ANZAC on the Western Front - Special ANZAC Ceremony
Day 1 - Lille
After meeting the group in Lille, we’ll kick off our remarkable journey with a delicious welcome dinner. Accommodation: Hôtel Couvent des Minimes (or similar)
Day 2 - Lille – Ypres
Today’s itinerary will take us from Lille to Ypres via the historic Messines Ridge. Our first stop will be the Passchendaele battlefields – where we’ll walk in the footsteps of WWI allied soldiers who fought to break the German line in 1917. Next, we’ll pay our respects at Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot Military Cemetery before visiting the shell-scarred Hill 60. This afternoon, there’s an opportunity to explore the fascinating Hooge Crater Museum – home to a unique collection of WWI artefacts and reconstructed trenches. We’ll enjoy some free time this evening in Ypres – our home for the next two nights. Accommodation: Albion Hotel (or similar)
Day 3 - Ypres
After breakfast, we’ll continue to delve into the moving stories of the West Flanders Front beginning with a visit to the In Flanders Fields Museum – a unique institution that commemorates the four-year trench war and conveys a contemporary message of peace. This afternoon, you’ll be free to explore Ypres at your leisure. A medieval town that was completely destroyed during WWI and rebuilt anew, there is plenty of history to uncover here. This evening we’ll reconvene to attend the playing of the Last Post under the iconic Menin Gate. Accommodation: Albion Hotel (or similar)
Day 4 - Ypres – Amiens
Today it’s out of Belgium and across the border. Our destination? Fromelles, the site of the disastrous attack of 19 July 1916 – where we’ll pay an emotional visit to Pheasant Wood Cemetery and the fascinating exhibition nearby. After, we’ll move on to the Wellington Quarries: a network of tunnels built by the New Zealand Tunnelling Company as part of the preparations for the Battle of Arras. We’ll remember Australia’s role in this battle at Bullecourt, with a stop at the Digger Memorial later this afternoon. Concluding the day in lovely Amiens, we’ll have the evening to spend as we wish. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
Day 5 - Amiens – ANZAC Ceremony – Amiens
The Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux commemorates the battle of 24-25 April 1918 – during which Australian and Commonwealth Soldiers liberated the town. Buried here are more than 2,100 servicemen of the First World War – including over 770 Australians. Since 2008, the memorial has been the site of a special ANZAC Day service. Today, stand with fellow visitors from Australia and New Zealand and local townspeople in remembering those who fought during the Great War at one its most poignant sites. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
Day 6 - Amiens – Somme – Amiens
The Somme still captivates the soul and it’s here that the ANZACs first saw major action in 1916. This morning, we’ll visit Pozières and Mouquet Farm – significant sites for the Australian soldiers, as well as Longueval and Flers which were similarly monumental to the Kiwis. Before returning to Amiens, we’ll also take some time to remember the colossal loss experienced by Great Britain – with a visit to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. This evening, we’ll regroup for one final dinner together and reminisce on our unforgettable journey. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
Day 7 - Amiens – Villers Bretonneux – Lille
As the home of the National War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is central to Australian WWI commemoration and memory. Before we say our goodbyes today, we’ll visit the Franco-Australian Museum – a site paying tribute to the brave Australian soldiers who helped to save the town and monument to international solidarity. We’ll make a brief stop at Sir John Monash Centre before shifting our focus to the last year of the war – with a visit to Le Hamel. Our tour will conclude upon our return to Lille.
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