Happy Hump Day
Just five years ago Michelle was a stay-at-home mum and part-time cake decorator. Today from her 40-hectare property near Muswellbrook, she runs the only Camel Dairy in NSW and one of the most successful in Australia, supplying milk across the country and internationally to Singapore, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. As the benefits of camel milk become more well known, Michelle’s production has increased from just 10 litres a week, to 300 litres and her product list has grown to include award-winning halloumi cheese, soaps and lip balm. However, earlier this year the drought was sending feed costs sky high and Michelle had to look
for other ways of making money. “We source our feed locally and generally the suppliers had been very good at holding off and trying to keep the prices down. But with the drought getting worse they had little option than to put them up,” she said.
Michelle had been riding a camel for a while and says going down the path of camel rides seemed like the natural solution. “I thought ‘well let’s give it a go.’ We already had the camels and some experience in training and breaking them in, so it wasn’t going to cost us anything.”
Michelle’s camels are a popular attraction each Saturday at De Bortoli winery at Pokolbin.
Read more about Michelle Phillips and her camel farm in Edition 92, Summer 2018/2019 of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine.
Story by Frances O’Shea, photography by Peter Lorimer