation will only grow the more you are able to travel and work internationally.
Once again thank you my dear friends for all your work and kindness and expertise and please keep in touch and stay safe and have a wonderful season out there in the beautiful desert country you will be journeying through.
Big hugs, Always from us both.
XX - April 2018
I really enjoyed the whole Thar Desert camel trek experience. I enjoyed watching the camel wallahs working as a tight knit group, especially around the camp and also when we were on the move. The music was a treat. The morning chai masala while watching the sunrise was pretty special, as was the rum and cokes around the campfire in the evenings. The food was amazing and Hetu’s bbq chicken may be the best bbq I have ever had. The bread cooked in the dung fire was very tasty !! The birthday cake ceremony was a wonderful experience and I especially enjoyed the musicians and the belly dancers who performed for us. What a treat when the camel wallahs did a concert for us and we all got to dance in soft sand around the campfire. I should have taken more time out each morning to reflect on the scenery and what was going on. Maybe some meditation, if only I knew how to do it!! Wasn't it great to see all of the animals in the desert and to smile and wave with all the villagers that we saw. I enjoyed my time in the saddle. Its a great viewing platform up there isn't it !!! I also enjoyed sitting around the campfire late on various evenings with Hetu, VJ, Paul and some of the wallahs chatting while enjoying some refreshments. The post lunch snooze was well received, as were the very cold beers at lunch time!!
David was an excellent tour guide for me. I enjoyed listening to his detail at the various forts and temples. His knowledge of the gods was very interesting to me also.
I felt very well looked after by Hetu. What a wonderful young man he is. Meeting his future wife and family was an amazing experience. I thought the bike tour he led through the Bikaner lanes and alleyways was a special highlight. Who can forget that chai masala tea experience, the market, the Jain temple visit or that yummy food we ate. All while riding bikes!!
The Bikaner Camel festival was a fun event. I enjoyed dressing up and participating in the parade and the horse and buggy ride. I felt privileged to be in the seats we had for the fire walking event.
The shopping experiences were great. I managed to fill my suitcase with items and could have purchased much much more.
Seeing the Taj Mahal was great. Its a shame we got fogged out for the sunrise visit. Like the Taj, I had already seen a lot of the attractions around Agra, Delhi and Jaipur. Pushkar was interesting. I enjoyed looking through the Brahma temple and walking through the market, feeding the cows with carrots and also the walk around the sacred lake. Having a rum and coke in the bus on arrival was a great little treat.
I enjoyed meeting Daisy and VJ at the guest house and I thought the traditional greeting there was very special.
The train trip from Bikaner to Delhi was great. I just loved it, especially having a whiskey in the cut down water bottle cup and having a good nights rest in the upper bunk !!!
I thought we ate very very well through all of the trip. Coffee and toilet breaks while we were travelling seemed very well planned to me. The accommodation was great and I especially enjoyed staying in the palaces.
Probably my main failure for the trip was my packing. I over packed and had enough clean clothing left over to do another whole trip. I got into Delhi far too late on the first day. This was caused by a flight cancellation between Singapore and Delhi by Singapore Airlines. If I had my time again I would have flown Sydney to Delhi direct. I should have lingered longer in India after our tour.
It was great to spend time with you and Paul also Karen. You both made the trip fun and special for me. Thanks heaps. Thanks also for the photo downloads. Just love technology!! I also enjoyed having the 2 boys and Yolanda hanging out with us oldies as well.
Overall, I thought the trip was very well planned, very well led and very well executed. I thought we saw about the right amount of temples, palaces and forts and go to do enough shopping. I felt I got very good value for money and I also felt that I got to experience a side of India that most would never get to see. What would I change, nothing. People who don't do your tour to India Karen, miss out on a great travel experience.
Thankyou again Karen and I hope the camel roundup was successful when you got home.
Have a great, safe, healthy, happy and successful year.
Kev January 2019 - India journey