ALL aspects of the growing alpaca industry were on display at Victorian Colourbration at Prince of Wales Showgrounds on the weekend.
Alpacas have only been in Australia for the past 25 years but the country already has the biggest herd of alpacas outside of South America.
The new exhibition shed at the Bendigo Showgrounds was filled with people who passionately believed in the fledgling industry.
Nearly 500 animals in a wide array of colours were judged, with the parade of champions on Sunday a chance for owners to proudly show off their award-winning animals.
Alpaca fleeces and the finished knitted product were on display, allowing people to feel the fine quality of wool.
Farmers foraying into the new field of alpaca meat production were also on hand for a chat.
Australian Alpaca Association Victorian central regional committee member Kevin Sleep said it was clear by the weekend's event interest in the alpaca industry was growing.
"We had lots of members of the community wander through and have a look.
"The promotional stands were busy with enquiries.
"Alpacas really capture the imagination of people.
"It's the personality of the animal and the beauty of the fleece. It's the cuteness factor a bit as well."
Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey opened the show on Friday and said there were several reasons why alpaca farming was an attractive industry.
"There are a lot of alpacas in Australia.
"There's plenty of opportunity out there for breeders, whether they want to breed for fleece or start a stud for showing.
"The meat production side is also growing. There is more interest in using the meat product as well as producing fine-fleeced animals."
Mr Sleep said this year's Colourbration event was a success.
"People have enjoyed themselves.
"There's been a steady stream of visitors and a very high standard of alpaca come through.
"It's gone very well."
Breeders will return to Bendigo in October for the biggest event on the alpaca calendar, the 20th Annual National Show.