Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pilgrims Progress: Easter 2010

A note for your diaries: on Good Friday 2010 at 7.30pm on ABC TV, the Compass program will featuring the Camino Salvado which was the first walk to follow the Pilgrim trail from Subiaco to New Norcia.
So make sure the kids are snuggled up in bed, enjoy an early tea and perhaps have a cold beverage handy in the fridge, because it should be historic viewing!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

We've just got back from a fantastic holiday that was delayed due to my unexpected heart surgery. For someone who is hoping to establish a permanent Track through some astonishing countryside here in WA, I have to admit that we found New York an absolutely awesome experience: and Central Park in fall just has to be seen to be believed! It has a majestic beauty.
Whilst I was away my colleague Ean James chaired a meeting with various stake-holders in Bindoon, and it seems that now we are ready to apply for a grant to help fund future development of the Pilgrims Trail. This will have two parts: the first is to get appropriate sign-age for that part of the route which is already "there", such as the route through the city and up as far as Walyunga National Park. The second part is to establish what is the best route from Walyunga to New Norcia: is it the present one via Bindoon and up via a track yet to be determined off the Highway? Or is it further east via Toodjay and then north from there? The latter option will add an extra couple of days, but has the advantage of following the original route which the monks themselves followed: and it's not highway!
Tomorrow is the first get together of those who walked the inaugural Camino Salvado and should prove an ideal opportunity to air the options.
I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pilgrims Progress III

Last week a meeting was held at the Department of Sport and Recreation to review the impact of the Pilgrims Trail on the Monastery town of New Norcia.
New Norcia is unique in Australia, but like the rest of Australia, it continues to evolve and survive in its sometimes difficult, rural setting. It is a fragile Community with a deeply spiritual focus which makes it even more precious in these economically driven times.
The Pilgrims Trail, as indicated in its Mission Statement , aims to “Establish a permanent Trail between Subiaco and New Norcia which is respectful of the local environment and cultures....” and following our discussions, it was decided that until a permanent trail was fully functioning –which realistically was thought to be about 3 years away- walkers should only consider following the Trail in groups; and that these groups should liaise well in advance with the Community at New Norcia, so that no unnecessary strain was placed on their already constrained resources.
However, should walkers wish to follow the lower part of the trail over one, two or three days then they would see a part of WA which is quite beautiful and just on the doorstep of the City: the glorious Swan river: Bells rapids through to Walyunga National Park, and walking the Chittering Valley is a very different experience to driving through it!!
The Parish of St Joseph's in Subiaco has already penciled in two dates for their Camino Salvado in September 2010, and we continue to work on moving the trail away from the Great Northern Highway and make the experience even more enjoyable for them. In the near future we hope to apply for funding to take this project to the next level: we need your support, encouragement and where possible your active involvement so please use the comments section to let us know what you can do to help create a little piece of history for all West Australians.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pilgrims Progress II

On 29th September 2009, the leadership group of the Camino Salvado met to review the first walk that follows the current Pilgrims Trail. The Camino Salvado is a Pilgrimage, based on the ancient Camino Di Santiago in Spain, and is organised by the Parish of St Josephs in Subiaco WA.

Points raised were:

• The current Pilgrims Trail needs to be re-routed away from the Great Northern Highway north of Bindoon. Information provided since the recent Camino, and local knowledge suggests that the route can be rearranged to avoid all but the last 5 kms (approx) of the Great Northern Highway: ie on roads/trails towards Toodyay, travelling north from Walyunga National Park; utilising Julimar Road and fire trails and the Old Plains Road. Also, it was suggested that a route through Bindoon Agricultural College would also help avoid taking on the road trains.
• Safety is integral to the walk and permanent road signage through the Chittering Valley, to warn drivers that walkers use this route, will need to be considered: and all road walkers must wear appropriate “High Visibility” vests.
• Accommodation: Some was excellent and some less so. For groups in the future, paying a visit to all proposed premises prior to the Camino, and getting written confirmation of all details in order to avoid protracted waiting for facilities on arrival after a long days walk, should save a lot of headaches.
• Support Team: This was considered invaluable to the success of the Camino in terms of carriage of luggage, transporting pilgrims from and to finish/start points and ongoing support during the day. For future groups, it was thought that if 30 was the optimal number, then the breakdown should be 25 walkers and 5 support crew.
• Future Caminos: For 2010 there will be two Caminos to cater for an anticipated increase in numbers:

Monday 6th September
Monday 27th September

These points will be taken to the next meeting at the DSR on the 7th October.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Welcome to the Pilgrim Trail Foundation Blog. This is an interim site whilst we begin the task of putting together a Web Page that truly reflects what we have achieved.

From the seed of an idea planted on a hillside in northern Spain in 2008, the thought that we could create a Trail based on the ancient Camino Di Santiago here in Perth Western Australia, seemed like a crazy idea at the time. But at the time I was a little crazy anyway, so when we came back to WA we started work on a "Camino" based around the travels of Dom Rosendo Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine Monk who came to Australia in the 19th century to live with, learn from and often help, the local Indigenous peoples. He also founded Australia's only Monastery Town/Hamlet of New Norcia 150 kilometers north of Perth.

From those early "trail blazing" days, we have created the Pilgrim Trail Foundation, a Charitable organization to help tell the stories surrounding Dom Salvado and most particularly too, those of the Whadjuk and Yuet peoples who have lived in this area for about 40,000 years!

We have set in place the foundations of something that will be a gift to all Australians for hundreds of years to come. Walking is great for our physical health; sharing stories and learning from the wisdom of others is what enriches our lives: but the magic of the Pilgrim Trail is .... well you'll just have to find out for yourself. But I promise you, you will have a very special experience.

Introducing the Pilgrims Trail - a new Heritage walk for Western Australia

On 5th September 2009, 28 People walked into the Monastery town of New Norcia, 125kms north of Perth in Western Australia. The journey was inspired by the memory of Dom Rosendo Salvado, the
Benedictine monk who had founded the town in the nineteenth century. It had taken the group six days and five nights to travel the distance, and since that first walk, well over 250 people have experienced the Trail in small organized groups.

The path they followed started in Subiaco, followed through to Kings Park the CBD and down alongthe Swan river to Guildford. From there it travelled through the Swan Valley to Walyunga National Park – a place of spiritual significance to the Nyoongar people who have links to the area dating back 40000 years. The trail then followed through the Chittering Valley and onto Bindoon. The last 50kms being along the Great Northern Highway to its destination of New Norcia.

Since that time, the route has changed significantly, and we no longer walk along the Highway, but have moved inland through Julimar Forest and private farms to the north, before following Old Plains Road to New Norcia.
The work of securing this alignment has taken a huge amount of time and effort by the volunteer members of the Pilgrim Trail Board - now a registered Foundation and a Charitable Institution.

The Pilgrims Trail Foundation.

We have now established a permanent alignment which allows walkers to discover what wonderful treasures lie just on the edge of the beautiful city of Perth WA. For safety reasons, and to comply with the wishes of the Private Landholders, we have limited Trail Access to the months of April through to the end of September - otherwise, heat, flies and fire are a real danger.

This year we have assigned oversight of the Trail Walkers to Inspiration Outdoors, whose website link occurs on this site. They are enthusiastic about their challenge and our Foundation believes this is a necessary "step up" in management to cope with the increasing demand for usage of our Trail.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Mission

The Pilgrims Trail Mission

To establish a permanent Pilgrims Trail between Subiaco and New Norcia which is respectful of the local environment and cultures, and is safe for those who use it. Complete.

To establish a Foundation which will monitor the maintenance and development of the Trail for future generations. Complete with Charitable status.

To foster an awareness of the Pilgrims Trail, and to encourage as many people as possible to experience the benefits and delights of using the trail. Work in progress.

Mission accomplished (well almost)   :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Contact Us

If you have any questions, suggestions or advice we would love to hear from you.
Email with "The Pilgrim's Trail" in the subject line.