A CAMEL farm in Harrisville is set to become one of Scenic Rim’s biggest tourist attractions, with a cafe and camel petting experience to open this year.
The Australian Wild Camel Corporation's Summerland Farm on Charles Chauvel Drive has begun offering tours for guests to enjoy the animals, the local scenery and a taste of camel milk ice cream.
The property, bought by the organisation in July 2016, was once owned by Australian filmmaker Charles Chauvel.
Guests can experience farm tours, camel petting and be educated on the animals and milking camels.
Chief operating officer Paul Martin said the Harrisville business was the largest camel farm in the southern hemisphere with more than 400 camels on site.
“It’s been a phenomenal effort by everyone to get it all up and running,” he said.
“There is still a lot to do but hopefully most things should be complete by the end of this year.”
Mr Martin said the cafe guests would be able to purchase products made of camel’s milk, including ice cream and skincare products.
He said staff have begun the milking process for the camels and have also been training them.
“All of our camels were once wild so they needed proper training before the public could pat and feed them and we are also training them to race,” he said.
“There is a 1 kilometre track on the farm that we want to make into a camel race track.”
The cafe is expected to be open to the public by the end of March and the racing course would be completed by August 2017.
Chief executive officer Jeffrey Flood said he hoped camel racing would be an iconic event in the future at the Summerland Farm.
“We hope to make the farm a tourist attraction for people to go and spend a day there,” he said.
“The camels are gracious, gentle and very calming and fascinating the more you investigate them.”
He said Summerland Farm was an opportunity for tourists to experience something new and to discover what the region has to offer.
“The farm is just a beautiful place to stop, relax and enjoy the country lifestyle,” he said.
“A lot of city people really don’t get to see the beauty of the Scenic Rim.
“We want to entice them to the region because a lot of people don’t realise there is a beautiful place right in the middle of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.”