The 185km Pilgrim Trail 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.
Our footprints hold our hopes and dreams, the story of where we come from and where we’re going. The Camino Salvado has many stories to tell including the story of Dom Rosendo Salvado. We invite you to add your story, footprints and spirit of acceptance to the wonderful pastiche of spirituality, culture and community among the golden outback of Western Australia.
“When you walk the trail, you become the trail.” Noongar Elder
Get Ready For
- Share the trail with like-minded people taking time out to reflect and renew
- Carry a small token with you to leave at the tomb of Dom Salvado
- Fully supported and pack-free supported by RAW guides and private bus
- A night in the quiet simple surroundings of the Monastery guesthouse
- Enjoy the Swan Valley region boasting some of Australia’s oldest grapevines
- Immerse yourself in the peacefulness of Western Australia’s bush landscapes
The Pilgrim Trail
The Pilgrim Trail reflects connections to the Camino de Santiago and beyond; to Subiaco in Italy where the genesis of the Benedictine order was conceived by Saint Benedict and to his birthplace Norcia, Italy. Dom Rosendo Salvado was a Spanish Benedictine monk who studied at San Martín Pinario just a few metres from the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. He later arrived in Australia as a pioneer to serve and understand the local Aboriginal people and their culture.
Get ready to begin your tour at 7:15-7:30am when we meet at Subiaco train station. Our tour bus will collect your bags for transfer to our accommodation while we begin the short walk to the trailhead at St Joseph’s Church, Subiaco.
A quick stroll through suburban streets brings us to Perth’s much-loved King’s Park, one of the world’s most beautiful parks which displays around 3,000 of WA’s 12,000 species of native flora. Making our way through the park and along the treetop walk we can experience the beauty of the Swan River. Aboriginal history tells us the mythical serpent, the Wagyl entered the ground here and emerged at its foot to create this stunning river. From King’s Park we make our way to the river foreshore passing through the newly redeveloped Elizabeth Quay precinct with the city skyline as a backdrop.
The river will be our constant companion today as we follow its meandering trail enjoying breaks along the way to take in its natural beauty. The river supports an abundance of wildlife including cockatoos, black swans, pelicans, ospreys and bottle-nose dolphins which are regularly sighted.
Slowly but surely, we leave the city behind crossing the Swan River for the first time to arrive at the lovely heritage town of Guilford.
Meals: L, D
Heading off from our accommodation at 8.00am we have time to ease into the mornings walk. The trail is flat and pleasantly follows suburban footpaths to cross our constant friend, the wonderful Swan River. We pass the Lilac Hill reserve where once-upon-a-time Dennis Lillee along with other famous world-class cricket players participated in an annual fund-raising match.
We soon begin to see the first grapevines and vineyards of the Swan Valley region as we transition into more rural surroundings. The Swan Valley historical wine region has vines dating back to 1829 with varieties such as shiraz, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon.
We will stop for morning tea at a local cafe before looping back to cross the Swan River as we make our way towards Bells Rapids to enjoy scenic views of the surrounding countryside. The area is home to a prolific variety of flora and fauna so keep an eye out for kangaroos, emus and seasonal wildflowers which abound at springtime to cover the forest floor.
The last stretch of today’s walk leads us into Walyunga National Park, a significant place of meeting for local Nyoongar people for more than 6,000 years. The bus will meet us at the end of the day to take us back to our lovely Swan Valley accommodation.
Today we follow the Pilgrim Trail into the heart of the Walyunga National Park where we recognise and acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land.
We begin by following the existing Kangaroo and Echidna trails through some quite challenging but rewarding hills with wonderful views to the Avon valley. Keep a lookout for mobs of kangaroos which are plentiful in the park and love to graze in grassy areas.
Eventually the wandoo and granite-lined trail diverts and leads us into rural farmland and wildflower country of the Lower Chittering Valley. The valley has a vibrant farmgate community selling seasonal produce such as oranges, mangoes, avocados, honey, eggs, nuts, asparagus and goats’ cheese, so make sure you bring your wallet and your appetite.
We continue along quiet Chittering Rd leaving the farmlands behind until we reach the end of today’s walk on the edge of the Avon Valley National Park. The bus will meet us to take us back to our lovely Swan Valley accommodation.
Today we have a story to tell you about Moondyne Joe, Western Australia’s most famous bushranger! But first we must begin today’s walk which starts at the edge of the Avon Valley National Park and heads deep into the Moondyne Nature Reserve.
The reserve offers wonderful views, stunning native flora and abundant birdlife, including the endangered Carnaby Black Cockatoo. It is important to remember this area sits within south west Western Australia’s biodiversity hotspot which runs north to Shark Bay and south to Esperance (approximately). And within this region there are about 12,000 plant species that are found nowhere else in the world, so it is important to take it slow, savour our surroundings and enjoy spending time in nature. After the serenity of the bushland reserve we emerge into cleared farmland to follow long stretches of Plunkett Rd; perfect for quiet contemplation and reflection.
Our bus will be waiting to transfer us to the charming historic town of Toodyay near the banks of the Avon River.
This may well be your favourite section of the Camino as the entire day is spent walking through the pretty Julimar State Forest. We follow the trail surrounded by Jarrah, Wandoo and Marri trees and over 500 seasonal wildflowers including over 30 species of orchids. The forest is also home to one of the healthiest chuditch (Western quoll) populations in Western Australia.
Quolls are nocturnal carnivorous mammals about the size of a domestic cat, and although we’re unlikely to see any, it’s comforting to know the forest offers a sanctuary and healthy environment for them. There’s also plenty of birdlife to keep us company and time to enjoy all the sights, smells and sounds of forest life; there really is something soothing about spending time in a forest.
The Japanese have known about the benefits of ‘forest bathing’ or shinrin-yoku for many years. Studies show that being in, and connecting to nature has many positive effects, which may be why our Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walk is so popular. At the end of our walk our bus will be waiting to transfer us back to our accommodation in Toodyay.
Meals: B, L, D
Enjoy nice easy walking along the pretty undulating trails with the forest to one side and open farmland pastures to the other. From as early as July to mid-October you can see the canola fields flowering which makes for very pretty scenery.
The trail dog-legs its way past the Bindoon military training area zone and zig-zags in and around thriving farmland boundary fences. You’ll notice the changes in geography as we head towards the Gascoyne river which is the longest river in WA at 865km.
The lightly wooded trails give way to a sparser environment and sandy trails the closer we move towards the river plains. This area is renowned for its wildflowers and diverse wildlife – hopefully we will see the large flocks of Carnaby cockatoos which frequent the area.
Meals: B, L, D
Today is a meandering kind of walking day – a day for reflection and contemplation; this is the meseta of the Camino Salvado. And like the meseta of the Camino de Santiago its flat easy walking along a dusty road. Many people find beauty walking beside the wide-open expanses of paddocks with big horizons stretching in either direction.
If a pilgrimage walk is a metaphor for life, we know we will all encounter tougher sections along our journey. For some pilgrims today may be a struggle, and for others a joy. What we do know is that whatever today’s walk brings, your footprints along the Pilgrims Trail create a story. And as a storyteller you become part of the area’s history, connecting back thousands of years to those before you and to those in the future.
Overnight: Avon Valley
Meals: B, L, D
Our final day on the Pilgrim Trail is both interesting and exciting as we follow the trail into New Norcia. But not before enjoying some beautiful scenery and wonderful views.
After all your days of walking, the historic town of New Norcia finally reveals itself. There in the middle of seemingly nowhere stands this remarkable Spanish Benedictine enclave stunningly juxtaposed against the peaceful Australian landscape. The town has 27 individual buildings that are National Trust listed including the Monastery, Abbey Church and Convent. The town is also famous for its sourdough bread which is made daily using an age-old recipe.
Tonight, we have the privilege of staying in the Monastery guesthouse. Dinner tonight is in the Monastery dining room.
Overnight: New Norcia
Meals: B, L, D
We will have a simple breakfast at the Monastery before exploring this unique village with a self-guided walk of the town and river area. For a yummy way to end our Camino Salvado pilgrimage we will drop into the iconic local Bindoon Bakehaus for a quick snack (own cost) before making our way back to Perth.
On the trail
The Camino Salvado Pilgrim Trail meanders along the Swan River from urban Subiaco through rural landscapes and national parks to arrive at New Norcia, using a a variety of trails, red dirt roads and backroads through agricultural regions, forests and small towns. It is comparatively dry and best walked in Spring when there are many wildflowers or Autumn with beautiful weather.
- 1-night in heritage-listed Guildford
- 2-nights in the beautiful Swan Valley
- 2-nights in historic Toodyay
- 2-nights at a secluded B&B in the Avon Valley
- 1-night at the Monastery in New Norcia
- All meals included (except lunch on Day 9)
- Return transfer to Perth from New Norcia
- Refreshment stops during walks
- Experienced hiking guide
- Driver & support vehicle for the duration of the tour
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Alcoholic beverages are not included in your package
- Single supplement ($1075 extra) – please enquire, limited single rooms available
Portland to Penola – ‘The Aussie Camino’
- Capture the essence of the Camino de Santiago
- Learn about the life of Mary MacKillop
- Walk with like-minded people in this centuries-old tradition
- Stunning beauty and diversity of Australia’s landscapes
Cape to Cape Track
The Self Guided Trip – Cape to Cape Track
- Discover dramatic granite outcrops and pristine ocean sea-scapes
- Be wowed by an astounding variety of flora including seasonal spider-orchids
- Embrace the meditative rhythm of walking along pristine beaches
- Walk among towering Karri trees – some of the tallest trees in the world
Great Ocean Walk
Great South West Walk – Guided
- Discover wild dramatic coastlines and white secluded beaches
- Stroll quiet bushland trails in Mount Richmond National Park
- Immerse yourself in 6,600 year-old UNESCO World Heritage listed Budj Bim
- Spot Australian and New Zealand fur seals at Cape Bridgewater
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed