The camel ride proved the perfect educational experience for my kids. Before we went, we reviewed the Pyndan Camel Tracks website.
My younger one loved looking on the website at the pics of the camels and finding out their names and special qualities. He was most impressed that some of them are movie stars.
He wanted to watch the camels at home in their camel yards ahead of our tour which started at 2.30pm. Before we drove the 20 minutes from Alice Springs CBD to the Pyndan Camel Tracks farm, I checked to confirm the first ride at noon was on because the farm is only open during the camel tour times. It was on and we set up a picnic lunch although my younger one was more interested in getting to know the camels than in eating!
My older one was most interested that more than 100 years ago camels provided communication and supply links between Australian coastal and inland towns, bringing the news and provisions to inland towns and taking wool and minerals back to the ports. Their cameleers were Muslims, known as Afghans, and came from countries including India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was impressed that the Afghans and their camels assisted expeditions into Australia’s uncharted territory, starting with the 1860 Burke and Wills expedition that he learnt about in school.
On the ride, my older one was keen to tell the guide that he knew the history of camels in Australia. The guide was patient and told us fun facts about camels and yarns about catching camels in the wild and working with camels.
(For more information about camels in Australia watch the ABC Compass Progam all about Afghan cameleers: https://youtu.be/buMLmCBzNSs)
My younger one is looking forward to Show and Tell after the school holidays so he can show his class the photo the guide took of him riding Dock and some goodies from the souvenir shop – a postcard of Dock and a toy camel.