Three operators offer camel rides in Broome, so which one should you choose? This article will compare the three camel rides and help you make a decision.
Broome is located in Australia’s North West region, Western Australia. It is well known for its Cable Beach, which features 22 kilometers of white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. There are three camel rides along Cable Beach that offer tourists the opportunity to experience the beauty of the area from a different perspective and is one of the most popular things to do in Broome.
Disclosure: Some of my links are affiliates (of which I use), which means that I may receive a small amount of commission if you buy something through them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not cost you a cent, nor do you pay more; I get a little towards the cost of running this blog, so I can keep it going. If you are thinking of booking through any of these companies, I would be very grateful if you could use my links. I am appreciative of all your support.
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 a day, 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, to 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 largest population of feral camels in the world. 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, I think these are well looked after; they are fed, watered, there is a weight limit for passengers, and they only work two to three times a day.
Camel Rides in Broome Western Australia
Three companies operate camel rides in Broome; Broome Camel Safaris, Red Sun Camels, and Sundowner Camel Tours.
Broome Camel Safaris
Broome Camel Safaris appear to be the most popular company that offers camel rides along Cable Beach, going on the number of reviews on Tripadvisor. They are also highly rated with five stars out of nearly 1,000 reviews! That’s pretty impressive.
Alison Bird deeply cares for her camels and 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 an adult. 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 of the ride.
Viator is currently offering a full refund if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. They also have the Lowest Price Guarantee. See prices here.
If you prefer a shorter ride, the 30-minute pre-sunset tour is great value. It also allows you to take photos of the camel train at sunset.
Red Sun Camels
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, 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.
Sundowner Camel Tours
Steve Madden (I believe to be the previous owner of Red Sun Camels) is now back in Broome and operating Sundowner Camel Tours. He has trained his camels from the wild and has also been breeding camels for many years. He always puts his animals’ welfare before anything else and has a strict weight limit policy of under 90 kg.
Sundowner Camel Tours has yellow blankets and offers two rides – sunset and pre-sunset.
Weight Limit of Camel Rides in Broome
There are weight restrictions for camel rides in Broome to safeguard the health of these animals.
Sundowner Camels and Broome Camel Safari both have a 90kg weight limit and Red Sun has a 100kg limit per adult. Child weight limits are 60 kg and a couple cannot exceed 170 kg.
Camel Rides in Broome Review
All three camel ride operators have mainly good reviews on Tripadvisor, and the prices are also similar. We had a voucher to use, so we booked with Red Sun Camels, who we were happy with. However, after all my research, I would most likely go with Broome Camel Safaris if I had to pick one.
Pre Sunset Tour Review
We opted for this tour as I thought a 30-minute ride would be long enough and wanted to be on the beach to take photos of the camel trains at sunset. It was also a cheaper option 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 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 either 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 at this stage, Red Camels are the only operator to offer this.
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 go.
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 all about how she became part of their camel train.
The friendly camels were constantly coming alongside for a pat and a stroke. They are really cute animals with their long eyelashes, and they didn’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 might have after an hour. I would advise wearing loose clothing, though. If you’re wondering it if is ethical to ride camels, we asked ourselves the same thing. Under no circumstances would we ride elephants, but after some research and seeing how well the camels were treated, we were happy with our decision. World Nomads have a good article about this dilemma.
Add camel rides in Broome to your bucket list; it’s a true Broome iconic experience and great fun for the family.
Other Tours in Broome
Accommodation in Cable Beach
We stayed at Broome Beach Resort and found it to be great for families and good value.
Save money planning your holiday
Flights: We use different sites to get the best possible price for flights. Check matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site. Compare the cost of flights with Trip.com and try different routes.
Accommodation: We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.
Car Rental: To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated.
Tours: We use third-party sites Viator, Get Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.
Travel Insurance: Cover-More protects the travel dreams and experiences of more than 15 million people worldwide every year (including us!). Part of Zurich Insurance Group, they cover 22 countries across five continents with leading positions in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, India and New Zealand. Protect your trip against several COVID-19 scenarios during the current coronavirus pandemic.
The Pilbara region WA, located in Australia’s North West, is one of the most fascinating places on earth. This post will take you through some of the best things to see and do in this amazing part of Australia. From exploring ancient Aboriginal rock art sites to taking a scenic flight over Karijini National Park, there are so many experiences awaiting for those who make it out here! Karijini National Park – Pilbara region The traditional homeowners of this area are the Banyjima, Kurrama and Innawonga people. Karijini is the Banyjima name for Hamersley Range. Karijini National Park lies just …
The Kimberley in Australia’s North West is one of the most breathtaking places in the whole world. There are so many things to do in the Kimberley region WA that it can be hard to decide where to start. In this post, we will give you 10 ideas for things that you should make sure not to miss when visiting the Kimberley region. Things to do in the Kimberley Region WA Take a Horizontal Falls Tour David Attenborough described Horizontal Falls as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Some of the largest tidal movements create a waterfall effect as …
Broome is a coastal town in Western Australia’s North West that is known for its pearls and stunning beaches. While it may be a small town, there are plenty of things to do in Broome. From exploring the natural beauty of the area to learning about the town’s history, visitors will find plenty to keep them busy during their stay. The Best Things To Do in Broome Horizontal Falls You can see the spectacular Horizontal Falls, described by naturalist David Attenborough as one of the world’s great natural wonders, on this half-day tour from Broome which receives a five-star rating …
The Willie Creek Pearl Farm Tour in Broome, Western Australia was recommended to us by family and friends, so we decided to book a tour while we were on holiday there. Find out what we thought of this tour, if it was worth the money, and essential information to make the most of your day. Willie Creek Pearl Farm Directions Willie Creek Pearl Farm is located 38 km out of Broome on the estuary of Willie Creek, in Australia’s North West region. They offer a Coach Tour (which is the option we chose) that provides an air-conditioned transfer from most …
The Broome Whale Watching Sunset Tour was our favourite experience in Broome. We would even say it’s a must-do if you are there in the whale watching season. The small town of Broome in Australia’s North West is known for its beautiful beaches, multicultural community, and now whale watching. Whales migrate to the area from June to September to give birth with many tour operators offering whale watching tours. When is Whale Watching Season? From June to September, humpback whales make their way from the cold Antarctica waters to the warmth of Broome. Here they will mate, calf and nurse …
If you are looking for the best value accommodation in Broome, Western Australia, read this Broome Beach Resort review, where we stayed on our holiday. Broome Beach Resort is in Australia’s North West region’s coastal town of Broome. It’s a great option for those wanting to stay close to Cable Beach but without the hefty price tag. Broome Beach Resort Address and Location The address is 4 Murray Road, Cable Beach, Western Australia 6726 It’s located 5km from Broome International Airport and 6km from the town centre. There is free parking available if you are hiring a car. Broome Beach …
If you found our Camel Rides in Broome guide helpful, please consider booking through one of our links. It won’t cost you anything but will help towards the cost of running this site. Thank you.