Getting Started

Please note that from October 2020, group tours are only offered by tour companies on homepage. 



For self-guided pilgrims the journey may be  broken into smaller legs, however this will take longer than the usual 8 days of walking. You should probably allocate around 7 -10 days depending on how far you would like to walk in one day. Not all stages of the camino have accommodation between the towns, but certainly some of the longer ones do. With good planning, the camino could be achieved by walking on average  24km per day. At this stage it is highly recommended that you have some sort of vehicular back-up support to assist you, particularly in the remote parts of the Great South West Walk.

If you decide you would like to come on the Aussie Camino I suggest you find out a little more about it, first of of all on this website.  Afterwards prospective pilgrims may want to purchase a guidebook which provides  greater details of the actual route for each day with topographic maps and markings. Background and history of places along the way are also given as well as short reflections and meditations for each day on the camino. It is important to remember that internet coverage is poor in many places along the route so a hardcopy guidebook is much more suitable.











Passports are only available at the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre where the first stamp is issued. So pilgrims  should begin the camino at the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre (open 10am – 4pm Mon-Fri)

After signing the ‘Register of Pilgrims’ you may like to take with you some small items of assistance and memorabilia such as.

  • Guide Book
  • Pilgrim’s  scallop shell
  • Bag tag
  • Pilgrim passport

The guide book contains more detailed information that may be useful for planning purposes. If you are to do the  Aussie Camino for a second or third time, bring your old passport and you can use  the same pilgrim number.


Getting There and Back

The Mary Mackillop Heritage Centre is located at:

362 Albert Street
East Melbourne
(03) 9926 9300

For pilgrims coming from outside Melbourne it is best to stay overnight at a city hotel prior to departure

Sometimes  a pilgrim mass can be celebrated in the small chapel. Pilgrims are invited to visit the gift shop and museum both of which have an enormous amount of information on Mary MacKillop and Julian Tennison Woods. If going by train you can walk a short distance to catch a free tram (Route 86 or 96 ) to Southern Cross Station . From there pilgrims will take the V/line train to Warrnambool and then a connecting bus to Portland arriving around 6:20pm.

When arriving at Penola you can stay over one night and catch a bus and connecting train back to Melbourne the following day. This may go via Ballarat or Portland depending on the V/line timetable. Trains arrive back at Southern Cross (Melbourne) around 9pm. For pilgrims wishing to fly out from Tullamarine, there is a connecting Skybus to the airport. It is suggested that flights are booked no earlier than 11:30pm.

If Returning to Melbourne                                                                                      From Penola it is about 30min  car trip to Mount Gambier. From there you can catch a bus + train  to Melbourne.  Look up the timetable on. V/Line Timetable

If Travelling to Adelaide                                                                                               Look up the SA Stateliner bus timetable: SA Stateliner Bus

Bag and Pilgrim Transport Options                                                                       Self guided pilgrims may seek assistance with local operators.

All About Us Bus

Friends of the Great South West Walk

Portland Taxis

On Completion                                                                                                                 All pilgrims can sign the register present their passport and receive a ‘credential’ presented at:

Mary MacKillop Pastoral Centre
Portland Street
Penola SA 5277

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A camino experience marking significant places in the life of Mary MacKillop and Julian Tension Woods.