While we were visiting Robe on the Limestone Coast, we got to do something I never thought I would do – watch camels being milked! Learn about that and all the other things to do at the Humpalicious Camel Farm here.
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TL;DR? Here's the outline
The Humpalicious Morning Milking Tour
The Humpalicious Camel Farm is just 5 km from Robe, so this is a perfect activity if you are holidaying in the area. It’s been here now for a couple of years and is fast becoming a favourite, especially with kids.
Currently, this Robe camel farm is home to over 60 camels and we went along to do their morning milking tour. This tour runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week at 9:30 am. It goes for around ninety minutes.
On our arrival, we were met by TJ, who welcomed us to the farm. We then walked to the milking shed, about 500 metres away.
We were accompanied by Big Bird and Little Bird, the two resident emus, and a whole herd of noisy guinea fowl followed too. Clearly, things are a bit different to the usual Aussie farm.
During the walk, TJ filled us in on some of the history of the farm. Her husband Warwick, who we would soon meet, had spent some time up in the north of South Australia in the APY lands.
It was there, over thirty years, that he learned about camels from the local Pitjantjatjarra people.
Today, Australia has a huge number of wild camels, one of the few remaining herds of these dromedary camels anywhere in the world.
With his close ties to the local people, Warwick is able to harness the skills of the Indigenous trackers and stockmen to choose the absolute best camels to bring back to Robe for milking.
As we entered the dairy, Warwick was making the last of his preparations for milking. There were six camels here to be milked today, but we were only going to have time to watch one or two.
While you may imagine the process to be much like watching a cow being milked, there are some key differences.
Camels have the ability to hold onto their milk if they choose. They also do not have symmetrical udders or teats. This means that the process is very hands on.
There is no attaching the milking machine and moving on here, Warwick sits and watches closely as the machine does its thing, adjusting it as required.
Each camel gives only about four litres of milk, making this a much more labour-intensive and less fruitful process than milking cows.
After a few quick photos of the camels, we made our way out to the yard to meet the babies. These babies are almost no longer babies, and in just a few months they will be with the main herd as the new crop of babies starts to be born.
Big babies mean big appetites, and these young camels pushed and shoved as they squeezed their heads through the railing to get at the pellets on our hands. Yes, definitely boisterous teenagers!
The guinea fowl got in on this feeding too. They also like the pellets, and come to clean up any the camels may have dropped.
Warwick continues on with the milking, only up to camel number three as we make our way back to the little shop. As we walked past the herd, TJ pointed out the girls due to have their babies very soon.
Back at the shop, we had a taste of the finished product. Since I am plant-based, I only had the teensiest sip to decide if it tasted bad or not. My husband was happy with that as it meant the rest was for him, and he thought it was delicious.
TJ continued to educate us. “What’s so good about camel milk?” I asked.
I learned that it is often hailed as a nutritional powerhouse because it boasts a range of benefits.
It’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, and B vitamins, supports a strong immune system and contributes to overall vitality.
It has a lower fat content compared to cow’s milk meaning it’s a suitable option for those looking for a lighter alternative.
Camel milk is easier to digest and can be a godsend for people with lactose intolerance and allergies.
With its potential anti-inflammatory properties and immune-boosting proteins, camel milk is emerging as a unique and healthful addition to the dietary landscape.
It’s not cheap, but after seeing the process, the price is understandable.
I had to browse the menu for the other items available – I had to laugh at the coffee list.
Humpogato or Humpacino anyone? There’s also a range of camel meat products and farm-fresh honey too (we bought some of the honey and can confirm it’s delicious).
Other Humpalicious Tours
Humpalicious also offers a second tour, their Solar Buggy Camel Safari. Here you can just in their little buggy and head out amongst the main camel herd. While safe behind the safari cage, get close to the camels as they are fed.
This tour takes place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday afternoons and the buggy can hold 10-15 people so this is a great activity for larger groups.
There are plans for more tours and activities in the future. Summer is the peak season here (I visited in winter) and this year it should see a petting zoo available for the kids.
We got to meet two pygmy goats that are still so new here a Humpalicious that they are still learning to come out of their trailer.
There have been camel rides in the past, and there is a couple of camels in training to do more in the future, perhaps even longer tours around the area.
TJ’s enthusiasm is contagious, and it is clear that both she and Warwick love what they do here.
Sustainability is Key
I hinted about it above with the solar buggy, but it needs to be said that Humpalicious Camel Farm Robe is entirely off-grid and sustainable.
Everything here is powered by solar or wind, which means they are the only camel farm in Australia to use 100% renewable energy.
The farm is also completely chemical-free, so this milk is as close to natural as possible.
If you are curious about tasting camel milk, or you think it might help with your allergies or intolerances, you can look for a local stockist on their website or order from the online store.
Where is Humpalicious Camel Farm
The address is 46 Roys Lane, Mount Benson SA 5275. Look for the signs on the main road between Robe and Kingston, just north of Robe. Head on over to their website here for more details and to book their tours.
Before you go…
Take a look at these posts next for more things to do on the Limestone Coast
Visit the Naracoorte Caves National Park
Best Coonawarra Wineries for a Wine-Tasting Weekend
42 Great Things to Do in Mount Gambier
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