We’re extremely passionate cameleers who adore camel kisses and long camel treks.
We love sharing our magnificent camels through our adventure camel treks, beach rides, camel hire and our camel training programs and online information. We’re also here to serve and mentor all camel owners or those thinking about being one.
Along our camel journey we’ve learnt many things, often the hard way, which has made us determined to share all the camel information that we know with you through our nature based camel treks, Cameleer Academy online, our in person clinics / training, our blog posts and through books and video tutorials that you’ll find right here.
Our family business is based in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia, a beautiful part of the world in our opinion. We travel to and fro to here and there in Australia and worldwide doing camel treks, camel training courses & speaking at events.
We specialize in helping new camel owners get comfortable with their new found wooly friend, learn how to handle, train, bond with and care for their camel(s). We also help passionate ‘camel people’ set up, start and succeed at their camel venture (like a camel expedition) or camel business idea.
Not only have there been many camel lessons along our journey so far, there has also been tragedies within our family unit. Our hearts have been broken serval times over and we’ve found ourselves wondering if we will ever be able to ‘do life’ the same again. We knew we had to turn our adversities into something that can have a positive impact on others for years to come, so that’s what we did within our business and this is often the drive for everything that we do (more on that to come)…
We’ve got ‘can do it’ attitudes (aka stubbornness) which has made it impossible for us to sit around and wait for answers, but, on the flip side, has made it possible for us to offer a few (much needed) ‘world firsts’ such as our Online Camel Courses, the Cameleer Academy, creating the Trust Based Camel Training Method and opened an online Camel Shop. Our mission is to be an open source for all things camels to new and not so new camel owners.
We’ve had (and continue to have) an array of experiences as ‘cameleers’ both professionally (commercial) and personally (for fun). We own and operate several operations such as Beach Camel Rides, Outback Camel Treks, Teaching Camel Training courses (clinics), Professional Cameleer Programs (for new camel business), crafting Camel Equipment and Saddlery and charity treks. The learning is endless, we love learning and sharing what we learn with people like you.
Resilience is at the core of our business. Through our heart ache we’ve turned our grief of loosing family members (too young and too suddenly) into Giving Back which is a core value of our camel company. Giving Back remains a high priority through our Charity Camel Treks, so long as we have two legs, a heart beat and our camels. We raise money for non-for-profit organisations that are close to our hearts and advocate for the organisations to increase awareness – camels are the perfect way to get a conversation started!
With our determined nature and drive there’s not much that we wouldn’t try which has made our business Australian Camels the growing success it is today. Making our passion (camels) our full-time ‘work’ has been a great achievement and one we’re grateful for everyday. But, it doesn’t stop there. We’re constantly creating new programs, treks and other creative projects so we can share camel information as well as expose people to camels to make a lasting, positive camel-pact in the lives of others.
The most common question we get is “How did you get into camels”?
Russell’s mother died suddenly and unexpectedly.
At her funeral Russell noticed that there were a lot of people there that he didn’t know, through some talking he discovered that the people where from the Royal Children’s Hospital and part of a volunteer group, which his mother was also part of. All these years and Russell didn’t know.
During a bout of depression after his mother’s death life was feeling bleak. Russell felt a deep urge inside of him to do something… Then the words just flowed out “I’m going to walk across Australia with some camels for a children’s charity” That was it! It caught Russell by surprise as he had no clue about camels, how to train them, how to pack them for such an adventure, nor did he have any expedition skills. He was an English teacher at the time on the Gold Coast… The only thing he had was the determination to make it happen. Now, you’ll have to read his book to get all the details, but in short it took Russell 13 years to plan, collect camels, learn and train in preparation for his 6,500km walk (not ride) which was completed in 2008 and took two years.
The frustration of trying to gain good and accurate camel information was why it took so long to prepare for such a camel trek/expedition, gather camels train them and get all the ‘know how’ in order to survive crossing the deserts.
After Russell’s expedition everything was all about camels, it was now in his blood. He couldn’t just have the expedition camel’s sitting in a paddock nor could he NOT share what sort of life changing experiences he had – personally – out in the wilderness. So he decided to start a Camel Safari (Expedition Style) in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia to offer people a shorter version of his ‘big trek’. Russell remembers his first clients and could count them on one hand within the first year. He knew his passion, skills and knowledge, but didn’t know how to share it in full – how to get it out into the world! Then enters Tara. Russell and Tara meet on a Station (Ranch) in the Flinders Ranges and instantly began a friendship of like-mindedness. Tara meet Russell’s camels at that time and ‘saw’ and felt exactly why Russell had such a passion for these animals. Tara came from dairy farming background and then entered the horse world as a Natural Horsemanship trainer. What she experienced with the camels first hand, was like none other and she was hooked. As the story goes “She fell in love with the camels, then fell in love with Russell”. Almost instantly the pair began to nut out plans to expand the camel business and go above and beyond their wildest dreams with camels playing a big role and Tara knew exactly how to share this with the world.
After loosing Russell’s mum and more recently, Tara & Russell’s infant son Noah, their passion for making their Charity Camel Treks a core value in their business structure is a high priority and part of their ‘Giving Back’ values.
The Australian Camels family consists of over 20 dromedary (one hump) camels of various ages, genders and training along with their 4 children (one in spirit), three dogs, two cats, a donkey and chickens keeps everyone occupied and busy in the day to day happenings. They reside on the East Coast of Australian in East Gippsland, Victoria.
WHICH NOW BRINGS US TO YOU!
We’re here to serve! Our company is built on a passion for camel’s, sharing them with others and helping aspiring cameleers learn the ins and outs of the camel from training to welfare to simple ‘how tos’.
We’re in this to make a difference to you and your life either through being up close with our camels on a camel safari or to learn through our Cameleer Academy.
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International Camel Trainers | Mentors | Camel Trekkers | Camel Advocates
Russell Osborne, CEO/Owner-Operator
A genuine Transcontinental Camel Expeditioner; Knowledgeable Camel Trainer; published author of ‘Camelman Dreaming’, Entertaining Public Speaker; Honest Mentor and Dedicated Life Partner to Tara Lea and Father of 4 Children.
Russell has a deep care, passion, understanding & knowledge of the camel and what they can really offer us on a personal level. Russell’s career path ranges from being a caring school teacher in isolated Aboriginal communities throughout Australia and internationally for over 15 years along with many years of tour guiding experience in Australia’s Top End.
Russell has dedicated 13 years of his life amongst other things – to organising a walking expedition of over 6,500 km with camels from Darwin to Melbourne to raise money for the Children First Foundation (charity). Russell successfully completely this trek over a 2 year period from 2006-2008 and recently published his book ‘Camelman Dreaming’ in 2013 of his journey, challenges and life changing situations.
Russell gives insightful and visually entertaining speaking presentations about his ‘big walk’ from the top end of Australia to Melbourne whilst inspiring people to consider the world and its issues on a larger scale.
Russell is the founder, co-owner and operator of Australian Camels with his life partner Tara Lea, where they dedicate a large part of their time to co-create meaningful and inspirational camel treks, knowledgeable camel training courses & educational programs for fellow camel enthusiasts. Russell has spent many years learning from and observing other camel handlers (cameleers) and camels in their natural environment to finally develop the ever popular Camel Connection Trust Based Camel Training Method and now sharing this knowledge of camel training worldwide.
Russell’s Book: www.CamelmanDreaming.com
Tara Lea, Managing Director and Co-owner/Operator
Tara specialises in co-creating inspirational camel treks, assisting with camel training courses, conducting charity campaigns using camels, advocate for the camel and using camels as therapy.
Tara begun cameleering in 2012, originally coming from the horse industry as a Natural Horsemanship trainer, Tara never imaged that camels would play such a big part in her life journey. As an keen learner she immersed herself in learning camel handling, training and connection in a short period of time which now has turned into her life passion, purpose and learning. Tara gave up all her horses and swapped them for camels soon after meeting camels for the first time.
Passionate human rights advocate, film director (backbone of all Australian Camel’s videos) and Russell’s life partner. Tara is the founder the Charity Camel Trek –fundraising camel treks to raise money for non-profit organisations. So far completed two charity treks (2014 & 2016) raising over $22,000.
Tara is the managing director, co-owner and operator of Australian Camels with her life partner Russell Osborne, where they dedicate a large part of their time to co-create meaningful and inspirational camel treks, camel training courses & educational programs.
Charity Camel Trek www.CharityCamelTrek.com.au