Last year I was lucky enough to taste some camel milk products as part of the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week. Sadly, this regional foodie festival was cancelled this year, so I’ve been ordering the scrumptious Scenic Rim Farm Box instead. In the Farm Box we’ve been receiving the creamy Summer Land Camel’s award winning Persian Feta. I’ve been putting it in and on everything; in salads, on avocado toast, on pizzas, in quiche and on our Friday night cheese boards. You see it is better for my thyroid to avoid gluten and dairy, but camel milk is very different to cow’s milk and I can eat it to my heart’s content.
When we heard that Summer Land Camels was opening for visitors we booked straight away. My son loves camels and my husband came along too. We didn’t know what to expect. Hubby had ridden a camel in Egypt and said it was quite grumpy. After a short 45 minute drive from Brisbane we had reached the farm. We were amazed as we pulled up to see camels as far as the eye could see.
These camels were certainly not grumpy camels. They were beautiful, chilled and affectionate and were cosying up to my son in minutes. You can tell when animals are well looked after and these beautiful animals were actually lapping up the attention and looking for pats. It was just the tonic after a couple of months in isolation to be out in the country surrounded by these serene creatures.
The heritage homestead and café is neat as a pin and we vowed to stop in for some lunch and a camel milk coffee after the tour and tasting. Both tours of ten on that first Sunday were full, with couples, families and even little ones in prams. It must have been heartening for one of Summer Land’s owners, Jeff Flood, who was conducting our tour that day.
Jeff is passionate about his camels and their products. He is a bio scientist who began the business to try and combat severe eczema in his son. He had heard that camel milk was great for so many things including skin problems, autism, autoimmune disorders and many other conditions.
Did you know that camels were originally from Canada? None of our tour group did. They were introduced into Australia as they could cover great distances without stopping and deliver goods all over our vast land. There was even a Camel Corps in the army.
Summer Land Camels is the world’s third largest camel dairy and the largest Camel farm in Australia. They have created so many new and innovative products from Camel milk, even making Camel milk cheddar cheese which was thought to be impossible until recently.
We loved seeing all the mother camels and their babies. One of the babies was only one day old. They are so loving towards each other and the bonds within the herd were easy to see. We toured the dairy, the pens and the processing building where they make camel milk beauty products, cheese and even ice cream.We all learnt more about camels in one hour than in our entire lifetime. Jeff is passionate about these beautiful creatures and the tour was so interesting.
At the end of the tour there was a tasting of camel milk and cheese. Delicious! We enjoyed brunch on the verandah of the homestead with Eggs Benny for Hubby and I and a generous helping of Potato Hash with rosemary salt for our son. We all enjoyed our camel milk coffees. Brunch is available from 9am to 3 pm on Sundays. If you miss out on a seat on the verandah there is plenty of room to picnic in the picturesque grounds.
I bought some night cream and soap to try, but sadly we were all too full to try the ice cream and gelato. My friend visited on the weekend after us and said their salted caramel ice cream was the best she’d ever tasted. I might just have to add some to my next Farm Box.
For a wonderful and unique day trip visit Summer Land Camels. As restrictions ease there will be more packages with things that you can do at the farm, including camel rides. You can visit the shop and café or order pizzas on a Friday. The real attraction though is those loveable camels with their magnificent eyelashes and gentle natures. You are sure to fall in love with these gorgeous creatures and like us will want to visit again soon.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).