When Every Day is Hump Day
Ken Towle first took a ride on a camel thirty years ago. He’s been hooked ever since. Now, he gets to share his passion daily with locals and tourists as part of Port Macquarie Camel Safaris.
If you were ever tempted to take a ride on a camel – Ken is certainly the person you want to do it with. From camel sprints, endurance racing, herding wild camels and now leisurely strolls along the beach, Cameleer Ken is most definitely an expert on ‘the ships of the desert’.
“Within six months of my first ride, I owned a camel and I’ve been in the business ever since,” Ken said. “I just love them – the rides, their different personalities – anything you can do on a horse, you can do on a camel too.”
He and business partner, John Hardy, have been running Port Macquarie Camel Safaris for almost a decade. Running half-hour treks along Lighthouse Beach, Ken and his trusty steeds have been helping locals and tourists alike enjoy a whole new view of the coast.
“Each camel is different, some love affection like dogs and want to spend all their time with you, others are happy to just hang around.”
Their oldest guy is Bulla, at 28. Then there’s Wongai, Manindi, “Kal” (Kalgoorlie), Mile, Morgan and Obama – so named because he came into the family the day President Obama was elected. On any given day the camels will load themselves into the truck of a morning, ready for a day at the beach.
“One camel we’ve only had for six months and even he comes and stands by the truck, all set to go.”
As you can imagine, Ken has met people from all over the world – but one stand-out moment was when Obama was actually ridden by one of his namesake’s former body guards.
“He didn’t see the funny side, but we sure did,” Ken says.
A standard trek lasts around 30 mins, walking along the beach on the water’s edge before getting some photos and learning about the history and some interesting facts about camels in Australia.
“We like to have a bit of a joke and have some fun,” Ken says.
Port Macquarie Camel Safaris run on Lighthouse Beach every day except Saturday from 930am-1pm, all year round. For more info, go to www.portmacquariecamels.com.au