5 reasons you should go on an Anzac Day Gallipoli trip

It's the pilgrimage thousands of Australians and New Zealanders make in order to pay their respects to the troops who fell in battle during World War I.

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As a result of COVID-19, Australians are unfortunately not able to make the Gallipoli trip in 2021.

Even though we have to put those travel plans on hold this year, here are a few reasons why you should go once it's safe to do so.

While the Australian government has advised that Australians should exercise a degree of caution when travelling to Turkey, it advises that you limit your time in Ankara and Istanbul and avoid regions nearest to the Syrian border too.


1. There's no more ballot registration

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As of 2015, visitors no longer have to "win" tickets in a ballot to attend the Anzac Day service in Gallipoli, and all are freely able to attend on the day.

While you're free to just "rock up" at the site for the dawn service, it is highly advised that you register your interest in attending. This is so that suitable infrastructure, security, medical assistance and food vendors are available onsite to accommodate the numbers.


2. You can still visit Lone Pine… but for how long?

Lone Pine

In early 2016, the Lone Pine service, which was held to commemorate the Battle of Lone Pine from 6-10 August 1915, ceased as part of the Anzac Day celebrations. According to the federal government, this was due to safety concerns, as the terrain is rough and high, and the trek from Anzac Cove to Lone Pine to make an 11am service is long and difficult.

In 2019, this service looks to have been reinstated but moved up to 9.30am. Even though the trek from the Anzac Commemorative Site to Lone Pine is only 3.3km it is a tough one, featuring unpaved roads and is likened to walking 30 flights of stairs. There is limited seating at the venue as well, so it's first in, first served.

The timing of the service also clashes with the Chunuk Bair Service, which starts at 11.30am and is a further 3.3 kilometres uphill. It's advised you choose to attend one or the other.

Many tour companies include Lone Pine as part of their Anzac Day tours if you miss out.


3. It's more than just an Anzac Day dawn service

Gallipoli

A fundamental part of the worldwide services held for Anzac Day is the dawn service, a time that is especially memorable, as it was the time of the original landing.

Held in Anzac Cove (Gallipoli), there are two services available to attend: an Australia/New Zealand service and a Turkey service to commemorate the fallen on both sides of battle. Services begin at 5:30am and conclude at 6:30am, however there's so much more to the service than this waking hour. The site itself is open to visitors from 6pm on 24 April, and an overnight reflective program will commence at 8pm. This program includes documentaries and interviews detailing the Gallipoli campaign as well as musical performances and runs into the early morning.


4. It's a celebration of Australian and New Zealand camaraderie

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Each year, thousands of Australians and New Zealanders make the pilgrimage to Turkish shores to pay their respects to their fallen countrymen.

In 2015 alone, around 8,000 Australians and 2,000 New Zealanders made the journey to Gallipoli on 25 April to represent their nation.

Just like on the battlefield, nations are united by this commemorative date. And you won't feel it more than when you're standing at attention at the Gallipoli dawn service next to your brothers and sisters from across the pond.


5. It's part of Australian history

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Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It's the day when Australian and New Zealand troops first laid military action during World War I by setting out to capture the peninsula.

They officially landed on Turkish soil on 25 April 1915, and it's on this date that we celebrate their bravery.

Services around the world are held to commemorate the soldiers who fought bravely and died for their country on this day, but none can compare to the services in the home countries of Australia and New Zealand and at the site of the battle, Gallipoli. It's for this reason that thousands of Australians flock to Gallipoli each year to share in the history and pay their respects at the very site where our heroes fought and fell.


Last-minute Anzac Day tours

It's not too late to secure your spot on an Anzac Day tour. These tour companies still have spots available!

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