The Red Camel


Junior Fiction – Historical Fiction


National Museum of Australia

Ruby doesn’t like working for the Wilsons. She wants to go back to Alice Springs to live with her mum. Will Idris, the Afghan boy who woks with the camels, help her to return home?

The Red Camel is a title in the National Museum’s series of historical fiction Making Tracks. Making Tracks takes young readers on a fictional journey through some fascinating Australian stories, inspired by objects from the National Museum of Australia’s collection.

The ‘object’ that inspired The Red Camel was a 1903 photograph by Herbert Basedow of an Afghan cameleer getting his team ready to set out from Oodnadatta in the far north of South Australia. Afghan cameleers transported food and equipment to the desert regions of Australia from the 1860s through to the 1920s. They built Australia’s first Muslim communities and opened up outback areas. Their stories are an important part of Australia’s history.



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