By Molly Taylor
THE Limestone Coast public has the rare opportunity to experience its own touch of safari this summer as a unique Robe agricultural tourism business invites the community for private inspection.
South Australia’s only known camel dairy Humpalicious Camel Milk owners TJ and Warrick Hill and their 50 camels moved from Port Germein to the South East just over two years, building the world’s first renewably-powered site.
When the lease of their former 200-hectare property ended, Ms Hill said they began investigating other places to settle and stumbled upon a 40ha block of vacant land on the outskirts of Robe.
“We thought about lifestyle, tourism, cool weather and it all seemed to work,” she said.
“We have had to start from scratch as there was no water, power and the fencing needed work.
“We have been milking the camels for around a year now and have installed solar and wind which we plan to continue to expand on.”
Ms Hill said an aspiration was to become an agricultural-focused tourism business which invited public on-site for behind-the-scene tours and exclusive tasting of products.
“From what we know, we are the only camel dairy which has opened up to public because it is so difficult milking camels and it is time-consuming,” she said.
“Milking 17 camels takes three hours and you could do 100 cows in that time as they are bred for the machinery.
“Milking camels is quite difficult because they are wild animals and the teet distribution is the almost never the same.”
With a passion for agriculture, Ms Hill said agritourism was important as she believed many people were disconnected from farming.
“When people walk through these glass doors and see these camels standing calmly right in front of them, they are blown away,” she said.
“I think the thing I love about it is about re-connecting and introducing people to large animals and food sources.”
Summer tours run from Thursday to Sunday morning with the farm also open in the afternoon for people passing through.
Ms Hill said tours involved walking to the dairy and informal, hands-on experiences.
“It is a really great way for kids to learn hands-on and the camels are behind a fence so it is safe for everybody,” she said.
“We offer camel walks where people can walk amongst the heard and people can taste the milk through milkshakes, gelato and coffee.”
The farm is also planning to provide camel rides.
Ms Hill said the initial project stemmed back to when Mr Hill began involvement with the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) at the age of 20, beginning the first South Australian camel muster with his friend.
“One day they asked whether they (Warrick and best friend Roger) wanted to catch camels and off they went,” she said.
Making Robe their new home, Ms Hill said she believed the farm has added a vibe to the Limestone Coast.