Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published April 6th 2016
All aboard a ship of the desert
The advert for Beach Camel Riding at Coffs Harbour had caught my eye a year or so back and the thought was tucked away on my mental bucket list. Holidaying at Coffs around Easter gave us the opportunity to give this unusual activity a go. The camels can be found at the Jordan Esplanade (in front of the Deep Sea Fishing Club) at Coffs Harbour, during NSW school holidays.
Getting on is surprisingly easy. There's an elevated ramp the camels come alongside, so you just throw your leg over and sit onto the saddle. There's a handbar in front to grab a hold of too. It was a much smoother mount than my Sahara Desert camel ride, which was a rising lurch on a sitting camel. Two sit together on the one camel at Coffs, one behind the other. These gentle animals follow one another, forming a camel caravan and are very responsive to the handler. Our guide was clearly a camel lover and was happy to share her knowledge.
Smile for the camera
A camel stride is long and feels as if it's in slow motion compared with a horse. The location is spectacular as the ride takes you along Boambee Beach in the edge of the surf. The waves crashed, sun sparkles glistened off the ocean and both the sky and the water were an incredible blue, the day we took our ride. The website promises a feeling of relaxation from your ride and they aren't wrong. Save for some passing 4 x 4's, the beach was deserted which enhanced the experience.
We were surprised by the calm, easy nature of the camels who seemed quite at home on the beach. After the ride we enjoyed being around our ships of the desert for a while longer and chatting to the cameleers, who very kindly took some photos for us when we were out on our ride.
Interesting camel facts include those listed on their website :
Australia is home to the largest herd of wild camels in the world.
Australia even exports camels back to the Middle East.
The word Camel means "beautiful".
The camels move around Australia to various locations and events. If you are looking for something different to do on a family holiday, this is definitely a great option. We didn't make a booking; we just turned up and were able to ride right away. Note there are no card facilities so payment is by cash only and there is a weight restriction of 100kg pp. For all bookings and enquiries, call 0447 070 128. The location is shown on the map. The camels were also at the Harbourside Markets when we were in Coffs for the Coffs Harbour Ocean Swim.
Camel riding is definitely a Bucket List item and a great family adventure that will have everyone smiling.