What’s in the Day Pack?
Make sure you have a good purpose made day pack. Even though you won’t be carrying much, ill fitting packs can become really bothersome. One with an internal bladder pocket is great. e.g. Camelbak. A good idea is to take some lemon/lime cordial and drop a small amount in your water. Some of the water near the SA/VIC border is a bit hard.
It’s important to keep the pack as light as possible. A heavy pack after a few kilometres will feel like a ton of bricks after 30km. Pilgrims get smarter as they go and often start with far too much in the pack. A recommended weight is around 10kg, this includes the 3L of water in your pack. Other items in the pack should include; insect repellent, sunscreen, blister pack, lip balm and a light rain jacket if the weather looks threatening.
Lunch on the Aussie Camino is often on the side of the road or in a picnic shelter. Therefore it’s important to have a good breakfast and dinner the night before. Out on the road a variety of snack foods is a good idea. This may include, dried nuts and fruit (trail mix), muesli bars, tins of tuna, a bread roll, banana, apple, chocolate, barley sugar and cheese sticks. There are many foods available these days and remember you don’t have to stock up for the whole journey there are towns along the way at Portland, Nelson, Port Macdonnell, Mount Gambier, Kalangadoo and Penola. The smaller towns only have general store but have a good variety of foods.
Another good tip is to advise the general store upon your arrival in town that you would like to have a coffee and bacon and egg roll the following morning. Often pilgrims leave early before breakfast is served at the hotel but with a little bit of notice the general store managers are quite happy to open early if they know there is some early business.
The weather conditions will vary quite considerably depending what time of the year you decide to go . The two major towns the Aussie Camino passes through are Portland and Mount Gambier. Here are some useful details for the region.
Average rainfall 836mm
Wettest month July 236mm (14 wet days)
Driest month February 135mm (4 wet days)
Hottest Month (average temp) February 21 max 13 min
Coldest month (average temp) July 13 max 6 min
Average rainfall 752mm
Wettest month August 115mm (16 wet days)
Driest Month February 78mm (4 wet days)
Hottest Month (average temp) February 25 max 11 min
Coldest month (average temp) July 13 max 5min
All in all the conditions are quite mild. However, it’s probably not best to go in the peak of summer nor peak of winter but this still leaves plenty of time in the year to go. Best times to go are March, April, May, September, October, November and December.
For a full description of the conditions you can look up the Bureau of Meteorology on: http://www.bom.gov.au