Fibre of the Gods

There are over 160,000 registered alpacas in Australia, which is the largest population outside of South America. These enchanting animals were said to have been created by Inti, the Sun God, as a gift to the Inca people of Peru.

This May, Australian Alpaca Week celebrates 25 years of the alpaca industry in Australia. The first alpacas to land in Australia made quite a sight as the unusual looking livestock from South America took bold steps into our foreign paddocks. Who would have guessed how well suited to their new home they would prove to be?

Today, the industry has grown from those small initial shipments to a national herd of more than 160,000 animals, creating a very smart future in Australian farming, serving elite breeding, luxury fibre and gourmet meat industries.

Here in the Hunter Region there are a number of small-acreage hobby farms with alpacas as pets for their children, while others have taken that one step further and made a business of breeding and cultivating the genetic lines of their herds…

Story Marilyn Collins.