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Coolawarra Alpacas

471 Woodlands Road,MITTAGONG NSW 2575

Mobile: 0407 407 763


The name of Coolawarra was first applied to the joint auctions conducted by Coolaroo and Illawarra Alpaca Studs under the banner of the Coolawarra Classic.  The two long established and highly respected studs have now joined forces under that same banner to amplify their breeding power and accelerate their genetic improvement. Utilising the Holy Trilogy of scientific methodology--estimated breeding values, the SRS® breeding system, and an ongoing embryo transfer programme--they have combined the best of old world genetics with new world technology.


Our timeline

1988: With generational experience in breeding Merinos, Coolaroo engaged internationally respected Australian wool experts, becoming the first to apply SRS breeding techniques to alpacas from 1996.

1992: Dr Ian and Harriet Davison base Illawarra breeding selection on meticulous objective measurement for fineness and high fleece weights, evident today in the low primary diameter of their herd.

2001: Janie Hicks original research in Peru benchmarks follicular density in alpacas for the first time.

From 2002: Export (UK, NZ, South Africa, China, Europe)

From 2002: Dr Ian Davison co-develops the world's first system of Estimated Breeding Values for Alpacas (AGE)

From 2003 onwards, apply embryo transfer using their FOUR NATIONAL SUPREME CHAMPIONS over 1000 breeders to fast track their genetic advantage.

2011: Coolaroo and Illawarra Alpaca Studs amalgamate to continue to develop a truly Australian alpaca.


History of Coolaroo

Coolaroo began breeding alpacas in the USA in 1987, importing its first alpacas into Australia in 1988.  Based in Mittagong, NSW, it established the Australian Alpaca Centre in nearby Berrima in 1992, and was the first to develop and design alpaca garments based on Australian product.  By 1996, Coolaroo was running over 800 alpacas, the largest herd in the country, and identified the need to produce a highly processible fleece suited to the manufacture of elite fabrics.  To this end, it employed Dr Jim Watts to apply the principles of SRS®--a breeding system developed for Merino sheep--to the alpaca industry, selecting for elite fleeces based on identifiable skin and fleece markers.  Backed by experience gained over many generations in the sheep wool industry, Coolaroo has pursued breeding goals based on recognised production traits of fleece, frame and fertility, and have shared that experience with alpaca breeders through workshops over the last twenty years.

History of Illawarra Alpacas

Just four alpacas belonging to Illawarra Alpaca Stud were registered as foundation members of the Australian Alpaca Association’s national registry in 1992, but over 1,000 alpacas bearing the name Illawarra have since been added to the national herd.  With an increasing focus on white fleece, Illawarra was amongst the first to adopt and apply scientifically derived estimated breeding values to accelerate genetic gain, and like Coolaroo also embraced the principles of the SRS® breeding system. The herd has now been classed into distinct breeding, fleece and meat lines in anticipation of the future broad scale commercial farming of alpacas.