The Aussie Camino Pilgramage

The Aussie Camino is a pilgrimage route from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia. This is inspired by the life and journeys of Australia's Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop and her mentor Fr Julian Tenison Woods.

Similar to the traditions of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, this walk is Inspired by the life of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her mentor Father Julian Tenison Woods. Born in Victoria and raised in Melbourne, Mary’s dream was to dedicate her life to the service of God and the poor. At the age of 24, with the assistance of Father Julian Tenison Woods she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Penola, South Australia. Mary spent many months travelling the country towns of Victoria, visiting children in foster homes on her way to meetings in Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide.

Price: $1895.00 per person (Twin Share)

Duration: 9 Nights/ 10 Days

Trek Ratings: Activity 2&3 / Conditions 3 / Accommodation 3 / Training/Preparation 4

Best Season: Available all year.

Country Visited: Australia

Trip Start: Melbourne

Trip Ends: Melbourne

Trip Route: Melbourne – Portland – Penola – Melbourne

Trip Style: Guided Trekking, pack free, supported.

Activity: Trekking

Activity Per Day: Approximately 7 – 8 hrs walking

Day 01 Meet at Mary MacKillop Centre – 10am, travel to Portland as a group.
Day 02 Portland to Cape Bridgewater – 20kms
Day 03 Cape Bridgewater to Bridgewater lakes – 18kms
Day 04 Bridgewater to Nelson – 23kms

Day 05 Nelson to Port Macdonnell – 30kms

Day 06 Port Macdonnell to Mount Gambier – 28 kms

Day 07 Mount Gambier to Bush Haven Cottage – 18kms

Day 08 Bush Haven to Kalangadoo – 20 kms

Day 09 Kalangadoo to Penola – 28 kms
Day 10 Depart Penola for Mt Gambier, then train to Melbourne

Day 01 Depart from Melbourne – 10.00am
We meet this morning at the Mary Mackillop Centre, 362 Albert St, East Melbourne

11:30am – Depart for Southern Cross Station and we then catch the train to Warrnambool. On arrival we board the bus for Portland where we will spend our first night. We will hold a pre dinner meeting to check packs, excess luggage etc and discuss the pilgramage ahead of us.

Overnight at Hotel

No meals included

Day 02 Start Pilgrimage: Portland to Cape Bridgewater – 20 kms

7:00am Breakfast at Mac’s Hotel

8:30am Tour of Bayview College and All Saints Church

9:30am Bus departs outside Mac’s Hotel

9:30am Start walk to lighthouse

5:00pm Arrive Cape Bridgewater

6:00pm Dinner Abalone House. Overnight Abalone House and/or Bridgewater Beach Villa (B/L)

Overnight at Accommodation

Day 03 Cape Bridgewater to Bridgewater lakes – 18kms

7:00am Breakfast Abalone House

7:30am Start walk to Bridgewater Lakes

2:30pm Bus pick up from Bridgewater Lakes

4:30pm Dinner at Kiosk. Overnight Abalone House and/or Bridgewater Beach Villa (B/L)

Overnight accommodation

Day 04 Cape Bridgewater to Nelson (includes Bus section) – 23kms

7:00am  Breakfast Abalone House

7:30am  Bus to Lake Mombeong

8:15am  Arrive Lake Mombeong start walk to Nelson

3:30pm Arrive Nelson Cottage

6:00pm Dinner & overnight at Nelson Cottage and/or Pine Haven Motel (B/L)

Overnight accommodation

Day 05 Nelson to Port Macdonnell – 30kms

7:00am Continental Breakfast at Nelson Cottage.

7:30am Depart for Port Macdonnell

8:45am Cross VIC / SA border. Change watches 30 mins back.

4:30pm Arrive Port Macdonnell

6:00pm Dinner & overnight at Victoria Hotel (B/L)

Overnight accommodation


Day 06 Port Macdonnnell to Mount Gambier – 28kms

7:00am Continental Breakfast at Nelson Cottage.

7:30am Depart for Port Macdonnell

8:45am Cross VIC / SA border. Change watches 30 mins back.

4:30pm Arrive Port Macdonnell

6:00pm Dinner & overnight at Victoria Hotel

Overnight accommodation


Day 07  Mount Gambier to Bush Haven Cottage – 18kms

Free morning

Breakfast – Free morning

1.00pm Meet at Corner Commercial St and Penola Rd

Start walk to Bush Haven Cottage

4.30 pm Arrive Bush Haven Cottages

6.00pm Dinner & overnight at Bush Haven Cottages (B/L)

Overnight accommodation


Day 08  Bush Haven Cottage to Kalangadoo – 20kms

9:00am Breakfast Bush haven Cottages

11:00am Start walk to Kalangadoo

4:00pm Arrive Kalangadoo

6:00pm Dinner & overnight at Kalangadoo Hotel (B/L)

Overnight accommodation


Day 09  Kalangadoo to Penola – 28kms

7:00am Breakfast Kalangadoo Farmers’ Market

7:30am Start walk to Penola

4:30pm Arrive Penola

6:00pm Dinner at Royal Oak Hotel. Overnight at Cobb & Co Cottages. (B/L)

Overnight Accommodation


Day 10  Making your way home!

9:00am Mass at St Joseph’s (if preferred)

10:00am Visit Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre

Final stamp of passports. Collect compostela

12:30pm Charter Bus to Mt Gambier (outside MMK Centre)

1:30pm Charter Bus Arrives Mt Gambier

2:10pm V/line Bus Departs Mt Gambier to Ballarat

7:10pm Ballarat train to Southern Cross

8:40pm Arrive Southern Cross Station (B/L)

Oct 7 – 16, 2020 – SOLD OUT

Oct 28 – Nov 6, 2020

Nov 18 – 26, 2020

Feb 10 – 19, 2021

Mar 10 – 19, 2021

Other dates available – groups of 10 or more can choose own dates.

Cost Includes

9 Day fully escorted tour – GT Leader
All transfers to and from Melbourne

Breakfast and Lunch
Detailed Risk Management Plan
Public Liability Insurance

Luggage transported daily

Cost Does not Include

International and Australian domestic flights

Pre and post accommodation
Airport transfers
Travel insurance
All items of a personal nature, including trekking equipment
Meals other than those specified on itinerary
Any others expenses which are not mentioned on ‘Price Includes’ section.

Recommended Equipment


 Jacket, breathable with hood
 Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
 Long Sleeve Shirt
 Short Sleeve Shirt
 Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
 Fleece Pants
Skins (optional)
Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
Gaiters or Spats (optional)
Afternoon / Evening Clothes
 One lightweight set of non-walking clothes. These are the clothes you will change into after the days walk.  We recommend a short sleeve shirt and second pair of shorts – you will generally arrive at your day’s destination early afternoon when it is still warm.
 Polar Fleece or one warm woolen jumper (not too bulky) and long pants. These are to protect against mosquitoes at dusk, and cold at night.


 1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection, Sunglasses
 1 – Bandana (optional)


 1 – Hiking Boots/walking shoes with spare laces
 1 – Gym Shoes/sandals/thongs, to wear at night (optional)
 7 – Socks, comfortable


 Camel pack / Water bladder. This is mandatory as it is critical that you maintain hydration at all times.
 Water bottles for spare capacity and to mix up supplements. We recommend total water capacity to be around 2 – 3 litres
 Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
 Poncho, during rainy season (optional)
 Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
 Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate


 Twin share accommodation


 Trekking Poles (optional)
 Head lamp, with extra batteries
 Daypack, for you to carry your personal gear while trekking

Soft bag ( sports type bag) for your overnight gear to be transferred in from town to town. NO SUITCASES


 Prescriptions and basic first aid kit for blisters, bites etc.
 Lip Balm
 Hand Sanitiser, Insect Reppellent
 Toilet Paper – incase of day requirements
 Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional) we provide snacks and biscuits.
 Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Portable power pack

What level of fitness do I require?

Your experience is directly related to your level of fitness!!  It is very important to prepare yourself for the challenge ahead.  We have a recommended training schedule on our website, this is a guide only.

Please contact us for information on training walks in Melbourne, Adelaide and Cairns.

Fatigue, overheating and dehydration are conditions that you need to avoid and be aware of on the trek. Lots of fluid with re‐hydration formulas such as Gastrolyte will help. You must train in the clothes that you intend to wear whilst trekking! It is also very important to make sure that you have good walking boots.

Good footwear is important for a successful trek. Prior preparation is the key to a successful trek.

Getaway Trekking reserves the right to refuse participation or retire any trekker/s if they are deemed to be unfit or unprepared to complete the journey.

Do I need travel insurance for this trek?

Domestic Travel Insurance is a policy that provides cover for travel to Australian states, territories and islands within its maritime borders. It can provide cover for cancellation due to illness or injury, lost, stolen or damaged luggage, cancelled flights, rental vehicle insurance excess, personal liability and other unexpected circumstances.

Insurance does NOT cover any medical expenses when you are travelling within Australia. When you are in Australia, any medical costs would need to be covered by Medicare, your private health insurance or out of your own pocket.

It is actually legislated by the Australian Government that travel insurance companies are unable to provide cover for medical expenses within Australia for Australian residents and citizens, who are eligible for Australian Medicare. The intention is for any medical costs to remain under Medicare or Private Health.

Please note that ambulance services are state run services and Medicare does not necessarily cover you for ambulance trips.

Whilst a domestic travel insurance policy does not provide cover for medical expenses, it can provide cover for Cancellation due to a medical situation

What is the accommodation like?

Accommodation each night is included in this package. We will stay at hotels and cottages as available.

When is the trek briefing?

Your Trek Leader will run a briefing at your hotel the night before your trek. This informative session is designed to let you know of departure times, changes, ask questions etc. It also allows you to get acquainted with the rest of the group if you’re not already.

Do I need money on the trek?

Yes, you will need to pay for dinner and drinks each day. There is also opportunity to purchase gifts/souvenirs at the towns we walk through. We would recommend $40 – $60 per person be allocated

Are there Communications on the trek?

We carry a satellite phone on our treks.  The purpose of the satellite phone is for emergency use only. It is used to ring in to the office with updates, GPS position or used in an emergency.Leaders also carry mobile phones.

The satellite phone is not to be used by our trekkers for personal use.

If a trekker wants to keep in touch with family or work whilst they are trekking they need to bring their own satellite phone.

Standard Mobile phone coverage is availalbe.

How can I be contacted if there is an emergency at home?

If an emergency requires your attention the following procedures should be followed. It must be understood that communications in these areas is not guaranteed due to weather and other environmental conditions.

  1. Your family member contacts our office (who will assess if it is a genuine emergency; a sick cat would not fit this criteria!) The sat phone is required for “on track” emergencies and battery life is limited.
  2. Our office will text a message to the satellite phone; when the trek leader initialises the phone at 6.00pm each night, he / she will receive the message and immediately contact the office for instructions.

What happens with food?

Breakfast and lunch are included in your trek package. Continental style breakfasts, packed lunches.

Dinner and drinks each night will be at your own expense. Hotel/restaurant type meals


Should I take electrolytes and how much water is enough?

You will need to carry a minimum of 2 litres of water on you. It is essential you hydrate in all trekking environments.

Dehydration can become a major issue in all hot environments.  It is very important to keep drinking fluids on the trek. Because of the higher level of activity, temperature and humidity you will tend to sweat more. With the increased fluid intake and sweating you also tend to flush out of your system essential minerals, salts etc. This is why it is important to use electrolytes, salt replacements and Glucose type products. Water will be available to refill bladders/bottles along the way and at the end of each day. Water purifying tablets can be taken as a precaution. With the different environments, conditions, food and water, upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea can occur. Please ensure you bring adequate medication as per our personnel first aid kit.

Are we supported on this trek?

Throughout this trek we will be fully supported by a support vehicle. This vehicle will take all your luggage from one overnight stay to the next so all we need to carry is our day pack.