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Gallipoli

Anzac Day Dawn Service – Anzac Commemorative Site, Gallipoli, Turkey

Anzac Day service Anzac commemorative site, Gallipoli, Turkey. Overlaid with troops in a small boat

Snapshot
Service: Dawn Service, Anzac Commemorative Site; Australian Service, Lone Pine Cemetery; New Zealand Service, Chunuk Bair
Date: Monday, 24 April 2017 – Tuesday, 25 April 2017
Time: 9.30 pm: Coach registration commences (TBC)
10.00 pm: Anzac Commemorative Site opens (TBC)
11.00 pm: Reflective program commences
3.00 am: Coach registration closes (last arrival)
5.30 am: Dawn service commences
9.30 am: Lone Pine Service
11.30 am: Chunuk Bair Service
12.45 pm (approx.): Coach Loading and departures at Chunuk Bair
Seating style: Varied – Limited grandstands will be available with bucket-style seats and grassed area with no seats.
Venue: Anzac Commemorative Site, Gallipoli, Turkey
Weather: The weather at Gallipoli is highly variable. All sites are exposed to the elements and there is no permanent shelter. Severe wind-chill can result in temperatures being below freezing overnight on 24 – 25 April. During the day the temperature can be very hot. Strong winds and heavy rain has been experienced on site in previous years. Visitors should ensure they come prepared for these conditions.
Attendance passes: Required – Available February 2017
Visa requirements: Yes – obtain your visa on the e-Visa website.
Security: Airport-style screening including restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels.
Important Notes: In 2017, visitors will require an attendance pass to enter the sites.

Attendance passes can be obtained by prior registration. Visitors will need to retain their attendance pass throughout their time at Gallipoli as scanning and security screening will occur at the entry to each site.

Coach registration will not open until 9.30 pm of 24 April and the Anzac Commemorative Site itself will not open to visitors until approximately 10 pm on 24 April.

An Australian service will be held at Lone Pine cemetery and a New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair on the morning of 25 April after the Dawn Service.

All visitors will be collected by their coaches from Chunuk Bair after the New Zealand service (at approximately 12.45 pm on 25 April).

Visitors should be prepared to walk a minimum of 8 km during your time at the commemorations, mostly up steep hills.

Links

Getting to the Anzac Commemorative Site, Gallipoli

On 25 April each year, we commemorate the landings of the Anzacs at Gallipoli.

The Australian and New Zealand Governments jointly conduct the Gallipoli Anzac Day Dawn Service on 25 April each year at the Anzac Commemorative Site, Turkey. The Australian Government conducts the Australian Service at Lone Pine following the Dawn Service and the New Zealand Government conducts the New Zealand Service at Chunuk Bair. All services take place with the permission and support of the host nation, Turkey. The commemorative sites at Gallipoli are the sovereign territory of the Turkish people and holding the annual Anzac Day commemorations is only possible with the cooperation and generous assistance of the Government of the Republic of Turkey.

The Gallipoli Peninsula is a 5 hour drive from Istanbul. The nearest towns to the commemorative sites are Eceabat (20 km), Canakkale (30 km) and Gelibolu (45 km), but there is no public transport available from these towns to the national park. The services take place in the Gallipoli Campaign Historical Site, a protected area in a national park. The services take place in an isolated, remote and exposed location with no permanent infrastructure, facilities or shelter. 

Most visitors attend the commemorations as part of a guided bus tour. Numerous tour providers in Australia and Turkey offer tours that incorporate the Dawn Service. DVA recommends that visitors travel to the commemorations as part of an organised tour arriving by coach.

In 2017, visitors will require an attendance pass to enter the sites. Attendance passes can be obtained by prior registration. Attendance passes can also be obtained at the coach set-down point from 9.30 pm on 24 April until 3.00 am on 25 April. Prior registration is strongly recommended as attendance passes will not be issued if the site reaches its maximum safe capacity.  

All visitors will undergo airport-style security screening on arrival at each of the sites. For cultural reasons, visitors may be separated into male and female lines to undergo screening. Security at the site is the responsibility of the Turkish authorities, who provide considerable military, Jandarma, police and medical assistance to the commemorations. In addition, private security contractors also assist with visitor safety and security screening. You must follow the directions of the Turkish authorities and service officials at all times. Conditions of entry apply to entering the commemorative sites. You should ensure you review the prohibited items list.

After passing through security, visitors will have their attendance pass scanned, be wrist-banded and receive an information kit prior to entering into the seating area.

Transport Arrangements

Road Closures

Temporary road closures and traffic restrictions are likely to be in effect at various times on 24 – 25 April around the Gallipoli peninsula at the discretion of the Turkish authorities. These may restrict access to commemorative sites, cemeteries and other locations in the Helles and Anzac areas.

Access to the Anzac Commemorative Site will commence at 10 pm on 24 April and cease at 3 am on 25 April. We encourage visitors to be at the Anzac Commemorative Site well before the road closure to ensure you can gain access to the site.

Access to Second Ridge Road will be restricted to vehicles on 25 April until after the conclusion of the Chunuk Bair service at approximately 12.30 pm.

Private Vehicles

DVA strongly encourages visitors to travel to Gallipoli as part of an organised tour. No private vehicle parking is permitted near the Anzac Commemorative Site, Lone Pine or Chunuk Bair.

Arrangements for private vehicles are at the discretion of the Turkish Jandarma and are subject to change without prior notice.

Subject to any changes at the direction of the authorities, after the opening of coach registration, private vehicles will need to register and receive important messages at Mimoza Otopark (approximately 3 km south of the Anzac Commemorative Site), and then proceed to park across the road at Mimoza Park. They should then return to the Otopark to obtain transport into the Anzac Commemorative Site. Visitors arriving in private vehicles will still need to walk between Anzac Commemorative Site, Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair due to road closures. After the Chunuk Bair service on 25 April, a shuttle will transfer visitors from Chunuk Bair back to Mimoza Otopark to be reunited with their vehicles.

Coaches

Arrivals

From 9.30 pm on 24 April coach registration will open at Mimoza Otopark, some 3 km south of the Anzac Commemorative Site. At this site, coach details will be recorded and important information provided to visitors about the arrival process and what to expect overnight. An identifying coach number will be provided and each passenger provided with a matching card. Following registration, coaches will proceed north a further 2 km to Beach Cemetery where passengers will disembark, and walk the remaining 1 km to the southern entry to the Anzac Commemorative Site. A shuttle is available for visitors requiring assistance.

Please note that coaches will depart the area after passengers disembark. Visitors should ensure that all prohibited items remain on their coach and that they take everything they will need for overnight and the following day with them in their day pack when leaving the coach (including any medication required). Visitors will not be reunited with their coaches until after the conclusion of the service at Chunuk Bair.  

At the coach set-down point a ‘box office’ will be available for any visitors who have not previously registered and obtained an attendance pass from 9.30 pm on 24 April until 3.00 am on 25 April. Prior registration is strongly recommended as passes will not be issued if site capacity has been reached.

Departures

All visitors will be collected by their coaches from Chunuk Bair after the New Zealand service (at approximately 1 pm on 25 April). Visitors will hold in a waiting area until their coach arrives in the loading zone and their coach number is called. Please note that coaches will not arrive in the order in which they were registered and it is impossible to predict when an individual coach will arrive. Please follow the directions of service officials.

Due to large numbers of visitors, and the fact that Second Ridge road is a narrow, one-way road, long waits can be expected. Coaches will not commence loading until released by the Turkish Jandarma. It is advisable not to make any onward travel arrangements on 25 April, as coach departure times cannot be guaranteed.  

Accessible Seating

Limited accessible seating support is available. Please note that indicating accessible seating on your registration for an attendance pass does not automatically result in provision of this support. Support is provided on a ‘most at need’ basis and assistance cannot be guaranteed as capacity is limited. Visitors with an accessibility requirement should identify themselves to a staff member on arrival at the coach set-down point to access a shuttle transfer to the Anzac Commemorative Site. They will then register for accessibility seating support at the information tent on site.

Accessible Seating support for successful applicants includes:

  • Shuttle transfer for the 1 km between the coach set-down point to the southern entry of Anzac Commemorative Site. Please note that you will still need to walk/transit approximately 400 meters from the entry point to the accessible seating stand.
  • Designated accessible seating area in a stand for the applicant and one carer. This stand requires negotiating stairs. There is a small capacity wheelchair area.
  • Accessible toilet access.
  • Shuttle transfer from Anzac Commemorative Site to Lone Pine Cemetery after the dawn service.
  • Shuttle transfer from Lone Pine to Chunuk Bair for coach loading after the Lone Pine service.

Accessible seating support does not include one-on-one carers, mobility aids or other supports. If this assistance is required, please ensure you bring it with you. 

You should consult with your doctor regarding the conditions you are likely to experience on site to ensure you can safely travel to Gallipoli.

Service Specific Visitor items

Attending the Gallipoli Anzac Day commemorations is a rewarding, but challenging experience. You will be exposed to the elements in all weather conditions for the entire period you are on-site, including overnight and need to walk long distances uphill. You should prepare for these conditions and ensure you are fit to travel.  

You will walk a minimum of 8 km during your time at the commemorations, mostly up steep hills. Moving between Anzac Commemorative Site and Lone Pine involves a walk of approximately 3.1 km, including walking up the very steep Artillery Road from sea-level to the Lone Pine cemetery on the ridge. Artillery Road is unpaved and can be challenging (the equivalent of 30 flights of stairs or climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge). From Lone Pine to Chunuk Bair is a further 3.3 km uphill, past numerous cemeteries and historic sites, which visitors will have an opportunity to view en-route.  

Visitors are reminded to pre-register to receive an attendance pass for the services.  

Attending the Anzac Day service is like a vigil – there is little opportunity for sleep, and you are likely to be awake for long periods overnight and into 25 April.

A reflective program of documentaries, musical performances and historical information is performed overnight.

After the Dawn Service, visitors should take the opportunity to get breakfast and use the amenities prior to proceeding to Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair on Second Ridge for the Australian and New Zealand services and coach loading. Only limited amenities will be available on Second Ridge. 

You will need to bring adequate supplies of non-perishable food – there are no cooking facilities on-site. Bottled water is available on-site and limited supplies of Turkish food and water can be purchased from vendors at the Anzac Commemorative Site and Chunuk Bair.

Very basic and limited facilities including temporary seating, lighting and portable toilets are available on-site for the period of the commemorations. Limited rubbish disposal facilities are available, and where possible, visitors are asked to take their rubbish with them. There is no running water or power on-site, except for those in use for the services.

The terrain includes reasonable flat sealed roads, cobblestone paths, sloped and uneven gravel tracks and grassed areas (which can become slippery or muddy when wet) as well as very steep ungraded paths. Access to seating in the stands requires climbing stairs. Visitors will often need to stand and queue for long periods at times, for security screening to enter the commemorative site, as well as for the limited public amenities. If the site is nearing the safe capacity, visitors on the grassed areas will be asked to stand.

Seating at the commemorations is not allocated or reserved (other than a limited area for Accessible Seating visitors who register on-site) and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is available in temporarily erected metal grandstands with plastic bucket-style seats or on grassed areas (with no seats). Some seating may have restricted views, however large screens are available to view the service. Access to seating in the stands requires climbing stairs.  

Mobile phone coverage is available at the commemorative sites, but there are no recharging facilities.

Limited medical support is provided by local Turkish health authorities from the evening of 24 April to the afternoon of 25 April. You should bring your own prescription medication (if required) and basic first aid supplies, including non-prescription pain relief medication and band-aids. The medical support provided is equipped for medical emergencies and is not designed to treat minor ailments. If you require any medical equipment, including medications, wheelchairs or mobility aids, you will need to bring these with you.

Wreath laying by invited official representatives will occur during the services. Members of the public who wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute will have the opportunity to do so at the conclusion of the service. If you wish to lay a wreath or floral tribute, you will need to bring this with you and register your details at the information tent. The proceedings will be announced by the Master of Ceremonies who will call individuals in order to lay their wreath or tribute. Please note that you will need to organise your own wreath or floral tribute. It is your responsibility to carry it with you, care for it and transport it to the Anzac Commemorative Site Lone Pine and/or Chunuk Bair. There are no facilities or arrangements for storage or transport of personal wreaths at the commemorations.

Please note that taking any historical artefacts and items from the Gallipoli Campaign Historical Site is strictly prohibited and carries severe penalties under Turkish law.

Further reading

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has developed the Gallipoli and the Anzacs website - a major award-winning educational web site containing text, documents, graphics, timelines, video and audio about Australians in the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War. 

Contact Information

In Australia

Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Telephone: 1300 364 002
Email: gallipoli@dva.gov.au
Facebook: DVA Aus / Anzac Centenary
Twitter: @DVAAus

For Consular Assistance in Canakkale

Telephone: (+90 286) 218 1721

For Consular Assistance in Istanbul

Telephone: (+90 212) 393 8542

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