Visiting a War Cemetery or Garden of Remembrance
War Cemeteries and Gardens of Remembrance are open to everyone. In most cases, you'll find them in larger general cemeteries, capital cities and larger regional locations.
Before visiting, make sure to first check access arrangements and opening hours with cemeteries.
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Visiting a War Cemetery or Garden of Remembrance
The Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG), which sits within the Department of Veterans' Affairs, acts as the agent of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to maintain 72 war cemeteries and individual war graves (in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the region) for Commonwealth forces members, who died during the First and Second World Wars.
OAWG also runs the Australian Government’s official commemoration program. It provides official commemoration for veterans who died of causes attributable to their service. These commemorations may be at the interment site chosen by the veteran or their family, or within a Garden of Remembrance.
Everyone can visit a War Cemetery or Garden of Remembrance. You can find location details and visitor information by going to:
To find a War Cemetery overseas, you can visit the CWGC website.Back to top
Placing tributes at War Cemeteries and Gardens of Remembrance
Because all OAWG and CWGC cemeteries seasonally curate horticulture in Australia and the region, the planting of flowers, trees, shrubs or any plant at these sites or at the interment site is prohibited.
Fresh cut flowers (bunches or wreaths) may be placed on graves at any time. The OAWG does not assume any responsibility for damaged or missing flower arrangements. Once they have passed their best, flowers and wreaths will be removed and disposed of as per CWGC policy.
OAWG requests visitors to not place silk, plastic or other material floral arrangements or flags against the graves. The dyes in these materials can permanently damage headstones and affect horticultural arrangements. These sorts of items will be removed and disposed of.
Individual poppies, cornflowers and rosemary can be placed on bronze plaques and on the ground in front of headstones. These items will be removed and disposed of once they have passed their best.
OAWG requests visitors to not place any items in a cemetery or Garden of Remembrance that may be offensive, inconsistent with the cemetery's dignity, or considered hazardous or potentially hazardous.
To ensure OAWG staff, contractors' and visitors' own safety in cemeteries, visitors may not bring or leave alcohol, cigarettes, knives or sharp objects, statues, vigil lights, flags, glass objects, or any other type of commemorative item.
Any items left at graves, within Gardens of Remembrance, or atop or alongside grave covers or pedestals within war or military cemeteries will be removed and disposed of as soon as they have passed their best.
OAWG receives many requests from schools and other community groups seeking permission to acknowledge veterans' graves on days of remembrance, as part of a community commemoration program. In accordance with policy and operational guidelines, OAWG will support requests that maintain the dignity of the cemetery and those at rest within them. OAWG supports activities that focus on enabling quiet contemplation and remembrance.
To maintain our war cemeteries' dignity and solemnity, and to properly care for each grave within them, OAWG does not allow temporary or permanent flag planting or placement upon or abutting our official commemorations. Tributes including flags made of silk, cotton, synthetics and plastics often contain dyes that can permanently stain headstones. Similarly, holes made for flags or other items in any location around a headstone, lawn monument or grave cover, can result in structural issues that affects the grave's integrity and appearance.
Therefore, tributes and flags placed by individuals and/or organisations on or abutting an official commemoration will be removed by OAWG staff and disposed of.Back to top
Filming at War Cemeteries and Gardens of Remembrance
Anyone seeking to film on our sites must seek permission from us to do so. You must provide filming details including dates, times, locations and the numbers of people attending. We also require a synopsis and/or script that clearly provides filming context and an overall understanding of the end product, its purpose and its audience.
You can request permission from us either by:
- email to wargraves [at] dva.gov.au
- phone 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372).
In considering any request to access our commemorative sites for filming purposes, we seek to ensure that the filmed product, how it is to be used and viewed is consistent with the CWGC’s and Australian Government’s commemorative program objectives.
As applications can take some time to consider, we ask that you apply and provide supporting material well before the requested filming date.
Filming for commercial purposes is not allowed.Back to top