Three operators offer camel rides in Broome, so which one should you choose? I researched the tour operators thoroughly before deciding which camel ride to book, so you don’t have to. This article compares the top two camel rides to help you decide which is best for you.
In Australia’s North West region, Broome is known for its Cable Beach (22 kilometers of white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters). Here camel ride companies offer tourists the opportunity to experience the area’s beauty from a different perspective. It is one of the most popular things to do in Broome.
Book Our Favourite Camel Tour
The Popular Red Sun Camel Sunset Tour will be one of the best things you’ll do in Broome.
Comparing Camel Rides in Broome Western Australia
Three companies operate camel rides in Broome; Broome Camel Safaris, Red Sun Camels, and Sundowner Camel Tours. However, I would book either Broome Camel Safaris or Red Sun Camels.
⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5 ⏰ Tour Start Times: 7:50am, 4pm, 4:50pm ⏳ Tour Lengths: 30-60 mins
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Red Sun Camels began in 1991 but were purchased by John and Janet Geappen in 2000, who now have over 40 camels. The couple opened the Camel Store in Broome in 2007, where you can purchase camel-related products.
Red Sun Camels have red blankets and offer a sunset tour, a pre-sunset sampler tour, and a morning tour. They have a strict 100 kg maximum per person and two people ride each camel. If you have a child on your lap (0 to 4 years), you jointly cannot exceed the 100 kg limit. As with Broome Camel Safaris, the combined weight of two passengers cannot exceed 170 kg. Child rates apply for 5 to 15-year-olds.
There are a variety of tours, but their signature is the “Sunset Safari.” Lasting about an hour, this tour is timed perfectly to capture the sunset over the Indian Ocean. As the sky transitions through a kaleidoscope of colors, you’ll be riding atop one of Red Sun’s well-trained, gentle camels, each with its own name and personality. It’s not just a ride; it’s an interaction with these lovely animals.
Red Sun Camels have an hour Sunset Tour, a Pre-Sunset Sampler Tour, and a Morning Tour.
Customers often highlight the professionalism and friendliness of the staff, along with the well-cared-for camels. A frequent comment from reviews is the ease and comfort of the ride, making it suitable for all ages and experience levels.
⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5 ⏰ Tour Start Times: 3:45pm, 4:45pm ⏳ Tour Lengths: 30-60 mins
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Alison Bird profoundly cares for her camels, has trained them, and brought up orphan calves from the wild. Alison and her husband, Allen, now have over 30 camels which are all loved. They have a strict 90kg per person weight limit policy, with a combined weight of two passengers not exceeding 170 kg. Children are between five and fifteen but must not weigh more than 60 kg; otherwise will be charged as adults. Children up to four years old can sit on an adult’s lap.
You can tell their camels by the blue blankets. They offer morning, afternoon, and sunset camel rides on Cable Beach, and every lady receives a pair of freshwater pearl earrings.
The most popular holiday activity is the one hour sunset camel ride, where you get to give your camel a carrot at the end.
The 30-minute pre-sunset tour is great value if you prefer a shorter ride. It also allows you to take photos of the camel train at sunset.
The rave reviews speak volumes. Visitors consistently praise the knowledgeable guides, the friendly camels, and the unforgettable views. One reviewer mentioned, “It’s more than just a ride; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that connects you with nature and these incredible animals.”
Maximum Weight Limit of Camel Rides in Broome
There are maximum weight restrictions for camel rides in Broome to safeguard the health of these animals.
Broome Camel Safari has a 90kg weight limit, and Red Sun Camels has a 100kg limit per adult. Child weight limits are 60 kg, and a couple cannot exceed 170 kg.
Camel Rides in Broome: My Review
My top two camel ride operators have excellent reviews and the prices are similar. We ended up choosing Red Sun Camels, but Broome Camel Safaris looked good too.
Pre Sunset Camel Ride Tour
I opted for the Broome pre-sunset ride as I thought a 30-minute ride would be long enough and wanted to be on this beautiful beach to take photos of the camel trains at sunset. It was also cheaper for our family of four, and you still have the same experience, although not at sunset.
Also, this end of Cable Beach gets very busy around sunset, and lots of 4wd vehicles park and drive along the beach. However, the camels do go further up the beach.
The camel ride operators are easy to find. Turn right at the rocks from the main access point on Cable Beach and look for your chosen tour operator’s colour. Make sure you leave plenty of time to get there, though, as they won’t wait and will leave without you.
Upon arrival, we were offered a complimentary drink of a beer, sparkling wine (thank you very much), or water. Once signed in, we relaxed on the beach while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive.
We spotted the camels approaching soon, and they were brought alongside a Ute, used as a loading platform to make it easier to get off and on the camels. I believe Red Camels are the only operator to offer this at this stage.
We then had to gather around to decide who goes on what camel and with whom. The guides try to keep families together.
Soon it was our time to climb the steps onto the platform and wait for the camel to come alongside. It was an easy swing of the leg over, and off we went.
It felt bumpy to start with, but we soon got used to the feeling and enjoyed a gentle ride along the white sands of Cable Beach. During the ride, the friendly guides told us the name of our camel and how she became part of their camel train.
The friendly camels were constantly coming alongside for a pat and a stroke. They are adorable animals with long eyelashes and don’t smell at all (or spit).
On the return part of the journey, the staff uses your camera to take photos of you on the camel, so you have a memory of it all free of charge. There were options to buy professional photos too.
Before we knew it, the ride was over, and we were back alongside the loading platform to dismount the camel.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and found the pre-sunset tour perfect. I didn’t find it uncomfortable, but I might have after an hour.
Add camel rides in Broome to your bucket list; it’s a true Broome iconic experience and great fun for the family.
Camel Information & Facts
There are two types of camels; Arabian Camel (Dromedary) and Bactrian Camel. The Dromedary camels have one hump and are the ones found in Broome. They live to about 25 years old in the wild, but Domestic camels can live up to 40 years old.
These animals can grow to 7 feet at the hump and weigh 1600 pounds. Their hump stores fat which can be broken down into energy when food is scarce. They hardly sweat, so they don’t require much water. The domestic ones will drink around 25 litres daily, but a thirsty camel can drink 115 litres in 13 minutes.
Unlike most animals, when walking, the camel moves both feet on one side of its body, then both feet on the other.
History of Camels in Australia
Camels were introduced from India and Afghanistan into Australia in the 19th Century to help with transport and workloads. Muslim cameleers were brought in to service the South Australian outback and soon began their own businesses importing and running camel trains. It is estimated that around 15,000 camels were imported into Australia at that time. The handlers were known as Afghans or Ghans, from which the train, The Ghan, gets its name.
After the arrival of motorised transport, camels weren’t required and so were released into the wild. Here they thrived, and today Australia has the world’s largest population of feral camels. This has become a problem for outback communities where they destroy fences and pipes and drink the waterholes dry. The government funded a culling program that killed around 160,000 camels from 2009 to 2013.
So you could say that these camel ride companies are saving the camels from death. I’m not a supporter of animal tourism when the animals suffer. However, these are well looked after; they are fed and watered, there is a weight limit for passengers, and they only work two to three times a day.
Best Time to Visit Broome for Camel Safaris
The best times to visit Broome for camel safaris are during the dry season, which typically spans from April to October. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect during these months:
- April to June: This period marks the transition from the wet to the dry season. The weather is more comfortable, and the landscape is green from the recent rains. It’s an ideal time for those who prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds.
- July to August: These are the peak tourist months in Broome. The weather is dry and cool, making it perfect for outdoor activities like camel safaris. However, it’s also the busiest time, so booking tours in advance is recommended.
- September to October: As the dry season comes to an end, the temperatures start to rise, but it’s still a great time for camel safaris. The sunsets are particularly spectacular during these months, offering a breathtaking backdrop for evening rides.
My Helpful Tips for First-Time Camel Rifers
- Wear Comfortable Clothing: Opt for light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing (long pants to prevent chafing). Wear closed-toe shoes for better support or ide bare-foot as I did.
- Listen to the Guide: Pay attention to the instructions provided by your guide for mounting, riding, and dismounting the camel.
- Stay Relaxed: Camels can sense if you’re tense. Stay calm and relaxed, especially during the mount and dismount, as camels stand up and sit down front legs first. Note that Red Camels mount via a ute so the camels don’t have to bend down.
- Hold on Securely: Use the saddle handle to hold on when the camel is moving, but avoid gripping too tightly.
- Sit Upright: Maintain a straight posture with your weight balanced. Leaning can make the ride uncomfortable for both you and the camel.
- Be Prepared for Height: Camels are taller than horses, so be ready for a higher perspective.
- Use Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen and wear a hat, as you’ll be exposed to the sun for the duration of the ride.
- Avoid Sudden Movements: Quick movements can startle the camel. Move smoothly and follow the camel’s rhythm.
- Capture Memories: Bring a camera or phone to take photos, but make sure it’s secure.
- Respect the Animal: Remember that camels are living creatures. Treat them with respect and kindness.
Other Tours in Broome
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Have you been on a camel ride before? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments!
Book your camel ride well in advance as they book up fast and you may miss out on your preferred tour.
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