Taste of the Aussie Camino

From AUD $2,159.00
  • Duration: 6 Days
  • Location: Limestone Coast, South Australia
  • Product code: TOTAC

Reconnect - Reflect - Renew

Boandik Country

How often do you permit yourself time to pause, think and reflect?

Awaken your inner pilgrim on this 6 night/5 day Taste of the Aussie Camino experience. This pilgrimage is inspired by the life and service of Australia’s only saint, Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and her mentor Father Julian Tenison Woods. This walk begins at Port MacDonnell where Mary boarded a boat to continue on her journey to sainthood. Over four days you will walk across the Limestone Coast landscape to Penola.

On the final day you will visit the Mary MacKillop Interpretative Centre, enjoy a celebration lunch in the famous Coonawarra and experience a private guided cave tour at the Naracoorte Caves National Park. 

Slow down and enjoy a pleasant walking pace as we traverse the landscape offering time to connect with yourself, others and nature.


Minimum 4 adults for tour to depart.


Itinerary 2022

Mary MacKillop Pilgrimage – Port MacDonnell to Penola - Boandik Country


Duration 6 nights and 5 full days, most meals will be provided, accommodation will be twin share in historic hotels, with shared bathroom facilities. Carry day pack only.


Inclusions

  • Locally owned and operated
  • Aussie Camino pilgrim’s passport, shell, guide book and Compostela
  • 6 nights twin share accommodation in Historic Hotels, Cabin/Cottages
  • Car parking in Penola
  • Private transfer Penola to Port MacDonnell
  • 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches
  • 3 Dinners (1 hotel, 2 BBQ)
  • Celebratory lunch Coonawarra
  • Luggage transfer to hotels
  • Entry to Mary MacKillop Interpretative Centre
  • Coonawarra Experience transfer to caves, visit to Father Woods Park and Coonawarra Siding
  • Guided Cave tour, World Heritage Listed Naracoorte Caves
  • Experienced hiking guide


DAY 1

TRANSFER FROM PINANGULA (PENOLA)/BERRIN (MT GAMBIER) TO NARANGA (PORT MACDONNELL)

Options:               

  • Self-drive to Penola where your car will be based for the trip.
  • Fly or bus to Mt Gambier

Transfer departs from Penola at 4pm or Mt Gambier at 4:30pm to Port MacDonnell for 6pm dinner and debrief at the Victoria Hotel.

This evening you will receive your Camino passport, shell, bag tag and guidebook. Your passport shall be stamped at each stop on your pilgrimage and be a great memento to take home

Choose and purchase own meal this evening


DAY 2

WALK NARANGA (PORT MACDONNELL) TO BERRIN (MOUNT GAMBIER) 28KM

Our pilgrimage begins with a short stroll to the Port MacDonnell foreshore for a welcome to country and very special story from local First Nations Elder.

This site, the Port MacDonnell jetty, is where in June 1867 Mary MacKillop left the region to begin the next chapter in her journey to sainthood.

Heading north we traverse back roads on route to Mount Schank state heritage area, towards the large cone-shaped volcano. Here you can read the Craitbul story of how these craters came to be in Boandik country prior to climbing the steepest section of the whole walk. We make our way up a short steep accent to the rim of the crater for spectacular views looking back to the coast from where we started.

Lunch at Mt Schank, then continuing north through farmland and along Bay Road to our accommodation for the evening at Pine Country Caravan Park, Mt Gambier.  We may just pause to get a well-earned ice-cream prior to kicking off our shoes and checking in.

Meals included – B, L, D


DAY 3

WALK BERRIN (MOUNT GAMBIER) TO DISMAL SWAMP 22KM

Today’s walk will take us to the beautiful Blue Lake, a water filled volcanic crater and the towns water supply. Once past the lake we head out of Mount Gambier along the sealed rail trail and limestone roads to Dismal Swamp. You will walk past old cottages, quarries, pine plantations and finish off with a stroll through a beautiful Stringybark forest. Our destination is Bush Haven Cottages where we can relax and soak up the peace and bird song of this rural property.

We will share a BBQ for dinner tonight.

Meals included – B, L, D


DAY 4

WALK DISMAL SWAMP TO KALANGADOO 20KM

Today we head to Kalangadoo through beautiful red gum country, these trees are an integral part of the landscape and culturally significant to all, providing important food, shelter and materials for animals and humans.

Comfortable walking on flat limestone lanes and roads. This agricultural district, contains apple orchards, cattle, potato farms and timber.

A highlight of this walk is the beautiful avenue of eucalypts which welcome us into town towards our destination for the evening the Kalangadoo Hotel.

Meals included – B, L, D


DAY 5

WALK KALANGADOO TO PINA NGULA (PENOLA) 28KM

Our last day of walking today as we head to Penola. We will be following sections of the old railway line, which can be a bit overgrown in parts, long pants/gaiters recommended.

We reflect on our travels as we walk the last leg through the outskirts of this historic town to its heart. Here our pilgrimage ends in Penola where Saint Mary MacKillop and Father Tenison Woods established St Joseph’s School, which was the first free Catholic school. Together they also created a congregation of Sisters, known as the ‘Josephites’ or ‘Brown Joeys’. Today the Sisters of Saint Joseph live in communities around the world assisting those in need.

You shall enjoy a meal and rest your weary feet at the historical Royal Oak Hotel for the next two nights.

Meals included – B, L


DAY 6

MARY MACKILLOP INTERPRETIVE CENTRE, CELEBRATORY LUNCH, WORLD HERITAGE LISTED NARACOORTE CAVES, FATHER WOODS PARK

An exciting day planned today!

Kicking off at 10am with a tour through the Mary MacKillop Interpretive Centre, you will learn more about St Mary and Father Woods as you explore the gallery, detailing Mary’s life and the work of Woods. You may like to view the beautiful stained-glass window dedicated to Mary whilst finding some time for quiet reflection at St Joseph’s Catholic Church. 

At the centre your Camino Passports will be stamped and official Compostela issued, recognising your walk on the Taste of the Aussie Camino.

You will then be escorted by Coonawarra Experiences to a restaurant for a celebratory lunch showcasing regional food and wine. After lunch a side trip to the famous Coonawarra rail siding for a photo prior to travelling to the World Heritage Listed Naracoorte Caves. Here you will be treated to a private guided tour into a beautiful naturally lit cave, Blanche Cave, explored and written about by Father Woods.

Your pilgrimage guide will bid you farewell at the Caves. On the drive back to Penola you will stop at Father Woods Park. This park is home to a series of seven sculptures depicting the life of Father Woods and Saint Mary.  Returning to your accommodation in Penola the evening shall be at your leisure.

Meals included – B, L


Packing List for Taste of the Aussie Camino 

5 days 6 nights

ESSENTIAL

  • Overnight luggage bag, soft, lockable, max 15kg when packed
  • Good day pack backpack – waist strap suggested
  • Rain protector for pack or line with garbage bag
  • Worn in walking shoes or hiking boots
  • Small first aid & blister kit  e.g. Strapping tape, Second skin Band-Aid (e.g. Compeed) + space blanket
  • Personal medication
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper, hand shovel & hand sanitiser
  • Face Mask
  • Layers e.g. short and long sleeved tops thermal (e.g. merino, no cotton)
  • Jumper or jacket
  • Shorts/leggings/hiking pants (no jeans or cotton as they retain water)
  • Raincoat with hood
  • 2 litres water minimum
  • Head torch
  • Snacks
  • Change of clothes for evening

OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED

  • Small thermos
  • Hiking poles
  • Neck buff
  • Wet weather pants
  • Warm Gloves
  • Knee-high gaiters
  • Sunglasses


Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information

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If you would like to know more about the full Aussie Camino click HERE