We were in Uluru for 3 nights and did three sunset experiences. Our last and possibly best one was the camel ride experience. I’ve been on plenty of horses, but my experience with camels is pretty much obsolete or nonexistent. I really wanted to do a camel ride while in the outback. It’s just so bizarre to think that in a country with beautiful beaches, bustling cities, excessive amount of avocado toast you can also ride a camel. My mom didn’t have the same draw to ride a camel as I did, but once a helicopter ride was out of the question the camel ride was the compromise.
The feral camel population in Australia is apparently actually out of hand. It’s estimated that there’s around a million feral camels. Who knew? I sure didn’t and that is really not something I would have even guessed. Camels are not indigenous to Australia, but were introduced to help out and work in the outback as the sun is too brutal for horses. The first camels arrived in Australia around 1840. The camels were used for decades, but with the introduction of cars, trucks, etc. their work lessened and they became feral. According to the people who live here they are now a massive problem in the wild.
The camel farm at Ayers Rock resort has over 80 camels. They have quite the operation there. If camels come in to the property looking for food or water they will pretty much take them in. The camels we road seemed like very happy, well fed beasts.
If you’ve never rode a camel I’ll say it’s really not like riding a horse. Similar to a horse however they do have their own personalities and characters. At this farm you’ll probably be riding a male camel and apparently they are sexist as well. If the trainer doesn’t create a dominance they won’t respect her and the ride is likely not to go well.
Camels are a lot bigger than horses and the way you get on them is a bit scary. Our camels were all on their knees in a rest position when we saddled up. They then get up back legs first and then the front similar to a wave motion. Once you’re up it’s very high up. I think higher than any horse I’ve been on, actually no definitely higher than any horse, but somehow you feel more stable. They aren’t known to kick so you won’t be bucked off (they can and do bite though).
Camels can run up to 65kmh (about 40mph), but on these bush walks they are just cruising and strolling along. Another fun fact is that they actually have camel races in these parts of Oz that are a huge entertainment factor in the fall.
Our ride was for an hour and we started before sunset. We made a couple of brief stops along the way. The hour was enough if not a little too long. When we got back to the farm we had some bush snacks and refreshments waiting for us. The experience was totally worth it and let the record show my mom did enjoy it as well.
The camel farm also has a little “Funny Farm.” It’s just a couple of pens, but it has orphaned/injured animals. They have three younger camels there too. Two of them, Bella and Tuesday, are about 1.5 years old. And then there’s a baby camel that’s only a couple of months old named Moose. She is an absolute darling and will cuddle up to anyone. The owner of the farm saved her after her mom was shot. They’ll keep the young ones for a couple of years and eventually sell them off, but i was glad that they had this little area for the misfit animals.
Even if riding a camel isn’t your thing going to the farm is free and one of the stops on the resort shuttle so definitely make a stop here if you’re staying on the property.