While overseas travel look to be off the cards for this year and possibly most of next, a good alternative is to walk an Australian based Camino instead. The ‘Aussie Camino’ is a route that draws pilgrims together in recognition of the life of Saint Mary of the Cross, Mary MacKillop, Australia’s only saint. The 230km trail begins in Portland, Victoria where Mary taught between 1862 – 1866. Then finishes in Penola, South Australia, the birthplace of Mary’s congregation, the Sisters of St Joseph.
This unique Pilgrimage was created in 2013 by school teacher Luke Mills and has become a trademarked walk. Luke’s idea of connecting a Camino to the outback placed it in a very Australian environment.
Over in Western Australia The Camino Salvado is a 185km Pilgrim Trail which perfectly encapsulates the essence of Caminos all over the world. It is primarily a Camino that links us back through history to people, places, communities and culture. This journey not only connects urban landscapes to the bush, but it also links our past to the present. And not only to our European past but to the ancient Aboriginal history of the Whadjuk and the Yued people of the Noongar language. The Pilgrim Trail meanders along the Swan River from urban Subiaco through rural landscapes and national parks to arrive at New Norcia, named after the birthplace of St Benedict and Australia’s only monastic town.
Both these trips are offered by RAW Travel as supported groups where you walk with other Pilgrims and the ‘Aussie Camino’ trip offers the unique features of being provided with a Pilgrim’s passport and stamps to collect along the way, along with a credencial when you complete the walk. So dust off your hiking boots and take a unique Australian Camino in 2021 supporting local tourism while you wait for Europe to open up again!