Want to see Australia's famous Ayers Rock formation and ride a camel? Soon you'll be able to combine these two quintessential tourist experiences.
Frontier Camel Tours in Alice Springs, which has run Outback tours for 15 years, is building a Camel Depot at Ayers Rock Resort, about 300 miles away. Resort guests and other visitors will be able to ride camels out into the sand dunes, away from the tourist crowds and buses, for a sunrise or sunset view of Ayers Rock.
The one-hour, 3 1/2-mile rides, called "Take a Camel to Cocktails," will include a short talk on camels, according to Michelle Smail, director of Frontier Camel. In the morning, visitors will be served damper (Outback bread made in a camp oven) and Billy tea (Outback tea boiled in a can). At night, there will be champagne and snacks. The rides will cost about $49 per person.
Frontier Camel, which is moving 12 of its 42 camels to Ayers Rock, will suspend its regular multi-day tours out of Alice Springs for a year, but keep its day tours, in 1998, Smail said. The Ayers Rock rides are scheduled to begin Dec. 16, subject to completion of the Camel Depot. They can be arranged after arriving in Australia; or by contacting a travel agent; or by calling Frontier Camel at 011-61-8-8953-0444 or Ayers Rock Resort at 011-61-8-8956-2240.