How much will the Pilgrimage cost and how do I register?
The cost for an adult pilgrim is $100 ($75 early bird), for a young adult 16-21yrs is $55 ($45 early bird), and a child 10-15yrs is $35 ($25 early bird). Please note, children must be accompanied by an older family member or someone designated by the family. Early bird registration closes 31st October 2019.
Has my health and safety been taken into account?
Your health and safety on the pilgrimage is a priority for us. We submit our route plans to Tasmania Police and accompany our pilgrims with an ambulance. Designated medical personnel will be amongst those walking.
Am I covered for illness or injury on the pilgrimage?
The Huon Valley Catholic Parish holds a public liability insurance policy which will cover the pilgrimage. Essentially, this means should you be injured or your property damaged due to proven negligence on our part, then the policy will cover you.
Cover for other injuries, illness or damage remain your responsibility.
What if there is a weather event which threatens the pilgrimage?
In the event of a major disaster such as bushfire or flooding rains, we will contact every pilgrim via their nominated email in addition to informing radio stations and emergency authorities.
What about accommodation?
There are various options for accommodation included in the registration fee. Pilgrims are welcome to pitch a tent in the level grounds surrounding St Mary of the Cross Church in Ranelagh. Free indoor accommodation is available at St. Mary’s Church or at St. James Anglican Church Hall or Mission 21 or at the Ranelagh Soldiers Memorial Hall which are all close to or nearby St Mary’s. For these covered accommodation options, pilgrims will need to bring a bedroll and sleep on the floor of the Church or Hall.
Lastly there are excellent B&B options in the Huon Valley. Pilgrims would need to make their own private arrangements should they choose this last option and such option is not included in the fee.
Please let us know whether you will be pitching a tent or seeking covered accommodation when you register as a pilgrim.
Will there be a support vehicle to carry my tent or sleeping gear?
Should I carry water?
Yes, and don’t forget we are walking on summer days in Tasmania. We will provide some refilling points along the way.
Are there refreshments on the pilgrimage?
A feast will be provided on Friday night at St Marys Ranelagh, as will breakfast the next morning and an afternoon tea on arrival in Cygnet, all covered by your registration.
You may purchase a light lunch (vegetarian) for Friday and Saturday. This is provided by local cafe (Summer Kitchen Bakery) at the price of $13.50 per lunch. These must be pre-ordered when you register as a pilgrim.
There will be a mobile coffee van at the start of the pilgrimage on Friday morning and at St Mary's Ranelagh on Friday evening. It will dispense high quality coffee and tea at a moderate price. Some alcoholic beverages will be available on the Friday night. There will be water stations along the way on both days.
Additionally, at Ranelagh, the General Store and the Bakery all provide their own delights.
On Friday night we will also be selling red and white wine and beer in addition to soft drinks and pure water.
How can I pay for memorabilia, coffees and other items?
You will be able to pay for t-shirts, hats and caps with cash on the day. These items will be available at the registration desk at Mountain River and at St Mary's Ranelagh.
You will need cash to pay for coffee and other beverages available along the way and on Saturday night at Ranelagh.
Do I pay an entrance fee to the Cygnet Folk Festival?
If you wish to attend any Folk Festival events you will need to book tickets at the Cygnet Folk Festival website. The Festival runs from Friday through to Sunday afternoon.
How do I get to and from the Pilgrimage?
The pilgrimage will start from the Mountain River Memorial Hall on Saturday 11th January at approximately 11.00am (registration from 10.30am). It will conclude at about 5.00pm at St James Church, Cygnet on Sunday 12th January. Many pilgrims will find their own way to the start with the help of friends 'dropping them off’ and will make their way at the end with friends ‘picking them up’. If you are bringing your own car, parking will be provided at St Mary's Church Ranelagh on the Village Green. A shuttle bus (operating from 10.00am) can take you to Mountain River for registration and will cost $3 on the day.
However, for those who would like transport to be provided, Roberts Coaches have agreed to provide coaches from Hobart to Mountain River on Friday morning at 9:45am from alongside the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Campbell Street. If you require this service you must register via the website which will include payment of $15.
Then on Sunday evening at approximately 7.00pm, transport will leave from Cygnet to Hobart via Huonville and Ranelagh (where some pilgrims may have left their vehicle). If you require this service you must register via the website which will include payment of $15.
What happens at the end?
Pilgrims will congregate at the Cygnet State Primary School at the end of Saturday’s walk. We will leave at 3.30pm to walk to St James (approx 800m) accompanied by a processional band, playing especially commissioned Spanish music.
A wonderful icon of St James (constructed by staff and students at the School of Art, University of Tasmania) will be carried by pilgrims during the procession!
Pilgrims may then move into St James Church for the final festive ritual and singing.
What about before and after?
The pilgrimage officially begins with registration on Friday morning and finishes at approximately 5:30pm on Saturday. This is the period covered by our insurance policies.
What are the religious elements or events in this Pilgrimage?
The Pilgrimage is modelled on the El Camino de Santiago in Spain and therefore any person of any religious disposition or none is welcome to walk in company with other pilgrims.
At the beginning, there is a blessing with Holy Water of the scallop shell and pebble carried by the pilgrim. On the Saturday afternoon, about 3pm, Fr Tate normally gives a talk on St Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Ecology on themes relating to spirituality and the environment. On Sunday morning, Mass will be celebrated in the Church at Ranelagh at about 8.00 am. Attendance at the talk and Mass are of course optional.
The Pilgrimage concludes with a Festive Ritual in the Spanish-style Church of St James. This includes sacred songs from the Spanish and English traditions, including our motif song “To Be A Pilgrim”. You can view the lyrics at www.songandpraise.org.
For parents accompanying children.
Please read this checklist for your accepting responsibility for the youngsters concerned.