Graces of NSW – Harvest Journeys Catholic Pilgrimages

Graces of NSW

Encounter the beginnings of the Church in Australia as we trace sacred story lines, both ancient and new. Natural beauty abounds from the coastline to the Southern Highlands and spectacular Blue Mountains, with peaceful shrines and charming villages along the way.

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Sydney • St Mary’s Cathedral • Mary Mackillop Centre • Symbio Wildlife Park • Southern Highlands (2) • Penrose Park pilgrimage • Robertson • Jamberoo Abbey • Berrima • Yass • Clonakilla Winery • St Clements Monastery Galong Retreat (2) • Young • Cowra • St Joseph’s Convent Perthville (1) • Jenolan Caves • Blue Mountains (1) • Leura.

  • 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Sydney to Sydney
  • Daily Mass


Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner

DAY 1Sydney & Seacliff Coastal Drive to Sutton Forrest

Theme: New Beginnings
Proposed Mass: St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney

  • Visit Mary MacKillop Place North Sydney, a national place of pilgrimage in honour of Australia’s first saint. Bring your intentions and spend some special time in the chapel and at the tomb which is the resting place of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. If time permits, visit the museum which showcases the fascinating details of her life.
  • Journey south to the Symbio Wildlife Park near Helensburgh to experience first-hand all creatures great and small.
  • Stop at Bald Hill’s dramatic lookout over the Illawarra and the Grand Pacific Drive.
  • Continue via Stanwell Park and the Seacliff Bridge Coastal Drive for magnificent views on the way via Wilton to the Southern Highlands.

Overnight: Southern Highlands (D)

DAY 2Southern Highlands Pilgrimage Day

Theme: Healing & Restoration
Proposed Mass: Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, Penrose Park

  • Our pilgrimage day begins at Penrose Park and the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, ministered by the Pauline Fathers and a renowned place of veneration of the replica of the Icon of Our Lady of Jasna Gora, the Black Madonna. A thriving sacred place with shrines dedicated to many cultural devotions, share in the grace received by the thousands of pilgrims who visit regularly as we make our Sunday pilgrimage and Mass.
  • Southern Highlands landscape is on display at Fitzroy Falls, where water plunges over 80m to the valley below. Enjoy the scenic views of Morton National Park and discover insights into the Aboriginal history of the region.
  • Stop at the charming town of Robertson, with its quaint village setting and creative artistic community, it is renowned for its quality pies and cheese.
  • Ascend Jamberoo Mountain to discover the beauty of the Benedictine Jamberoo Abbey, an enclosed community of Benedictine nuns who cultivate peace and welcome through their life of unceasing prayer. Spend time in prayer with the Sisters and let the silence and mystery of the Abbey speak. Visit the sacred gift shop.

Overnight: Southern Highlands (BD)

DAY 3Southern Highlands to St Clement’s Monastery

Theme: Abundance of Blessings
Proposed Mass: St Francis Xavier Church, Berrima

  • Mass this morning in Berrima’s stunning St Francis Xavier Church (1849) built on the site of the convict stockade and uniquely created by Augustus Pugin who designed the Houses of Parliament in London.
    Spend time in the quaint and historic village of Berrima (est 1831) being the only example of an existing preserved Australian Georgian colonial town.
  • Explore Yass and surrounding sites rich in Catholic history, including 183 year-old Lovat Chapel in the historic precinct of St Augustine’s, with a heritage going back to Fr John Joseph Therry and Archbishop Polding.
  • Visit Clonakilla Winery in Murrumbateman. Award-winning Catholic Winemaker Tim Kirk will welcome us to his vineyard for wine-tasting, accompanied by his inspiring story and uplifting singalong.

Overnight: St Clement’s Monastery, Galong (BD)

DAY 4St Clement’s Monastery Retreat Day

Theme: God’s Provision
Proposed Mass: St Clement’s Monastery Chapel, Galong

  • St Clement’s is a Retreat Centre and Redemptorist’s apostolate with a rich and colourful history dating back to the 1830s. Today the old monastery has been transformed into a contemporary retreat and conference centre set on 800 acres in a tranquil, picturesque rural setting.
  • Today will feature Mass in the Chapel, a visit to the hillside grotto, experience the labyrinth for prayer and reflection and take a true pilgrim walk to the Rosary Hill*, where the first Bishop of Australia climbed to the top and famously hung his rosary beads on a tree.
  • Late afternoon optional exploration of the charming town of Jugiong (or quiet afternoon to rest and reflect in the grounds).

Overnight: St Clement’s Monastery, Galong (BD)

* It was a practice of the first – and remarkably mobile – Catholic bishop of Australia, John Bede Polding, on his initial visit to a town or district, to climb a neighbouring hill, erect a Cross at its peak and then bless the place from there. This happened at Galong on what is now known as Rosary Hill. Members of the Ryan family who accompanied the Bishop on this occasion suggested that the Bishop leave his beads on the tree near which they had just recited the Rosary. The tree was a she–oak which grew about 12m to the northwest of the present place on Rosary Hill. The Archbishop complied and hung the beads, a Benedictine Rosary, in towards the centre of the tree.

The Freeman‘s Journal of 1887 records “how the saintly Archbishop Polding planted a cross on the summit, recited the Rosary, and requested that Catholic visitors sometimes say the Rosary there.” Many pilgrims began to follow the Archbishop’s example and hung their rosaries on the tree as well. By 1900 the tree was covered with beads. Archbishop Polding’s rosary had broken with age due to the growth of the limb, but one or two of the decades had become embedded into the bark.

DAY 5Via Young & Cowra to St Joseph’s in Perthville

Theme: Peace & Reconciliation
Proposed Mass: St Mary’s Catholic Church, Young

  • Visit the old gold rush town of Young and stop by for Mass at St Mary’s Catholic Church (1876) built near the site of the original bark-roof chapel made by local Catholic volunteer diggers some 15 years earlier.
  • Visit the classic wool store in town or indulge at Poppa’s Fudge & Jam factory shop.
  • Continue north to Cowra (Aboriginal for ‘eagle on the rocks’) where the largest prisoner breakout occurred during WWII of nearly 400 Japanese who were held captive in barbed-wire compounds along with Koreans, Chinese and Italians.
  • While here we will visit the POW camp to pray for peace in our world, before coming to Australia’s World Peace Bell made from 106 melted down coins donated from member countries of the United Nations.
  • Culminate our Cowra visit at St Raphael’s Church (1939) once serviced by priests travelling on horseback from far and wide.
  • Onwards to Perthville and the St Joseph’s Convent visited on two occasions by Mary MacKillop and now housed within a beautiful Heritage Retreat Centre run by the Sisters of St Joseph. We will take the opportunity to spend time here in the chapel and in the Founders Room where she talked to the Sisters and wrote many of her letters. During our visit we will take a walking tour of the grounds and join St Mary of the Cross MacKillop in powerful intercession to God for our nation and to pray blessings for all of those we hold dear.

Overnight: St Joseph’s Heritage Retreat Centre, Perthville (BD)

DAY 6Via Mayfield Gardens & Jenolan Caves to Blue Mountains

Theme: Awe & Gratitude
Proposed Mass: St Joseph’s Convent Chapel, Perthville

  • Celebrate a powerful group Mass in the St Joseph’s Chapel where St Mary often prayed.
  • Travel east to the superb Mayfield Gardens of the Hawkins Family Private Estate for a stunning walk through the grounds, orchards and water lily displays leading up to the bluestone chapel at the summit.
  • Onwards to the famous Jenolan Caves for a cave tour including the stunning Cathedral Cave where our singing might just resonate to the heavens!
  • Visit the historic Hydro Majestic Hotel, an iconic landmark perched on the cusp overlooking the heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. This is a journey through time, giving us a glimpse of the grand lady in her heyday with art deco interiors, the majestic ballroom and panoramic views.

Overnight: Blue Mountains (BD)

DAY 7Vistas of the Blue Mountains Exploration via Leura to Sydney

Theme: Empowerment to Shine
Proposed Mass: Mt Schoenstatt Shrine, Mulgoa

  • Stroll the shops of Blackheath and purchase a coffee or memento.
    Be awestruck at nearby Govetts Leap lookout as we gaze into what has been claimed as one of the most famous vistas in all of Australia!
  • Continue on to Katoomba and the jaw-dropping mist-filled Jamison Valley at Echo Point in the shadow of the iconic Three Sisters rock formations. Time permitting some may wish to enjoy a pilgrim walk down to their base.
  • Stop in the charming village of Leura where we will enjoy a wander through the antique stores and cafes for a coffee or soup.
  • Our closing Mass will be at the Mt Schoenstatt Shrine in Mulgoa. Take the opportunity to visit, pray and walk the grounds of this beautiful national shrine to Our Lady, a spiritual oasis for people from all walks of life.
  • Return travel back to Sydney central by 5pm.


* All tour inclusions and order of daily arrangements remain subject to change due to any unforeseen circumstances, which may arise, or at the discretion of the tour leadership.

Pre & Post Tour Extensions

Graces of Victoria
  • September Post-Tour Extension14 - 21 September 2022
  • Melbourne to Melbourne
  • 7 Nights

Dates & Prices

Tour Cost
07 - 13 September 2022
More info
07 - 13 September 2022
More info


07 - 13 September 2022



Tour Cost


Tour Code


Single Room

AU960 Supplement

Air & Tour




Prepaid Tips


* Prices are indicative and remain subject to possible changes in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases or minimum group size contingencies.


  • Accommodation in a combination of superior standard 3-4 star hotels and Convent/Religious/Budget style accommodation with breakfast and dinner daily (certain accommodation locations may only offer rooms with shared bathroom facilities)
  • Lunches as per the itinerary
  • Deluxe Air-Conditioned Touring Coach • Professional Driver / Guide throughout the program
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer (as applicable)
  • Accompanied by a Harvest Tour Director
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees as listed
  • Quality Harvest pilgrim pack including Harvest backpack, Pilgrim Journal and Travel Wallet.

Not included

  • Airfares
  • Other meals not listed
  • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc.
  • Travel insurance - ask Harvest about its preferred Travel Insurance


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NZ: 0800 819 156

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  • Let us all resign ourselves into His hands, and pray that in all things He may guide us to do His Holy Will… When thoughts of this or that come I turn to Him and say: “Only what you will, my God. Use me as You will.

    St. Mary MacKillop
  • When I want something very much, I thank God beforehand for I feel God will certainly grant what he has been thanked for.

    St. Mary MacKillop
  • Courage, courage, trust in God who helps you in all things we feel our crosses hard at times, but our courage should rise with them. 

    St. Mary MacKillop


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