The Aussie Camino Pilgrimage VIC/SA
East Melbourne Victoria - Mon 16th May 2022

Max Participants:
East Melbourne Victoria
Mon 16th May 2022
Start Time:
End Time:
4:00pm approx
11 days
10 Breakfasts 8 Lunches 3 Dinners
Non-Member Cost:
$2995.00 per person
Member Cost:
$2895.00 per person
Deposit Required:

The Aussie Camino is a pilgrimage route from Portland in Victoria to Penola in South Australia. Similar to the traditions of Europe's Camino de Santiago de Compostela, this walk is inspired by the life and journeys of Australia’s Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop and her mentor Fr Julian Tenison Woods. Saint Mary’s life is a wonderful study of a woman who carried many crosses in her life and responded to the challenges through her faith and her courage. People find strength and encouragement in their own lives through her examples of faith, forgiveness and kindness.


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.Traversing such a trail has been a centuries old tradition.


For many people this pilgrimage is a spiritual journey focusing on a person whose life & work provided fulfillment, satisfaction and a model for followers. The beauty and wonder of the natural environment contributes to the experience, as does the comradeship of fellow travellers. It is most appropriate that this Camino begins in Portland, where Mary gained Catholic teaching experience and finishes at Penola where it all began. Pilgrims can walk the paths that she walked, visiting the stable park and schoolhouse where she taught. Mary met Father Woods in a church on the site of the present St Joseph’s church where pilgrims now have the opportunity to contemplate and pray.  Here you can talk to people who have kept alive the history of Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Jenison Woods over many generations.


The Trail - What you can expect:

Terrain : We start on the cliff tops, then hit the sand dunes followed by the flat sand, which can be hard to soft depending on the tide. We then have country roads made up of either bitumen, limestone or dirt - Plenty of Variety.

Walk Distance :  173km


Style / Grade : Moderate, due to the different terrain covered, although distances can be a challenge for some.


Time for a break
Plenty of history
Carrying a Day Pack Only
Walking part of the Great South West Walk
Spectacular Sunsets


Please note map locations and route are approximate only


● Being part of creating history, by completing a Camino that is uniquely Australian, where future pilgrims from all over the world will follow in your footsteps.

● Walking in remote parts of the Great South West Walk

● Stunning Coastal Cliff Top Vistas

● Exploring the beauty of a ever changing landscape

● The Camaraderie and Support of other women


Our Guides will meet you at the official meeting point, Mary MacKillop Centre, east of Melbourne at 10.00am this-morning. After introductions, we commence the drive to Portland, our first over night stop.

Meals: None included

Accommodation: Victoria House, Portland

After breakfast this-morning, we take a tour of Bayview College and All Saints Church, where Mary MacKillop and her sister Annie taught at the school.

We then head to the Information Centre where we commence our first day of walking the Aussie Camino. Today and the following 3 days of walking, we trace the Great South West Walk, established in the 1890's and highly regarded as one of the best walks in Australia with it's mix of rugged cliffs, remote beaches, pristine lakes, tall forests and more! The Aussie Camino and the Great South West Walk follow the same route until Glenelg River at Nelson.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Victoria House, Portland

After breakfast, we transfer to the start of the walk at Cape Nelson Lighthouse, where we again follow the Great South West Walk to Cape Bridgewater. The trek today consists of coastal tracks and clifftops affording spectacular views, before descending along bush tracks to the coastline and then onto the beach.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Seaview Lodge

Today is a short, but very enjoyable day. After breakfast, we continue walking along cliff tops, again enjoying views of stunning vistas, a seal colony and many turbines, before finishing at Bridgewater Lakes, our final point for the day. Our bus will pick us up and transfer us back to Cape Bridgewater for the second night of our stay at Seaview Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Seaview Lodge

This entire section is too long for one day, so we begin with a bus transfer to Lake Mombeong. Commencing our trek, we walk about 7km through inland tracks around the lake, which eventually takes us out to the beach, for a 12km walk along hard, flat sand. We finish out the day by walking an additional 3-4km into Nelson where we enjoy a welcome drink at the Nelson pub, before boarding the bus and heading off to Port Mac Donnell, our accommodation for the next 2 nights.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Victoria Hotel, Port Mac Donnell

Moving away from the coast today we head inland, walking along rural tracks for around 3 hours to Mt Schank, a 100m high dormant volcano. Its cone-shaped form is a rare South Australian example of volcanic activity, that has been little affected by erosion. After a rest at the picnic ground here, we continue walking through areas of rich farmland through to our final destination of the day, Mount Gambier.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Old Mount Gambier Gaol

After breakfast at Sorrento Cafe, we take a short sightseeing bus tour of Mount Gambier. The second most populated city in South Australia, Mount Gambier is known for its geographical features, particularly volcanic and limestone, and its Blue Lake, parks and gardens, caves and sinkholes.

We have a pleasant walk today of around four hours in duration, past the Mount Gambier Regional Airport at Wandilo to Bush Haven Cottages at Mingbool.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Bush Haven Cottages

A relaxed 10am start to the day allows us time to enjoy this rich agricultural district, specialising in potatoes and timber, apple orchards, beef cattle, sheep and dairy cattle. The village flourished with the construction of a narrow gauge railroad in 1887, languishing with the introduction of cars. Kalangadoo has a general store, a farm supply store, a pub, a hairdressers and a timber mill. The disused railway station houses a small museum.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Kalangadoo Hotel

Our trek today follows the railway line for a good part of this long, but also challenging day. Penola was the central location in the life of Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods. Here, the pair established St Joseph’s School, the first free Catholic school and a congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Otherwise known as the ‘Josephites’ or ‘Brown Joeys’, they continue to work with the poor and needy communities throughout the world today. The last day of our trek, we will celebrate what we have achieved with a relaxing dinner!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Coonawarra Motor Lodge

A full day in this lovely town to explore and take in everything on offer.

We will have the opportunity to attend Mass, (for those who wish to do so), before a tour through the Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre.

This is a wonderful commemoration to Saint Mary, with some fantastic information. There's no hurry so take your time - here is where we will also receive the final stamp of our passports and collect our Compostela.

Spend some time in the recreation of Mary's first school room before wandering down Petticoat Lane and viewing the historic buildings.

As Penola is at the southern end of the Coonawarra Region, we will take the opportunity to visit a winery for lunch (own cost).

The afternoon is at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Coonawarra Motor Lodge

Transfer to starting point in Melbourne

After a leisurely breakfast, we will board our bus and leave Penola for the journey back to the Mary Mackillop Centre in East Melbourne, where we all began!

Meals: Breakfast


11 Day Fully Escorted Tour - Experienced Local Trek Leader & Bus Driver/Logistics Support Guide

All transfers to and from Melbourne

Twin Share Accommodation in comfortable lodgings

Meals noted in the itinerary

Detailed Risk Management Plan

Public Liability Insurance

Private bus to transport luggage and allow for opt outs at various points

Adventurous Women Peak Cap & Drawstring Back-Sac

Camino Memento & Certificate of Completion

10 Breakfasts

8 Lunches

3 Dinners


International and Australian domestic flights

Pre and post tour accommodation

Airport transfers

Travel insurance

All items of a personal nature, including trekking equipment

Meals other than those specified on itinerary

Any other expenses which are not mentioned on ‘Price Includes’ section.


Accommodation is Twin Share and we place your name in the draw with other solo travellers for selection of a room buddy, unless you have elected that you will be travelling and sharing with another lady for the entirety.  


A Single Supplement is extremely limited due to the style of accommodation used on this trip and is subject to availability at the time of booking. If you request a single supp and we are successful in obtaining it for you, there is an additional cost of $750.00 payable on final invoice. 

What To Bring/Wear

- Pre-departure information is provided well in advance to help you plan & prepare

More Information

No Princess Policy

Princess crossed out

If your reason for booking on this pilgrimage is all about the journey and not the destination, then this trip is for you! 

During the Aussie Camino, you will be reminded by Mary MacKillop's journey as you become aware of her unwavering persistence through your own experience. Understanding that not all things go to plan, that chance and change is ok, looking for a deeper meaning and connection, learning patience & resilience, appreciating another's reason for their journey and making small sacrifices along the way (ie: putting up with annoying habits, being aware of others needs, sore feet, blisters, aches & pains)

Cancellation & Refunds

Final Balance is Due 6 weeks prior to departure date.

Notice of cancellation must be in writing, with an email as an acceptable form of communication, directly to Adventurous Women with the following conditions:

60 days plus prior to trip departure - Deposit Held in Credit for 12 months to re-book on another Aussie Camino (unless a replacement can be found for you, or you can't travel due to COVID-19 restrictions - see COVID Guarantee Below)

59 - 31 days prior to trip departure - Loss of Deposit (unless a replacement can be found for you, or you can't travel due to COVID-19 restrictions - see COVID Guarantee Below)

30 - 0 days prior to trip departure - Loss of 100% of Tour Cost 

**We recommend taking out Travel Insurance in the unlikely event that you have to cancel your holiday prior to departure for circumstances beyond your control**  We cannot recommend any particular insurer and encourage you to do your research.

No refund is available after departure of a walk or tour has commenced.


COVID - Guarantee

We recognise that for many, there is still a degree of uncertainty regarding making travel bookings. hence we are providing a deposit guarantee.

If you unable to travel on your selected departure date due to: having contracted COVID-19, requiring quarantine due to a family / household member contracting COVID-19, living in an area that restricts travel in the region of your booked trek; you will be offered a full refund.

Your final payment, normally due 60 days from departure, will be due 30 days from departure. We believe this will provide an added layer of confidence for you. Please note, the refund guarantee relates only to COVID-19 restrictions, and not to a change of mind, circumstances, illness or injury.