The Upper Hunter Valley is known for its fine wine and olives, and became the birthplace of the first licensed camel dairy in the state when Michelle Phillips set up a camel dairy on her 100-acre property near Muswellbrook.
Michelle has started with a dozen camels captured in the wild last year and each capable of producing up to litres of milk a day. Camel milk has been dubbed by some as a new super food, with claims it can help fight diabetes, autism, digestive problems and food allergies. “I have one teenage client, a type 1 diabetes sufferer, who has lowered his sugar so much by drinking camel milk that he no longer needs insulin, and another who is an autistic child whose behaviour has calmed significantly since drinking the milk,” said Michelle.
Camel milk is documented as an alternate product to help sufferers not only of diabetes but Crohn’s disease, cerebral palsy and food allergies.
“If put side-by-side with a glass of cow’s milk it is hard to tell the difference in looks and taste,” said Michelle.
After seeing the mass slaughter of camels by shooters in a helicopter on television footage she started thinking there must be a way to save some of these animals…
Story Marilyn Collins. Photography Tanya d’Herville.