Adventurous Hiking with Camels
A bushwalker’s addiction is to transform the horizon into the night’s campsite.
Picture a string of pack camels moving quietly through rarely visited outback scenery. You are walking with only your backpack through a variety of landscapes, with time to explore along the way.
Do these sound like the ingredients for a memorable hike?
Join us in 2017
June 28th – July 4th
July 12th - July 18th
Each safari begins with your arrival at Coward Springs on the Oodnadatta Track on the evening before Day 1 (unless otherwise arranged on booking). We leave the next morning and return in the afternoon of the last day.
How far do you walk and how fit do you need to be?
We travel between 12 and 20 kilometres a day. You need to be fit enough to walk most of the way. After the first day we usually have one or two riding camels so that you can take an occasional break from walking.
We cater for your comfort but remember that you are in the 'great outdoors'. If you are fairly active, enjoy the natural environment and like camping, this is a relaxed walking adventure.
What to expect from your outback experience
Our aim is to make your experience both relaxed and memorable.
We usually take time to explore things along the way and have a long lunch (when trekkers have been known to climb hills while others are napping).
Evenings are around the campfire. Campfire cooking is a tradition in itself and part of the experience is watching (or helping) meals being cooked over the campfire.
We expect that you will
- Feel the singular peace of this area: camels travel quietly into remote country and our group size is small.
- Discover the desert details: bird and plant life, signs of early indigenous occupation, remnants of historical European settlement and more.
- Laugh and relax during evenings around the campfire.
- Sleep snugly in your swag, usually under a dome of brilliant stars as only seen in the outback.
- Become part of the team: help to shepherd and load camels or learn the art of campfire cooking (try your hand at a damper).
We take particular care to look after the land we are travelling through. We leave nothing behind and even our tracks will be blown away by the wind.
Your safety is assured. We carry a comprehensive emergency kit, use a reliable communication system and have a well-rehearsed emergency procedure.
Get to know our well-trained camels
Our camels are an experience in store for you. They are gentle, well-trained and very expressive animals and therefore easy to get to know. Most of our camels have been with us for years but there is often a camel in training in the team.
We travel through a range of outback landscapes
Safaris usually leave from Coward Springs on the Oodnadatta Track into the surrounding country. This is the catchment area for Lake Eyre South and has a range of typical and spectacular outback landscapes.
Each safari is planned around seasonal highlights and incorporates some or all of the following features:
- mound springs - 'mounds' created by mineral deposits as water from the Great Artesian Basin seeps through fissures in the bedrock. Often rivulets of water flow from the top of the mound and are surrounded by luxuriant reeds.
- sand dunes - low, vegetated dune systems.
- gibber plains - shiny, wind polished pebbles often forming pavements that appear to change colour with the light during the day.
- creek lines - usually dry, these are creeks of white sand, wooded with coolabahs and with the occasional waterhole.
- mesas - the Turret Range is a colourful backdrop or part of the landscape that we walk through.
About us and our safaris
We have been working and training camels since the 1980's.
Peter Chantler lives in Casterton, Victoria and until recently worked camels throughout the year.
Greg Emmett and Prue Coulls established Coward Springs Campground in 1991 and started running safaris with Peter in 1992. We did our ‘last’ safari in 2015, but with Pete in the lead, have several new team members who have happily taken our place.
Dave Dowie returned to safaris as our valued cameleer & offsider several years ago. John Tagell, recently ‘retired’, has taken to the camp kitchen with enthusiasm and expertise.
What will the weather be like?
At this time of the year outback temperatures can range from cool to hot during the day to cold at night. It does sometimes rain but it is usually unexpected since this is one of the lowest rainfall regions in Australia.
What do you need to bring?
We supply everything except your personal gear:
- your swag (but not your bedding)
- all your food from the night of your arrival at Coward Springs. Plenty of drinking water but limited washing water.
We will send you a list of suggested things to bring when you book. When you are packing remember that the camels carry everything - your gear will need to fit into a small soft bag. We travel comfortably but light!
How to get to Coward Springs
Costs and conditions
- $1760 per person (including GST).
- 10% deposit to be paid on booking, non-refundable if cancellation is within 90 days of departure. The remainder is to be paid 30 days before departure date unless otherwise arranged. No card facilities.
- Minimum number of people for the trip to go is 8.
- You MUST advise on booking of any health issues or special dietary needs.
- Occasionally rain closes outback 'dirt tracks' and therefore access to your starting point. If this happens we will either reschedule if this suits you or refund.
- We strongly advise that you take out travel insurance in case of illness, injury or a delay in schedule due to rain.
- No refund if cancellation is within 21 days of departure date.
Contact and Booking details
Email us or phone Prue (08) 8675 8336