Diggers At Dawn
Travel to Gallipoli and pay your respects to the fallen during a moving Dawn Service. Learn about the hazards and heartaches faced by the Diggers in serving their country, stand vigil as night shifts across these hallowed grounds and hear the bugle signal the Last Post.
The ANZACS stormed the beaches of Gallipoli at dawn on 25 April 1915. Now, 99 years later it's time to pay your respects.
Day 1 - Istanbul - Gallipoli
The trip begins by meeting at the Istanbul office at 11am before transferring by private bus to Gallipoli (approximately a 6-hour drive)). En route there will be a chance to get into the mood by watching the movie 'Gallipoli'.
There will be a stop for dinner before we make our way to the ANZAC Commemorative site, where we will spend the night. Please be patient, there can be long delays upon entry as all visitors will be security screened.
For any Australian or New Zealander visiting Turkey, a trip to Gallipoli is a rite of passage. The battle at Gallipoli in 1915 is seen as a turning point in the development of both of these nations (not to mention that of the Republic of Turkey). It was the moment when our national character was defined and the core values of mateship and resilience were embedded in our psyche.The names of ANZAC Cove, the Neck and Lone Pine strike an emotional chord in the hearts of Antipodeans and are just some of the places you can visit on this trip. You will be struck by the beauty and serenity of the place, in stark contrast to the stories your guide will tell you of the events that unfolded here. Certainly you will be awestruck by the rough terrain, and will discover a new respect for the diggers and the obstacles they faced.
We spend the night in the ceremonial area near ANZAC Cove. There are a number of grandstands set up and an area on the lawns where you can sit. Beware - the night can be very, very cold. It is imperative for your comfort that you bring a sleeping bag for the night. It is virtually impossible to sleep during the night as, due to the crowds that visit each year and the seating arrangements, it is all but impossible to lie down. We recommend to make the most of the experience that you come well rested before the night. Bring your sense of humour - this is certainly one of those things you do for the experience, not for the comfort, and when you look back upon it further down the track you'll realise that whatever hardships you faced were well and truly worth it. Certainly, it was only minor discomfort compared to what the diggers themselves went through.
This is a sombre, respectful affair and no alcohol is allowed at the event. Other refreshments and toilet facilities are provided on the site for a reasonable price. This is the true Antipodean pilgrimage and something every Australian and New Zealander should experience at some point in their lives. It is an event that should both humble and inspire you.
Day 2 - Gallipoli - Istanbul
The Dawn Service itself and the rendition of the Last Post will leave you with goosebumps. Following this there is an opportunity to visit other countries' ceremonies, and also free time to seek out graves that may have a a personal significance. Later in the day we re-board our bus and drive back to Istanbul, aiming to arrive around 8pm. Again, patience is required for departure from the peninsula as there will be 10,000 other people also waiting to catch buses, so the process can be slow. We recommend you arrange an additional night's accommodation for the evening of day 2, or plan any departure from Istanbul for the late evening. Extra accommodation before and after tour can be requested, please ask your agent at time of booking.Breakfast | Lunch
What to Know
Transportation and some meals.
- International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed (lunches and dinners), any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
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What to know
This is a "sell-in" trip operated by a local tour company, with no tour leader escorting the group. There may be up to 60 people in the group.
Patience is also required for departure from the peninsula as there will be over 10,000 people also waiting to catch their bus, so the process will be slow.
We recommend that you check the following Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) travel advice which has detailed information and advice about what to expect: