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Help Exchange

Flinders Ranges
All Year: April - October 2018
Area (ha): 500,000
Persons: 4 to 8
Category: Other
Host ID: 35280
Region: South Australia

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Last Updated: November 14, 2017

Welcome to the world of camel trekking in Outback South Australia. We offer a unique opportunity for HelpX helpers in outback South Australia.

We can host between 4 - 8 Volunteers at a time, plus our staff will be here ... you won't be lonely and you won't be left alone with tasks!



Also we require - as we work with school groups offering students camps, the schools request that everyone assisting must have a police check and or working with children check. Do you already have this? You will need a working holiday visa and can apply one month before arriving to us or as soon as you arrive in Australia if you are coming straight from overseas to stay with us. It can take up to 25 days to process a police check application. Please follow the links on this page to complete an application - . Thank you.

********This is a very exciting opportunity, but it's also very demanding. We require people that are emotionally strong, physically able, mentally competent, and have a high-level of maturity. If you think/feel/know that you have a disadvantage in ANY of the areas, please understand that this will not be a suitable environment for you.******** Please be informed that this role is UNPAID and is NOT eligible for a second year Working Holiday Visa extension.

Becoming a HelpX helper is a unique opportunity to share who you are and your skills in exchange for an experience, food and accommodation. We wish to affirm this relationship and clearly state that we do not offer paid positions for HelpX assistance, but what we do offer is a rare once in a lifetime opportunity to explore a beautiful landscape with charismatic camels and staff.

PLEASE READ no further if you are seeking PAID work. It takes years of experience to do what we do! BE AWARE there can be LONG days pre and post camel trekking with setting up and packing away from the actual camel trek. If you don't like HARD WORK bye bye you could find being here challenging! We are really wanting to be clear that camel treks are amazing, but it does require a mind set that is enthusiastic and self sufficient. Treks can vary from Overnight Safaris through to 7 days. READ MORE below if you have clearly read the ABOVE!

We can be a busy place, you won't have time to get bored as we can be out on treks for 4 - 7 day periods. We have fun and often have several cultures living here at the same time. When not on a camel trek HelpXers stay at a comfortable home base in the township of Hawker. We have several caravans that allow Helpxers to enjoy their own bed and cooking space. We enjoy eating healthy foods and have a vegetable garden, one dog ( Hoover) and one horses ( Jack ) and riding donkey who pulls a cart ( Archer). We only accept non smokers and will not tolerate heavy alcohol drinkers, vegetarians and gluten free diets are welcome.

Please keep reading and note we are frequently out of range so if you message us we will get to you as soon as possible; sometimes there might be a delay of up to a week or more.

We are looking for people who-


*Must have Experience with large animals e.g. Minimum of 2 years with horses. Please do not apply to volunteer unless you are happy to do cooking and other tasks.

* Must have Fully Comprehensive Travel Insurance which we require a scanned copy of along with your passport identification.


* Enjoy meeting people from around the world
* Enjoy meeting and sharing with tourists
* Like a challenge in the outdoors / camping / campfire cooking
* Have previous experience with animals, especially horses
* Like the idea of getting to know camels
* Have a drivers licence and can drive manual four wheel drives ( Not compulsory)
* Like working as part of a team
* Like being with people / tourists / guests / other HelpXers
* Like Dogs /Horse / Donkey / Gardening / Children

PLEASE READ : If a HelpX person is suited to our work we often assist with longer term stays following participation and suitability to camel trekking lifestyle.

PLEASE NOTE : HelpX helpers are welcome to contact us NOW to arrange stays between MAY - OCTOBER 2017 in the Central Flinders Ranges of Outback South Australia.

MUST READ - PLEASE NOTE : "BE AWARE" ... "WARNING" - This is not a typical HelpX helper job where you help 4-6 hours in exchange for food and accommodation. You`ll have early mornings and long adventurous days with walking outdoors and helping with the meals and packing. Daily showers won`t be always available as we camp outside and sleep in netted beds under the stars. Camel Treks Australia can supply you with a swag ( netted bed with mattress) filled with sleeping bag, bedding & pillow for the duration of your stay. In between camel treks there is ample opportunity to rest, and catch up on emails & social media. We do not however have sufficient Internet for downloading movies and you tubes.

IN exchange for your help you can be part of an incomparable experience doing camel treks through the Flinders Ranges. Food and accommodation are amply provided.

MORE about what we offer read further down this page.

- you need to bring your own
* Good shoes (as we do a lot of walking on rocky, sandy ground)
Try to avoid purchasing new shoes at this time because you will likely end up with blisters. If you are prone to blisters please bring you own bandaids and or see a chemist as there are wonder anti-blister ankle supports for sale. Most of the staff wear covered boots because there are prickles and rocks. Some sneakers are very comfortable but we do not recommend sandals unless you have hardened outdoor feet!
* sun protection, including sunscreen and a hat
* drinking bottle
* little backpack
* sleeping bag (can be supplied if not available)
* international drivers license ( not essential )
*bring clothing that will keep you protected in the outdoors. It can rain here, be cold and hot as well as dusty. We provide crew with two Camel Treks Australia long sleeve shirts that can be worn on treks.
* sun protection, including sunscreen and a hat
* drinking bottle
* little backpack
* sleeping bag (can be supplied by us if you don't have one)
* international drivers license ( not essential )

WE ARE LOOKING for - HelpXers with good English skills. Please do not apply if your English is poor because many instructions we give are related to safety for yourself and others. In the past it has been very difficult for HelpX people with very little English as we need to ensure the safety of Helpers and guests. Good English is 100% essential so that you can understand and follow instructions in the outdoors. You should be a healthy, energetic person, that is able and willing to walk with the camels for 4 - 5 hours a day and help with cooking, dish washing, campfire, and helping with the camels. We do have 3 MAIN JOBS:

JOB 1:
You`ll be on trek with the camels, means walking, and assisting staff with the camels. If you have a camera we might ask you to take some images for us or the guests. Assisting with the meals, especially in the mornings and at night it is your job to wash the dishes.

JOB 2:
You should have a drivers license as you will be part of the background crew that packs the trailer in the morning and drives the car to the campgrounds. You should be able to carry 20kg of luggage. You are responsible for the campfire that is for our daily meals. That means collecting wood, making a fire and preparing coals for the camp oven which we bake bread and cook meals inside. You can learn a lot about cooking over a campfire by giving a hand to our camp cook as well :-).

JOB 3:
Job three can be alternated with HelpXers that are seeking a break from treks while staying here or it can be a stand alone HelpX position. We have a 2 dogs, called Hoover & Mack and a trained Donkey called Archer and a trained horse called Blackie and three children. Sara & Jo are adults, Luke attends high school at the local area school for his education. Job three is looking after the animals and garden on the outskirts of a delightful little outback township. The town is within easy walking distance and the house is comfortable. Luke is an independent resilient outback Aussie kids aged 15. Tasks could include helping Luke prepare meals, cleaning the house, watering / planting / weeding in small vegetable garden. Grooming Donkey or Horse and taking them for a ride ( if you are a rider ) or a led walk. The children are happy to assist in this task until you are confident.


We offer HelpX helpers the opportunity to be part of our family and busy seasonal tourism business. HelpX helpers will assist with meals, camp fires, camp set up and pack up. We provide all meals and swags/ bedding/ accommodation. As we receive a lot of people wanting to experience life on a station and with camels we prefer accepting HelpXers that are looking for longer stays and a minimum of a one month stay. If HelpXers are planning to stay longer with us we suggest a trial period of two weeks, after which if everyone is happy we accept longer stays. We are open to to longer HelpX arrangements of several months or even the entire season from late March through till - end of October.

This is what we offer in detail:

*Short camel rides, day and overnight tours.
*Camel riding treks from 1 - 9 days.
*Photography treks with celebrated Pete Dobre.
*Central Flinders Ranges, older than Himalayas.
*Explore history on the Old Ghan railway.
*Tasty camp oven meals prepared over the fire.
*Located 4 hours from Adelaide City &Int. Airport.
*Return bus or private transfer ex Adelaide.
*Bush walk or camel ride, with max. of 14 guests.
*Wild Emus, Kangaroos, Wallabys, Eagles and more.
*Scheduled and private tours.
*Comfortable camping and accommodated tours.
*School, Corporate and Cameleers training camps.
*Camel riding safari specialists.

Our guests and you will wake up at the dawn of time in one of the oldest landscapes in the world. Ancient dramatic panoramas, peaceful tree-lined gorges, rocky water holes, and a seasonal wealth of wildlife create a sense of expanse unique to this semi-arid zone. Our guests join Camel Treks Australia between the months of April - October.

Our guests enjoy camel riding, we are the only trekking company in the South Australian Flinders Ranges that allows people to ride these proud animals on extended treks. Camel riding atop our 'ships of the desert' the view is enhanced and the wildlife allow us to approach much closer. Guests frequently express finding the rhythm of camel riding relaxing. Our oldest rider this year was eighty and our youngest was three.

Our camel treks often include some very special evening guests including an Aboriginal Elder and an Afghan descendant who share stories of this regions rich history. A section of the camel trek allows people to walk or ride the camels on the original Old Ghan Railway, a highlight for many traversing where the original Afghan Cameleers once ventured.

HelpXers will be largely sleeping under the southern stars in one of our comfortable swags which is a pinnacle experience for many of our guests. Our swags are fully lined and insect proof with a net that allows you to fall asleep gazing at the night sky. We provide sleeping bags and clean liners for HelpXers or you can bring your own.

Comfortable return bus transfers from Adelaide City to our closest township called Hawker are easily arranged with Genesis Tour and Charter company. Genesis offers a pick-up service to and from the Adelaide Central Bus Station, and pickup from any hotel in Adelaide City with prior arrangement.

Adelaide Central Bus Station - is located at 85 Franklin St. Adelaide ph. 08 8203 7203

Genesis Tour & Charter service departs from the Adelaide Central Bus Station at 7am on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. If departing directly from the station, passengers are required to check-in 15 minutes prior to departure.

Due to the early departure time of 6.45am we recommend HelpXers stay at the YHA located very close by. Adelaide Central YHA hostel is located in Adelaide CBD just a short walk to the city’s favourite Adelaide Central Market, hip bars, Rundle Mall and with easy access to the nearby hills, Glenelg Beach and Wine Regions. Cook for yourself in the fully set up kitchen or head out and find out why Adelaide has an amazing reputation for fine food and wine of the country. ph. (+618) 8414 3010

*PLEASE READ - BLOCKS - We are currently taking bookings for volunteers from April - October 2018 and spaces are filling fast!
We have created arrival and departure BLOCKS and cannot accept volunteers outside of these dated BLOCKS because we are out of range on Camel treks.

If you would like to join us in 2018, have a look at the available dates below and let us know which BLOCK suits you best. Please note that the blocks which mention secondary school camps require a police check and Block 3 requires an additional Working with Children Check which the schools demand of us. We are happy to pay for this expense and it might prove helpful for you if looking for employment in Australia. Here is a link to the police check -


BLOCK 1.) No police check required.
Monday 2nd April - Friday 5th May 2018 ( 34 days duration / 4 - 6 volunteers, plus staff )
Schedule -
Art Workshops Australia with Jo Bertini - April 4th - 8th 2018
4 Day / 4 Night Camel Trek - April 9th - 13th 2018
3 Day / 3 Night Camel Trek ~ Families - April 20th - 23rd 2018 / S.A School Holidays
4 Day / 4 Night Camel Trek - April 23th - 27th 2018
Artists Camel Trek - April 30th - May 4th 2018

At the end of this block we can transport volunteers to Port Augusta on May 5th where buses to Adelaide and Alice Springs / Darwin are available; we suggest pre-booking bus tickets.

BLOCK 2.) National Police Check required.
Thursday 3rd May - Tuesday June 11th 2018 ( 40 days duration / 4 - 6 volunteers, plus staff )
Schedule -
Overnight Camel Riding Safari 2018 ~ early May 6th - 7th 11.30am ~ 11.30am
4 Day Photography Themed Camel Trek with Jessica Clark - May 7th - 11th 2018
Private Secondary School Group with Pete Dobre, Landscape photographer - May 14th - 18th 2018
4 Day / 4 Night Camel Trek - May 21st - 25th 2018
Private Secondary School group - June 4th - 8th 2018

1.) Please note: During this block we require each volunteer to obtain an Australian Police Check as there are two secondary school camps and this is a requirement we must adhere to on behalf of the schools we work with. School camps are rewarding and a very different experience to standard treks.
2.) At the end of this block we can transport volunteers to Port Augusta on June 11th where buses to Adelaide and Alice Springs / Darwin are available; we suggest pre-booking bus tickets. A bus also departs from the township of Hawker returning to Adelaide on the morning of June 11th.

BLOCK 3.) - Police check & Working with Children Checks required.
Thursday June 14th - Friday 6th July 2018 ( 24 days duration / 6 - 8 volunteers, plus staff )
Schedule -
Private Secondary School Camp - June 19th - July 3rd ( Set-up and pack-up days either side )

1.) Please note: This is an exciting an unique block catering to approximately 165 secondary school boys completing a
21 day journey covering over 200 km's in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. We receive the students and work with
them on their last two days of the journey. Criteria we must adhere to includes - we require each volunteer to obtain an Australian Police Check as there and a Working With Children check as this is a requirement we must adhere to on behalf of this particular school. School camps are rewarding and a very different experience to standard treks.
2.) At the end of this block volunteers can return to Adelaide on July 6th. From Adelaide buses and flights are available to all other states in Australia; we suggest pre-booking bus or flight tickets from Adelaide in advance as well as booking your return seat with Genesis Tour & Charter from Hawker ( nearest township to Camel Treks Australia ) to Adelaide.

BLOCK 4.) National Police Check required.
Wednesday 22nd July - Tuesday 4th September or Friday 7th 2018 ( 44 days duration / 6 - 8 volunteers plus staff )
Schedule -
July - August Desert Expedition / Private Secondary Group - July 23rd - August 3rd 2018
Desert Trek / Clayton Station / Private Secondary School - August 7th - 13th 2018
Desert Expedition 10 days along Clayton Creek / Lake Eyre / Tirari Desert Dunes - August 21st - August 31st 2018

1.) This block is spent entirely in a remote desert region. Volunteers must arrive with appropriate footwear and clothing. Weather can be cool to cold at night, but warm to hot during the day. Bring a good hat and sunglasses, night head torch and good back-pack for carrying water. We provide work shirts for the duration of your stay. Volunteers will travel to our remote location with Alan from Genesis Tour & Charter departing Adelaide very early ( 6.30am ) on Wednesday 18th July for an 8 hour bus journey. At the completion of the last trek scheduled August 7th, volunteers will travel with staff back to the township of Hawker and can either catch a bus back to Adelaide with Genesis or we can drop you in Port Augusta where buses heading to the Northern Territory can be booked.

BLOCK 5.) National Police Check required.
Thursday 6th September - Friday 12th October 2018 ( 36 days duration / 4 - 6 volunteers, plus staff )
Schedule -
9 Day Camel riding trek exploring Lake Torrens & surrounds, S.A - September 10th - 18th 2018
Secondary School group camp in the Northern Ranges - September 22nd - 28th 2018
3 Day / 3 Night Camel Trek - October 5th - 8th 2018

1.) We may add another trek at the end of October and would welcome any Block 5 volunteers to stay longer and assist with the end of year pack-up. It will be possible for volunteers to return from our nearest township called Hawker, to Adelaide with a local bus service on Friday 12th of October.

We are open to helpers staying for consecutive blocks if the situation is mutually agreeable.

**PLEASE READ - Please do not apply if you cannot commit to the provided BLOCK schedule.

**PLEASE READ - Please do not apply if you cannot commit to the provided schedule. Arrival/Departure dates are synced with Genesis Tour & Charter return bus transfer to/from Adelaide which may be subject to minor changes due to unconfirmed trek dates. Extensions for longer stays may be possible based upon your experience and performance.

Comfortable return bus transfers from Adelaide City to our closest township called Hawker are easily arranged with Genesis Tour and Charter company. Genesis offers a pick-up service to and from the Adelaide Central Bus Station, and pick-up from any Hotel in Adelaide City with prior arrangement, please note a $10 surcharge applies for Hotel pick-up.

Once guests have arrived in Hawker staff will collect them for transfer in our four wheel drive to Wonoka Station, our camel trekking home. Staff ensure that guests travelling on this service will be transferred from the station in time for their return service.

How to arrive at Camel Treks Australia -

2017: The Genesis Transport Company departs from Adelaide City to Hawker township in the Flinders Ranges on Monday and Thursday's, leaving Adelaide at 7am offering a pick-up at your accommodation in Adelaide City CBD if arranged with advance notification at the time of your booking. You will arrive in Hawker township at approximately 1:45pm and the Camel Treks Australia crew will collect you and your luggage transporting your to our Camel trek location in our all terrain mini-coach OKA vehicle.

2017: The Genesis Transport Company departs from Hawker township to Adelaide City on Tuesdays and
Fridays, departing Hawker at 9:00 a.m. Camel Treks Australia crew returns guests from the Camel trek location into Hawker for guests booked on this service.

How to Depart from Camel Treks Australia -

The return bus service departs Hawker on Tuesday and Friday mornings at 9.00am, stopping again in Wilmington for refreshments arriving at the Adelaide Central Bus Station for 4.00pm.

This bus schedule previously departed Hawker later arriving into Adelaide too late for guests to catch flights. However with an earlier departure time Genesis can now transport guests directly to the airport (additional fee of $10 per person) arriving at approximately 4.30pm which allows for check-in on most domestic and International evening flights.

Once HelpXers have arrived in Hawker township from Adelaide our staff will collect you.

Please call +61 8 8552 4000 to book your seat with Genesis Tour & Charter or click below to visit their website. Please mention you're going trekking with Camel Treks Australia and receive a generous DISCOUNT on your bus fare. Fares are normally $110 one way / $220 return, trekkers are $90 one way / $180 return.

Finally if you are on this page please check out the video of HelpX volunteer Gabi who came for a two week stay and ended up here for many months. Gabi now plans to come back here and manage a big chunk of Camel Treks Australia in the future and we can't wait! HelpXers become part of our family.

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