Red Centre Pilgrimage – Harvest Journeys Catholic Pilgrimages
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Red Centre Pilgrimage

Something deep and mystical calls all Australians to journey to the heart of our nation to honour its symbols, stories and beauty in a prayerful spirit of awe and thanksgiving. Set out on this blessed pilgrimage to the physical and spiritual centre of the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit, to open ourselves to the presence of God in a way that is ancient and new.

Highlights

Alice Springs (1) • Ormiston Gorge • Glen Helen (2) • The Cross at Memory Mountain • Haasts Bluff • Hermannsberg • Standley Chasm • Simpsons Gap • Alice Springs (2) • Kings Canyon (1) • Karrke Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tur­al expe­ri­ence • Kings Creek Station • Uluru – Ayers Rock Resort (2) • Mala Walk • Kata Tjuta National Park – The Olgas • Fields of Light Dinner experience

  • 9 Days / 8 Nights
  • Alice Springs to Uluru
  • Daily Mass / Prayer Service

Itinerary

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

Day 1Begin Alice Springs

Enjoy panoramic views from Anzac Hilloverlooking the rugged West MacDonnell Ranges before joining the local parish community of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish, Alice Springs for Mass to experience something of the way the people live their faith and worship in this unique community.

After Mass we return to our hotel to share our first group dinner and get to know your fellow travellers.

Alice Springs overnight (D)

Day 2MacDonnell Ranges

After breakfast we board our coach and travel to Our Lady of The Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Alice Springs for Mass.

After Mass we begin our journey, to visit Simpsons Gap, a stunning gorge carved out of the West MacDonnell Ranges by Roe Creek, where water flows through a small gap in the mountain range.

Continue west to Standley Chasm, known traditionally as Angkerle Atwatye, meaning “Gap of Water”. Standley Chasm is a 3-metre-wide, 80-metre-high gorge and is a unique Aboriginal Owned and Operated enterprise, the local Community members being direct descendants of the Arrernte Aboriginal People who have lived in this area for tens of thousands of years. The walking trail to the Chasm and those in its surrounds offer chance encounters with a variety of inhabitants, including diverse bird species, lizards, wallabies, as well as native flowering plants and ancient cycad palms.

Visit Ormiston Gorge one of the most popular and photographed places in the Red Centre, where we will enjoy a picnic lunch and opportunity to swim in the waterhole

Travel on to Glen Helen Resort for our two-night stay.

Glen Helen overnight (BLD)

Day 3The Forgiveness Cross at Memory Mountain

After breakfast we board our coach and travel to The Forgiveness Cross at Memory Mountain.

Memory Mountain at Haasts Bluff is where a 20-metre solar-lit cross stands atop a sacred mountain where faith, culture and social enterprise combine to draw thousands of the faithful to a deep encounter with God and nature. Prepare for a unique immersion experience combining pilgrim-trek, prayer, song, and indigenous cultural activities gathered around this amazing new Australian icon of unity and hope.

Visit the nearby Haasts Bluff Community and the Ikuntji Artists Centre where many indigenous artists are becoming world renowned for their inspired artwork and handicrafts. Meet some of the locals and learn something of their local traditions and practices.

Watch the cross illuminate as the sun sets and the ocean of stars in the night-sky take centre stage after our outdoor meal. Then join with the local indigenous community with a sing-along by campfire in the evening before returning by coach to Glen Helen Lodge for our well-earned overnight rest.

Glen Helen overnight (BLD)

Day 4Dawn at The Forgiveness Cross at Memory Mountain

Optional pre-dawn departure from Glen Helen Memory Mountain to experience the dawn and make a sunrise climb to The Forgiveness Cross. Return to Glen Helen for breakfast.

After breakfast we board our coach and travel to Alice Springs via the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct. This precinct is a nationally listed heritage site that is owned by the Western Arrarnta people and managed collaboratively with them by Finke River Mission under the direction of the Hermannsburg Historical Society. The Precinct includes the physical remains of the Finke River Mission Station, otherwise known as Hermannsburg Mission, that was the longest running mission in Australia.

On the way drive into Blatherskite Park (Alice Springs Showgrounds), where in 1986 Pope John Paul II gave his famous speech to a crowd of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, that still has great resonance today.

Alice Springs overnight (BD)

Day 5Santa Teresa Mission Experience

After breakfast we will board our coach and travel to Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa Mission. Established as a Catholic Mission in the 1950’s by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. Santa Teresa is today an Indigenous Catholic Community of over 500 residents with a strong Christian faith with the church being a focal point of the community. Visit the Spirituality Centre for morning tea. Spend time at the famous Keringke Arts Centre where you can meet the artists. Celebrate Mass at the Santa Teresa Parish Church.

As the sun sets journey into the bush for the unique experience of the Outback Bush BBQ Dinner & Show, a fun-filled evening of entertainment and outback cuisine in the remote setting of the East MacDonnell Ranges. Underneath a chandelier of stars, hear stories and sing songs that tell of our timeless traditional folk heritage and Australian traditions, while enjoying a meal of local produce and a drink from the Aussie Bush Bar.

Alice Springs overnight (BD)

Day 6Alice Springs to Kings Canyon

After breakfast we board our coach to travel to Kings Canyon.

Stop to tour the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the largest air medical response team in the world. Alice Springs houses the Central Operations of the service and here there is an opportunity to learn all about the incredible history of the RFDS and how it has shaped life in the outback.

Stop at the Erldunda Roadhouse, “the Centre of the Centre”, where we will be able to have lunch, and visit the emu enclosure.

Arrive Kings Canyon this afternoon and prepare to immerse ourselves in the beauty of this ancient outback place. Kings Canyon is a majestic destination featuring 300-metre-high sandstone walls, palm-filled crevices, and views that stretch across the desert.

Outdoor Mass at Kings Canyon with sunset viewing.

Kings Canyon overnight (BD)

Day 7Kings Canyon to Uluru

This morning you may wish to walk the Kings Canyon hike – a gentle 2.6-kilometre walk that follows a trail between the two soaring canyon walls. As you arrive at the lookout point, you will be welcomed by spectacular views of the sheer cliff face at the far end of the canyon.

Visit the Karrke Indigenous Experiencefor a one-of-a-kind authen­tic Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tur­al expe­ri­ence. The tour is a short walk and talk on areas of impor­tance in local cul­tur­al knowl­edge on bush tuck­er and bush med­i­cines, as used by the Lurit­ja and Per­tame (South­ern Aran­da) people.

Stop at Kings Creek Station for a lunch break.

Arrive Uluru, considered the spiritual heart of Australia, truly the red centre of our nation. The Uluru region is home to two of Australia’s most famous rock formations, a mighty canyon and an ancient Indigenous culture rich in story, dance and art.

Enjoy dinner and accommodation at Desert Gardens Hotel.

Uluru Overnight (BLD)

Day 8Uluru Discovery

Enjoy a guided walk at the base of Uluru (The Mala Walk), including the caves of the Mala people and the sacred Kantju Gorge, a quiet waterhole at the base of a dramatic rock face.

Visit Kata Tjuta National Park (also known as the Olgas) recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Area for both its natural and cultural values. to experience the Olgas as you walk through the Walpa Gorge, a natural creek bed that carves its way between the two tallest domes of Kata Tjuta.

Remainder of the afternoon at leisure and Mass location to be advised.

Fields of Light Dinner Experience – Experience the changing colours of Uluru as the sun sets. Enjoy dinner under the stars whilst experiencing the world-renowned “Field of Lights” installation featuring 50,000 slender stems topped with radiant frosted glass spheres spread over an area of seven football fields in the foreground of Uluru.

Uluru Overnight (BD)

Day 9Depart Uluru

After breakfast, transfer by the hotel shuttle to Uluru Airport for your trip home. (B)

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.

Dates & Prices


Dates
Chaplain
Tour Cost
29 August – 6 September 2024
Fr Robin Koning SJ
USD $4390*
More info
BOOK NOW
RC2402
29 August – 6 September 2024
More info

Dates

29 August – 6 September 2024

Chaplain

Fr Robin Koning SJ

Tour Cost

USD $4390*

Tour Code

RC2402

Single Room

USD $1690 Supplement

Start

Alice Springs

Finish

Uluru

Prepaid Tipping

$60 per person

15 May – 23 May 2025
TBA
USD $4490*
More info
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RC2501
15 May – 23 May 2025
More info

Dates

15 May – 23 May 2025

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

USD $4490*

Tour Code

RC2501

Single Room

USD $1690 Supplement

Start

Alice Springs

Finish

Uluru

Prepaid Tipping

$60 per person

12 June – 20 June 2025
TBA
USD $4590*
More info
BOOK NOW
RC2502
12 June – 20 June 2025
More info

Dates

12 June – 20 June 2025

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

USD $4590*

Tour Code

RC2502

Single Room

USD $1690 Supplement

Start

Alice Springs

Finish

Uluru

Prepaid Tipping

$60 per person

28 August – 5 September 2025
TBA
USD $4490*
More info
BOOK NOW
RC2503
28 August – 5 September 2025
More info

Dates

28 August – 5 September 2025

Chaplain

TBA

Tour Cost

USD $4490*

Tour Code

RC2503

Single Room

USD $1690 Supplement

Start

Alice Springs

Finish

Uluru

Prepaid Tipping

$60 per person


* Costs are indicative and must remain subject to possible change in the event of significant exchange rate variations, tax & hotel changes or minimum group size factors beyond Harvest’s control. Refer to Harvest Terms & Conditions.

Inclusions

  • Based on reputable local 3-4 star superior hotels or quality pilgrim/religious houses as applicable with breakfast and dinner daily
  • Lunches as per the itinerary
  • Deluxe Air-Conditioned Touring Coach • Professional Driver / Guide throughout the program
  • 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.

Exclusions

  • Airfares
  • Other meals not listed
  • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc.
  • Travel insurance

Chaplains

August 2024

Fr Robin Koning SJ

Fr Robin Koning SJ is the Vocations Director for the Jesuits in Australia and New Zealand. As part of that ministry, he works with young adults especially through retreats and workshops on Ignatian spirituality. In the 1990s he worked for 5 years in an Aboriginal parish in the Kimberley, based at Wirrimanu (Balgo Hills). He has previously taught high school science and religion, as well as tertiary-level theology, and has served as assistant to the Jesuit Provincial. He loves cycling and singing, and dabbles in card magic.

Vision Christian Media

Launch of the Forgiveness Cross

  • “This pilgrimage provided me the opportunity to experience and begin to understand Aboriginal spirituality within the context of the Catholic Church and understand the lifestyle and challenges of those in the Northern Territory. It was wonderful to see the spectacular sights of Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Uluru and understand their place in Indigenous spirituality.”

    Carla, NSW
  • “A dream of a lifetime come true. A deeper appreciation and respect for our beautiful Australian land. The connection between God and me through experiencing our land through the act of walking. Each step in life takes us closer to God. When I experience the beauty of nature and respect the elements, I’m drawn closer to God.”

    Sylvia, QLD

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