The idea of the Western Australian Pilgrim Trail began while on the Camino Santiago in northern Spain in September 2008. The following year, the first group of 28 walkers initiated the Camino Salvado and entered New Norcia. The trail was inspired by the memory of Dom Rosendo Salvado, the Benedictine monk who founded New Norcia in the nineteenth century. Since that first walk, hundreds of people have experienced the trail in small organized groups.
Dom Rosendo Salvado Rote was born on the 1st March 1814 in Tui, Galicia in Spain. At the age of 15, he joined the Benedictine Abbey of San Martin at Compostela. He arrived in Fremantle in 1846 with his friend Father Joseph Serra. Within two months they left the Perth settlement in an ox-drawn cart and headed north to serve the remote Aboriginal people there. They founded the Central Mission which was renamed New Norcia after the birthplace of St Benedict.
The current Pilgrim Trail does not follow exactly in the footsteps of Dom Salvado, who walked frequently between New Norcia and Perth, but has been moved further to the west from his original route so that it can be walked at a reasonable pace in 7 days.
The St Joseph’s Camino Salvado trail…
The route runs from St. Joseph’s Church in Subiaco to New Norcia.
Day 1: The Blessing from St Joseph’s, St Andrew’s, St Georges and St Mary’s city churches.
Day 2: Walk through the Swan Valley vineyards
Day 3: Passing through years of Noongyar history in Walyunga National Park
Day 4: Chittering Valley famous for it’s orange groves and vineyards
Day 5: Walk along the edge of the magnificent Julimar State Forest.
Day 6: Through beautiful undulating countryside and amazing bird life
Day 7: The Spanish heritage of New Norcia
Day 8: Return to Perth via coach after the 9.00am Community Mass arriving at 3.00pm
More details about the walk can be found here
Remember that Camino is a “Way”, not a Holiday – so please don’t expect luxury or a blister-free time. This is a time to simplify, reflect and connect.
We encourage you to carry a symbolic (small) token with you on your journey and which you can leave at the tomb of Dom Salvado when you arrive in New Norcia: the choice and significance of the token is yours alone, but it adds to the spirituality of the occasion.
Each Camino offers different aspects of our State’s history, our varied spiritual heritage, our extraordinarily beautiful environment: but perhaps most important of all, it gives each walker a time to reflect. The Monastery Town of New Norcia is unique in Australia, and it’s where the Camino ends. The St Joseph’s Camino Salvado is organised so that the environment it travels through and the Monastery are respected. New Norcia is a very important part of our heritage, and one that we cherish and wish to preserve.
2023 marks the fifteenth year of the St Joseph’s Camino Salvado.