ANZAC Day on the Western Front Tour
10 days only $3,989 pp twin share
- Leisurely 2, 3 and 4 night stays
- Escorted by a specialist Battlefield Tour Manager
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- 17 years experience operating Western Front tours
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- Guaranteed group departures
Imagine being there on ANZAC Day in the still of the morning, with the mist and damp air hovering over lines of white gravestones. Then, as dawn breaks, the haunting Last Post is sounded by the bugler. Come join us on the Western Front at Villers-Bretonneux as we commemorate the sacrifice and valour of a generation who long ago fought and died so far from home.
Over the years we have handled numerous commemorative tours to the Somme and Flanders battlefields. Your specialist Battlefield Tour Manager has been specially selected as he is an expert in these regions and well versed in the path our ‘Diggers’ trod nearly a century ago. He will separate fact from fiction and bring to life the whole tragic Western Front campaign. Specially designed to visit the main battlefields, cemeteries, memorials and museums, this tour offers you a unique and personal experience.
- Absorb the full reality and tragedy of the trench warfare and gain a deeper insight into the life of the diggers, with commentary by our specialist Battlefield Tour Manager
- All hotels located to access all the major Commemorative sights
- Experience the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux and local Town Service hosted by the village Mayor
- Be moved by the Last Post at the Menin Gate and visit ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum
- Visit the Flanders Commemorative sites including Messines, Hill 60, Polygon Wood, Essex Farm Cemetery, Tyne Cot, Toronto Avenue Cemetery, Island of Ireland Peace Park and explore Hooge Crater Cemetery and Museum
- Visit the Somme Commemorative sites including the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, Fromelles Memorials, Vimy Ridge, Bullecourt ‘Digger’ Memorial, Adelaide Cemetery, Australian Memorials at Pozières, the Ulster Tower Memorial, Newfoundland Memorial Park, Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, 2nd Australian Division memorial at Mont St Quentin and Australian Corps Memorial at Le Hamel
- Visit Franco-Australian Museum at Victoria Primary School in Villers-Bretonneux & Thiepval Interpretation Centre
Day 1: 18 April - Paris
Your tour commences in Paris this evening. We have included a welcome drink and dinner. This is an ideal chance to meet and get to know your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.
Day 2: 19 April - Paris
This morning we enjoy a Paris panoramic tour which will bring alive the city from the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe (including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier), to the Louvre and Notre Dame. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Day 3: 20 April - Ypres
We depart Paris and our first stop is a visit to the Adelaide Cemetery (site of the exhumation of Australia’s Unknown Soldier in November 1993) before arriving at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. It was here on April 25, 1918, exactly 3 years after the Gallipoli landings, that Australian courage and determination provided a stunning victory that ended the German advance in this area. It is a place to think about how Australia’s story on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918 has been commemorated. Also visited today is the Franco Australian Museum at the Victoria School in the village. Driving on, across the uplands of the Somme, our next visit is to the Australian Corps Memorial at Le Hamel and finally to the 2nd Australian Division memorial at Mont St Quentin, on the outskirts of the historical town of Péronne.
All in all, these first battlefield visits provide the perfect context for our touring over the next few days. Later this afternoon we continue to Ypres where we stay the next four nights. Between 1916 and 1918 thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers came to Ypres where some of the heaviest fighting in World War 1 took place. Completely destroyed in the war, the town was lovingly re-built carefully restoring the grand old buildings and picturesque square. Tonight, after dinner, you can attend the sounding of the Last Post at the Menin Gate, a moving ceremony repeated every night since 1928.
Day 4: 21 April - Ypres
Today will be enjoyed in Ypres. Our walking tour takes us through the centre of town to the magnificent Cloth Hall, St Georges Chapel and St Martin’s Church. We will also visit the beautiful Ypres Ramparts Cemetery and walk on top of the ramparts to the Menin Gate Memorial, the British Empire’s tribute to the missing from the battles around Ypres. Highlight of your day will be a visit to ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum - a remarkable interactive experience of World War 1, located in the Cloth Hall. The rest of your day is free in this delightful gothic town.
Day 5: 22 April - Ypres
A day to discover the battlefields and memorials associated with some of the most costly operations fought in by Australian soldiers – the battles of the ‘Flanders Offensive’ of June to November 1917. In the morning we visit the site of the Battle of Messines, the beautiful Toronto Avenue Cemetery and the Island of Ireland Peace Park. Later we drive up the famous Menin Road to visit Hooge Crater Cemetery and Museum (this small, private museum is in a renovated Chapel and small school), the 5th Australian Division Memorial in Polygon Wood, Hill 60 and the British Commonwealth’s largest war cemetery at Tyne Cot. What happened in this area east of Ypres in 1917 was eventually summed up in one terrible word - Passchendaele!
Day 6: 23 April - Ypres
We have included a delightful excursion today to the charming city of Bruges. Recognised as one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, Bruges is riddled with canals, bridges and quiet back streets. On arrival we are joined by a local guide for a walking tour around the quaint and picturesque cobbled stone streets. Later, take time to relax in one of the pavement cafes on the glorious old market square. This afternoon we also visit the Essex Farm Cemetery, a site forever associated with the composition of the poem ‘In Flanders Field’.
Day 7: 24 April - Amiens
Today we journey through the old Western Front battlefields from Ypres in Belgium to Amiens in France. After crossing the border, we will stop at Fromelles, scene of Australia’s first major battle on the Western Front, to visit VC Corner (Australian Cemetery), Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery and the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles. From there we visit the most spectacular British Commonwealth memorial in France – the Canadian National Memorial on Vimy Ridge. Before heading into Amiens, we will travel across the old Bullecourt battlefield and view the moving statue of an Australian soldier at the Bullecourt ‘Digger’ Memorial. A packed lunch, and dinner has been included today. Your hotel for the next three nights is located in the very heart of town.
Day 8: 25 April - Amiens - ANZAC Day
ANZAC Day will be special! A ceremony with military uniforms, slouch-hats, Ambassadors and dignitaries, army bands, national anthems, the Last Post, crowds of visitors as well as the local population of this small French village which will “never forget Australia”. This morning we attend the Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial near Villers Bretonneux. At the conclusion of the Dawn Service, we plan to also attend the local wreath laying ceremony, hosted by the Mayor, at the French monument near the town hall in Villers Bretonneux*. A breakfast pack has been included today.
Return to your hotel mid morning. In 1918 Australian soldiers played a prominent part in the defence of the city of Amiens. Today we visit one of the gems of French medieval architecture - Amiens Cathedral, where the Australian and New Zealand soldiers have been honoured. The rest of your day and evening are at leisure in the delightful town of Amiens.
Day 9: 26 April - Amiens
Today we experience the tragedy of the 1916 Somme battlefield including the Australian memorials at Pozières, which recall the loss of 23,000 men in six weeks. Later we visit the vast and tragic Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, including entrance to the Thiepval Interpretation Centre which details the battles of the Somme between 1914 and 1918, the Ulster Tower Memorial to the 36th Ulster Division and the Newfoundland Memorial Park. A snack lunch is included today. Return to Amiens where this evening you enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 10: 27 April - To Paris
Your Western Front Tour ends this morning after breakfast as you are transferred to Paris to arrive around midday. Drop off points will be Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Gare du Nord station. We recommend that you book flights or trains that depart Paris after 2pm today.
Incredible Value Inclusions
- All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
- Fully escorted by our specialist Battlefield Tour Manager
- Personal audio system whilst on tour
- Travel in a first class air conditioned touring coach
- End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guides
- 9 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
- Breakfast daily (B), 2 snack lunches (L)
- 4 dinners including welcome dinner in Paris & farewell dinner in Amiens (D)
- Welcome drink Paris
- All entrances as per itinerary
- Extensive touring of the WW1 Battlefields
Our battlefield guide, Rob Deere, was just so wonderful and did all he could to ensure we got the very best out of our trip to the Western Front. His depth of knowledge of the conflicts, his passion for his subject, his consideration to ensure we, as Aussies and Kiwi's, saw as much of the areas that our Anzacs fought in as possible, and his wonderful way of sharing his knowledge at a level we could grasp and without causing us information overload made this trip above and beyond what I had ever expected. Apart from that, he is simply a lovely bloke too.
The tour highlight for me was the Tour Manager, Rob Deere. He is easily the best Tour Manager I have ever experienced. His dedication, commitment and organisation are beyond question however it is his wonderful enthusiasm and passion, combined with his extensive knowledge of the areas, history and geography that has made this tour a joy and a great educational experience. Thank you so much Rob, you truly went above and beyond the call of duty.
The Tour Manager was outstanding! His knowledge gave us an excellent understanding of the events of 1914-1918. He also arranged for some personal pilgrimages which gave the whole group a personal insight.
The whole tour was excellent! The most knowledgeable Tour Manager who went ‘above and beyond’ to inform us of each event where Australian soldiers and other Great War soldiers were involved. I could not have asked for anything better. Rob Deere is a very approachable and a friendly man who made this tour the very best tour I have ever been involved with. I have learnt so much about WW1 from Rob, he has inspired me to read and research this subject even more!
The Tour Manager Rob’s description at Le Hamel was quite remarkable, he captivated us and brought alive the strategy and movements of the troops to such an extent that we were in the moment.
Dates and Prices
Book with Confidence
If you book and deposit on any of our tours, as long as there are just 10 or more people travelling on your designated group departure, we guarantee it will travel.
Specialist Battlefield Tour Manager
Gain a deeper insight into the life of the WW1 diggers with expert commentary from your specialist Battlefield Tour Manager
No Additional 'On Tour' Costs
Over $100 value of extras per day are already included. There are no additional 'on tour' costs - even your end of tour tips are included!