Tasmanian Spirit – Harvest Journeys Catholic Pilgrimages

Tasmanian Spirit

The heart and soul of Tasmania await on this pilgrimage adventure of natural and spiritual beauty. Pristine landscapes, historic towns and local faith communities tell a story of hope and inspiration to be treasured forever.


Hobart (1) • Lake St Clair • Strahan (2) • Gordon River Cruise • Cradle Mountain Retreat (Dove Lake) (2) • Walls of Jerusalem National Park • Sheffield • Launceston (1) • Ross • Bicheno (2) • Fairy Penguin Tour • Freycinet Peninsula • Coles Bay • Richmond (Oldest Catholic Church in Australia) • Port Arthur • Hobart (2) • Bruny Island Optional Extension


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

Day 1Begin Hobart

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

  • Begin in Hobart, the Island State’s scenic capital. Gather with the group for the first time at the Cathedral in Hobart for Mass at 6pm. St Mary’s Cathedral was the vision of the first Bishop of Hobart Town, Robert William Wilson, who was inspired by his designer friend Augustus Welby Pugin, father of the modern English Gothic Revival movement. Designed by William Wardell, one of Australia’s greatest nineteenth-century architects, the origins of St Mary’s Cathedral can be traced back to 1822. The nobility of the architecture and stonework, exquisite stained glass and magnificent pipe organ are some of the beautiful features of this gothic structure.
  • Take the opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers as we come together to share our first group dinner at Salamanca Place and stroll along the waterfront.

Hobart Overnight (D)

Day 2Hobart to Strahan via Lake St Clair

Theme: Springs of Living Water
Proposed Mass: St Joseph’s Church, Hobart

  • Attend Mass at St Joseph’s Church in the Hobart CBD, one of the oldest Catholic Churches in Hobart. The Church was founded by Fr John Joseph Therry, and designed by James Thomason, a former convict. Convict labourers were employed to carry out the work and the church was opened and blessed by Father Therry on Christmas Day 1841. The parish is now under the pastoral care of the Passionists.
  • After Mass, visit the Josephite History Centre at New Town. Here discover the site where a unique story of Mary MacKillop has been unfolding for over a hundred years. The Centre was formerly the Mother House of the Sisters of St Joseph in Tasmania, established in 1907.
  • Head west out of Hobart to Strahan and on the way take a leisurely walk through towering swamp gums and cool temperate rainforest to Russell Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall viewed from a mossy, deep green rainforest.
  • Stroll along the Wall in the Wilderness, a sculpture 3 metres high and over 100 metres in length depicting the history of the Central Highlands of Tasmania.
  • Visit Lake St Clair, Australia’s deepest lake and part of the Tasmanian World Heritage area. The Aboriginal people of the area called the lake Leeawuleena, meaning sleeping water.
  • Continue via Queenstown to Strahan and enjoy dinner before your two night stay.

Strahan Overnight (BD)

Day 3Strahan Exploration

Theme: Food for the Journey
Proposed Mass: Holy Trinity Church, Strahan

  • Venture deep into  one of the most amazing wilderness areas on the planet. The UNESCO Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area covers 1.6 million hectares of Tasmania’s West coast. It is one of the last remaining expanses of temperate wilderness in the world and comprises 20% of Tasmania’s land mass.
  • Take a placid Gordon River Cruise as we venture deep into this protected wild. In this ancient and untouched land, it is more possible to appreciate that there were nine Indigenous Nations living in Tasmania, with a presence stretching back 35,000 years.
  • Evidence of Aboriginal culture can still be found along the west coast, making this a place of deep spiritual and cultural significance to today’s Tasmanian Aboriginal community.
  • The area around Macquarie Harbour is the traditional land of several Aboriginal peoples, stretching up and down the coast. Macquarie Harbour offered Aboriginal people an abundance of food, including shellfish, seals, muttonbirds and penguins. The various communities followed seasonal food sources and traded with one another. Fire was also used to clear vegetation and encourage grasslands, where wallabies, wombats and other game could be more easily hunted.
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Celebrate Mass at Holy Trinity Church. One of the few churches in such a large region, this Anglican church is a common venue for Catholics and other denominations who need a place of worship.
  • Before dinner attend the performance of “The Ship that Never Was”, about the dramatic and hilarious true story of the Great Escape from Sarah Island.

Strahan Overnight (BLD)

Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage
Tasmanian Aboriginal people have been part of this land for more than 35,000 years. Sometime during the last ice age, Aboriginal tribes crossed the land bridge spanning Bass Strait, becoming the most southerly-dwelling humans on Earth. When the glaciers retreated and sea levels rose around 12,000 years ago, Tasmanian Aboriginals became isolated from the mainland, developing a rich culture unlike any other on the planet.

Aboriginal societies in Tasmania are recognised as the most southerly-dwelling people on the planet during the last ice age.

Day 4Strahan to Cradle Mountain

Theme: Wonder of Creation
Proposed Mass: St Joseph’s Church, Rosebery

  • Depart Strahan and travel north into the famous Cradle Mountain National Park. This spectacular landscape is scattered with Alpine lakes, rainforest along riverbanks and prolific wildlife.
  • Visit the mining towns of Zeehan and Rosebery.
  • Celebrate Mass at St Joseph’s Rosebery. The first teachers here at the school where the Sisters of St Joseph founded by Mary MacKillop.
  • Continue on to Cradle Mountain in Lake St Clair National Park.
  • Part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, this is the place to discover Tasmania’s alpine treats. In autumn the slopes beneath Cradle Mountain blush yellow and red as the deciduous fagus turns in colour. In spring the buds of new life emerge from the alpine winter, throwing out vibrant flashes of colour. Wildlife is plentiful, and glacial lakes fill the spaces between mountains.
  • After checking into our hotel located in a wilderness village, take some time this afternoon to retreat into the natural beauty of your surroundings.
  • Relax at dinner in our wilderness hotel.

Cradle Mountain Overnight (BD)

Day 5Dove Lake Exploration Day

Theme: Healing & Restoration
Proposed Mass: Outdoor Mass

  • We celebrate Mass on the shores of the serene and beautiful Dove Lake. Pooled beneath Cradle Mountain, this stunning glacial lake provides classic mountain views – including the historic wooden boat shed on its shores and the impressive colourful slopes. Take time here for reflection surrounded by the rugged beauty and the sounds of the wilderness.
  • Explore the area by foot or by scenic drive.
  • Enter the Wilderness Conservation Centre to enjoy the Tasmanian Devils by Sunset Experience. Get up close and personal with some of Tasmania’s cutest residents on this exclusive encounter. Enjoy this experience over drinks and treats around the campfire as the sun sets over Cradle Mountain.

Cradle Mountain Overnight (BD)

Day 6Cradle Mountain to Launceston

Theme: God’s Provision
Proposed Mass: Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Westbury

  • Visit quirky Sheffield and see its colourful streets lined with murals that draw thousands of tourists each year. Artists such as photographers, fine art painters, glass workers, wood crafters pottery makers and craftspeople also flock to Sheffield to work in studios and ply their crafts. Sheffield is a small dairy farming town, world renowened for high-quality butterfat products. The land is also amazingly sustainable for lamb and beef production.
  • Continue onto Westbury where you will find a little piece of England with its Village Green, elegant inns and charming houses.
  • Tasmania’s first Convent of the Sisters of St Joseph was established at Westbury in 1887. Five Sisters sailed from Sydney, where they had stayed overnight with Mary MacKillop. The sisters arrived in Launceston after a rough voyage, received hospitality from the Presentation Sisters, and after a cold trip in a horse drawn vehicle they were greeted by the people of Westbury on 24 May 1887. The convent was unfinished, there was no school, and as the Sisters were accommodated in the Presbytery and the priest moved to the local hotel. On the following day, eight students arrived to be taught by the Sisters. By October the number had grown to over 100. Education in Westbury ceased in 1971, but the sisters continue to be an active presence in the town (taken from www.sosj.org.au).
  • Celebrate Mass in Holy Trinity Catholic Church, a bluestone gothic church dating back to 1869. The impressiive pipe organ is one of the few surviving original works of Melbourne organbuilder William Anderson (1832–1921).
  • Continue on to Launceston, a place of city and country charms, with heritage streetscapes and a rich foodie culture. Launceston is one of only two cities in Australia to be named as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, and some of its farmers’ markets are among the best in the country.
  • Enjoy an afternoon of leisure and dinner at our hotel.

Launceston Overnight (BD)

Day 7Launceston to Bicheno

Theme: Identity & Purpose
Proposed Mass: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, Ross

  • Visit the Launceston ‘Harvest’ Community Farmers’ Market, considered one of the best gourmet markets in the country. Enjoy a condensed farm-gate experience, chat with farmers and taste your way around Northern Tasmania – honey, oysters, summer berries, vegetables, beer hazelnuts, ginseng, whisky, and more. Take the opportunity to buy some of the local gourmet produce for lunch.
  • Depart Launceston and travel through the historic towns of Campbell Town and Ross. Wander through the old town centres.
  • Celebrate Mass at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, a Gothic Revival structure that used to be a store and was converted to a church in the 1920s.
  • The first priests to visit Ross generally stayed at The Barracks and conducted services mainly for the troops stationed there. Earlier services were conducted from the Female Factory Site after it closed down as a prison. The Catholics were mainly convicts and emancipists and were too poor to build their own place of worship.
  • In 1920, Father John Graham, a Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priest arranged for the present Church to be converted from a store, bakery and residence owned by the Bacon Family. Ross was well known then for its stonemasonry skills, so the walls were raised and the roof and tower were added. it was named after Mary – Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The spire was rebuilt with a cross atop in the early 1980s. The whole village helped raise the money for the project.
  • Continue to the east coast town of Bicheno.

Bicheno Overnight (BD)

Day 8Coles Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula Cruise

Theme: Hope & Inspiration
Proposed Mass: TBC

  • Set out this morning to Coles Bay and join a cruise around the gorgeous Freycinet Peninsula into the iconic sparkling blue waters and clean white shores of Wineglass Bay. Enjoy lunch on board the cruise.
  • Wineglass Bay is a spectacular display of nature, but the place has a grim history. The name of the bay is not due only to the shape you see from high above. The whaling industry was booming in the 1800s, and whalers and sealers worked and lived in the area. The whalers would set out in small boats from the shore to chase and harpoon passing whales, before towing them back to shore to be butchered, making the bay run red with blood, like wine in a glass.
  • In 1916, Freycinet was declared a National Park, making it one of the oldest in Tasmania. The area is a haven for wildlife, including pademelons, echidnas, wombats, white-bellied sea eagles and wallabies. 
  • There is rich archaeological evidence along the Freycinet Peninsular of Aboriginal occupation. The east coast of Tasmania was occupied by the Oyster Bay tribe. Middens are found along the dunes of both Richardson’s and Hazards Beach. These middens predominantly contain oyster shells and mussels along with also some stone artifacts and non-shell fish fauna remains.
  • Return to Bicheno where after dinner you will encounter the local penguin colony at dusk.

Bicheno Overnight (BD)

Day 9Bicheno to Hobart

Proposed Mass: St John the Evangelist Church Richmond

  • Departing Bicheno this morning we travel south where we will visit St John the Evangelist Church Richmond, the oldest Catholic Church in Australia (opened on 31 December 1837), alongside the historic 1825 bridge spanning the Coal River. The roots of this church are traced back to Australia’s first Catholic Bishop, John Bede Polding OSB, who visited Van Diemen’s Land (as it was known then), travelled to Richmond and blessed the foundation stone for a new church. Its Pugin inspired design and intricate fittings and furnishings makes it the most visited and photographed church in Tasmania. Take time celebrate a Mass on this historic site.
  • Continue to Hobart where you will take in the scenic view from the top of Mt Wellington, one of the most spectacular vistas of Hobart city and southern Tasmania.

Hobart Overnight (BD)

Day 10Hobart and Port Arthur

Theme: Grace Through Trials
Proposed Mass: 

  • Early this morning we have the opportunity to visit the famous Salamanca Markets on Hobarts waterfront.
  • This afternoon  we travel south for a guided tour of historic Port Arthur, a 19th century penal settlement and an impressive open-air museum. A UNESCO world heritage site, it was the destination for those deemed the most hardened of convicted criminals (many secondary offenders after their arrival in Australia), and had some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system. With a complex and dark history, Port Arthur is one of Australia’s most visited historical sites, receiving over 250,000 visitors each year.
  • Return to Hobart for our final group dinner.

Hobart Overnight (BD)

Day 11Finish Hobart / Bruny Island optional extension

Theme: Gratitude & Peace

Conclude our pilgrimage in Hobart after breakfast. (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.

Optional Bruny Island Extension

Day 10Bruny Island

Theme: Gratitude & Peace

  • Embark on a day of discovery, exploring Bruny Island’s spectacular landscapes and gourmet local produce. Savour specialty local produce including cheese, oysters, salmon, wine, bread and berries – all grown, made or harvested on Bruny.
  • Be led by a local guide as you explore the island, hear its stories and marvel at its scenery.
  • Return to Hobart for overnight stay

Hobart Overnight (B)

Day 11Finish Hobart

Conclude our pilgrimage in Hobart after breakfast. (B)

SINGLE ROOM $180 AUD Supplement

Dates & Prices

Tour Cost
09 - 19 Nov 2023
Bookings Closed
AUD $4790
More info
09 - 19 Nov 2023
More info


09 - 19 Nov 2023


Bookings Closed

Tour Cost

AUD $4790

Tour Code


Single Room

AUD $1690 Supplement

Air & Tour




Prepaid Tips


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


  • Accommodation at superior standard 3 – 4 star hotels 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.

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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  • This trip has intensified our spiritual connection with Mary and the time provided gave us time for personal reflections.

    Jocelyn and Jinny


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