Trail History

History of  the Camino Salvado and the establishment of The Pilgrim Trail Foundation.

In November 2014 Duncan Jefferson presented the following paper to the 9th International Colloquium Compostela in Santiago, Spain. Please click Santiago presentation NN pdf to download the PDF of my presentation. Duncan Jefferson.

The Trail

The seeds of the Pilgrim Trail were “found” on a hillside in northern Spain in September 2008. The following year, they germinated on the other side of the world in the 201 kms of countryside that links inner city Subiaco and the Benedictine Monastery Community of New Norcia in Western Australia.

The first ever group of 28 walkers entered New Norica on 5th September 2009. 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, hundreds of 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 along the Swan River to Guildford. From there it travelled through the Swan Valley to Walyunga National Park – a place of spiritual significance to the Whajuk people who have links to the area dating back 13,000 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 Old Plains Road to 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 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. 

Dom Rosendo Salvado

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 was clothed in the habit in 1829 and took his final vows in 1832. In 1835, Isabella II of Spain, decided to close the monasteries so Salvado fled to Italy. In 1839 he was ordained as a priest in Naples. 

To Australia

Wishing to become a missionary and serve, Salvado and his friend Father Joseph Serra OSB came to Western Australia to join Perth’s first bishop John Brady. They arrived in Fremantle in 1846. Within two months Salvado, Serra and an ox drawn cart left the Perth settlement 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 route of the Pilgrim Trails aims to follow some of the route surveyed by Dom Salvado and his team

Noongar Culture

The Trail passes through the traditional lands of the Whadjuk and Yued peoples and whose presence can be traced back over 40,000 years. And it was to these ancient owners of the land that Rosendo Salvado came to listen to, to learn from and to share his own skills and heritage with. Their stories are a whole new window on how we see the world around us and we have much to learn from them. The Pilgrim Trail Foundation acknowledges the Noongar peoples as the traditional owners of the lands we pass through and we thank them for their permission to walk through the beautiful Walyungar Park and Juliamr forest. For more infromation on the Whadjuk peoples, please go to their Webpage – Noongar Culture.