Camel races, tourist hub planned for rural property
A CAMEL farm near Ipswich has been earmarked for transformation into an up-market tourist destination with a farmstay and bed and breakfast.
The Australian Wild Camel Corporation has applied to the Scenic Rim Regional Council to include a tourist facility, cafe, gift shop, farmstay, bed and breakfast, and farm and camel tours on their existing camel farm at Harrisville.
The potential for camel races to be held at the property is also included in the development application.
Grazier Paul Martin and his business partner, biochemist Jeff Flood, opened The Australian Wild Camel Corporation in early 2016 and now the business partners are taking the next step in expanding their empire.
Paul spent seven years researching camel farming practices around the world before a single animal arrived on his 850-acre Scenic Rim property.
Aside from milk and meat production, plans are in place for the camel farm to welcome tourist groups, offering tasty treats like camel milk gelato and cheese at a cafe inside a Queenslander-style building with views of the Great Dividing Range.
Mr Martin previously said camel dairy products were among the most in-demand and belonged to the fastest growing market in the dairy industry.
"The vision is for people to come out and buy a hamper of camel products and have a picnic out on the lawn or visit the tea house," Mr Martin said.
"We plan to make the cosmetics, cheese, soap and all our products here so people can see how everything is made."
He said there was a market in southeast Queensland due to the milk's numerous health benefits.
"This product is the closest thing you can get to human milk so the proteins are offering a lot of healing properties for a lot of people," Mr Martin said.
The community can have their say on the development between April 13 and May 4.
See www.scenicrime.qld.gov .au for details and how to make submissions.
FACTS FROM THE FARMER:
Paul says he has never been spat on and thinks camel spitting in a myth with Australian breeds.
Camel milk is easier to digest and is good for gut health.
Ice cream made from camel milk is creamier than regular gelato.
Camel milk has been revered for its health benefits by indigenous communities in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Paul hopes to produce 10,000L of milk per day once the farm reaches its peak.
Women make better camels handlers. Paul says their naturally less aggressive body language and generally smaller stature makes it easier for women to work with the large desert-dwelling animals.
A group of camels is called a caravan.
Camel milk is currently priced at $20-$30 a litre, but Paul hopes to reduce that cost over time.