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As soon as we are able to, you are taken to the site of the dawn service to get a good spot. There are food stalls selling a great variety of Turkish Kebabs, pancakes and fast hot foods close-by so you won't go hungry.
There are big screens and music to entertain you and to thank you - the people who have made the pilgrimage to Gallipoli for ANZAC Day. War veterans, military personnel and media will be everywhere and the atmosphere is electric. There is a unique feeling in the air, a celebration of peace subdued by a cloud of commemoration.
Within a few hours, the site will appear like a sea of colour with thousands of Aussies and Kiwis sprawling out on the grass, warmly wrapped up in sleeping bags, National flags flying high and rugby tops on their backs. Get a few hours of rest/sleep on the grass because soon the MC will be asking you to move forward to try and make space for the thousands more people still to come.
The buzzing atmosphere will permeate the whole night. Well before the grey light of dawn signals the start of the dawn service, speakers and entertainers begin their addresses, folk songs and stories.
ANZAC Day, Schedule
05.30 – 06.30 Dawn Service, Anzac Commemorative Site, North Beach
The Anzac Commemorative Site is expected to be closed to visitor entry from approximately late morning to early evening on Thursday 24 April.
The road leading to the Anzac Commemorative Site will be closed from 3am on Friday 25 April until the start of the Dawn Service.
Larger view in new window
ANZAC Day, how does it work?
From the turn off to the Gallipoli battlefields you will travel across the peninsula towards Gabatepe then head north towards the Anzac Commemorative Site.
The bus will turn into a small car park, adjacent to Brighton Beach, where coaches and their passengers are welcomed by a member of the visitor services team who issues each coach with a coach identification number. Each passenger will also receive an individual tag with their coach number on it which you should attach to your clothing. This will help visitors to indentify their coach at the end of the services.
Drop off point
From the 'Tag Point' your bus will procede north to the drop off point, near Beach cemetery, where you will leave the bus. Here you will pass through security. Be aware that any opened bottle will be confiscated so if you wish to take your own water into the site, don’t open it until you have passed through security. There are plenty of food and drink vendors selling water also.
When you disembark from your coach you must have everything you will need for the evening and next day, including medication. You cannot return to your coach until after the services have finished on the afternoon of 25 April.
Having passed through security you walk approximately 1 km around ANZAC Cove, past Ari Burnu cemetery (where the Dawn Service was held until the year 2000) and along North Beach to the Anzac Commemorative Site.
Dawn Service, Anzac Commemorative Site, North Beach
Once at the Anzac Commemorative Site its just a matter of waiting until 05:30 when the Dawn service begins. However there is much to keep you entertained. 2 large TV screens will be showing documentaries, veterans are interviewed, historians, descendants and people of interest and a military band plays music from the era. Food and drink vendors may found on the road leading north out of the site. The Dawn Service finishes at approximately 06:30.
Once the dignataries, military represenatives and officials have left the site the gates are opened and everyone must make their way to either the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine, a distance of approximately 3.2 kms or the New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair, approximately 6.4 kms. Getting to either service requires walking to and then inland along Artillery Road.
Artillery Road turn off
Anzac Commemorative Site to Artillery Road turn off
To get to Lone Pine you need to walk back past Ari Burnu, around ANZAC Cove, past Shrapnel Valley and Beach Cemeteries and continue along to Artillery Road, the turn left towards Lone Pine.
Artillery Road was constructed during the campaign by New Zealand engineers. The turn off is about half way between the Commemorative site and Lone Pine.
Lone Pine - Australian Memorial
Artillery Road turn off to Lone Pine - Australian Memorial
From the Artillery Road turn off the dirt track ascends just over 350 feet (106 metres) in just under 1.5 kms (0.9 mls) on graded dirt and uneven surfaces, and can be challenging to walk.
If you are elderly, have a disability or any other condition, which may prevent you from doing this walk, you may be eligible for Assisted Mobility. (see the 'Related Links' section below)
The good news is that the Australian Service doesn't start until 10 am so you have 3.5 hours to get there from the Commemorative Site. The New Zealand service starts at 11:30 am so they have 5 hours to get to ~Chunuk Bair from the Commemorative Site. So we recommend you take it at a casual pace. If you start to feel the strain stop and take a break. There are several first aid stations along the way.
About half way along the track you will pass Shell Green cemetery where the troops played a cricket match, in December 1915, a few days before the evacuation.
As you near the entrance to Lone Pine there is an area for food and drink vendors. Its best to grab any refreshments you want before proceeding into Lone Pine otherwise you'll have to go through security again.
People wishing to attend the New Zealand service need to continue on past Lone Pine a further 3.15 kms (1.96 mls). The Lone Pine service finishes at 11 am. The New Zealand service starts at 11:30 and so it is no longer possible to attend both services.
Chunuk Bair - New Zealand Memorial
Lone Pine - Australian Memorial to Chunuk Bair - New Zealand Memorial
The walk to Chunuk Bair is uphill on a bitumen road and can be challenging to walk.
From Lone Pine you should head north along the bitumen road, past the Johnstons’s Jolly, Courtney & Steele’s Post, Quinn’s Post cemeteries, the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial past the turn off to The Nek cemetery where the road heads upward and inland passing Baby 700 cemetery long the way to Chunuk Bair.
From Lone Pine to the turn off to 'The Nek' you are walking along the old front line. In fact you are walking along what was no mans land. You will see remnants of trenches and tunnels on either side of the road, Turkish to the right and Allied to the left.
The Chunuk Bair service finishes at 12:15.
After the Chunuk Bair service finishes at 12:15 the buses are allowed in, firstly picking up at Lone Pine then moving on to Chunuk Bair to pick up any passengers from there. There is no specific order so you need to keep your eyes peeled for your bus. There will be over 200 buses so this process can and will take some time.
Following the conclusion of the Chunuk Bair Service at 12.15pm, coaches will begin arriving at Lone Pine Cemetery and will then proceed to Chunuk Bair to collect visitors. Visitors can expect to leave the site by mid to late afternoon on 25 April. It can take several hours for all coaches to collect visitors. Coaches will not arrive in the order in which they are registered.
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Last updated : 13 April 2016