Welcome to Ulbster Alpaca Trekking!
Ulbster Alpaca Trekking is located on The Ward Croft, Ulbster, Caithness, right on the world-famous North Coast 500 (NC500) route.
Simon and Dena Miller have been running the Ward Croft in the idyllic Caithness countryside for the past six years, alongside a variety of sheep, ducks and alpacas.
They decided to move from Wick and build the farm from a barren patch of Caithness hillside. Although it’s been a constant struggle, Simon and Dena are delighted with the results of all their hard work, and they have been running their special alpaca treks since 2018.
Building up the alpaca herd dynamics takes a long time. It’s not possible to just buy lots of alpacas, throw them in a field, and expect them to all get along. The work that Simon and Dena have put into developing their herd and the relationships between the animals has paid off: there are established matriarchs in the group, and the younger ones follow the older ones. Now you too can get up close and personal with the Ulbster Alpacas, by booking one of their unhurried, relaxed Farm Visits or Alpaca Treks.
We aim to give everyone the chance to meet our wonderful pet alpacas, to experience the animals on our small farm, and to take unhurried treks with our friendly and experienced “boys” on our own safe and secure trekking routes.
So tell me, what is an alpaca?
THE ALPACA is a species of South American camelid mammal that is similar to, and often confused with, the llama. Though they may look similar, alpacas are much gentler creatures and very easy for children to handle under guidance.
Alpacas originally hail from high-altitude ground in the South American Andes. Their feet are made for climbing, and they roam in such high altitudes that they live above clouds and aren’t used to rain. For that reason, they need to be taken inside when heavy rain is forecast as their wool does not contain lanolin to protect them like sheep do.
They’re also used to much more sunshine than they can get in Caithness, unsurprisingly, so have to be given a special vitamin D supplement every month.
One of the favourite activities of the female alpacas is rolling in a “dust bath”: a fossilised algae given to chickens to get rid of ticks and mites. They love rolling in it (see pic), and it’s a natural way of treating them rather than using chemicals.