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Centenary Anniversary Gallipoli ballot about to be drawn: top tips for travellers planning Gallipoli 2015 trips from historian and battlefield guide, Mat McLachlan

March 31, 2014 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

With anticipation building ahead of the Australian Government drawing the Anzac Day 2015 Gallipoli ballot (expected to be drawn 31 March 2014) Australian historian and battlefield guide, Mat McLachlan provides his top tips for Australians planning their Gallipoli centenary trips – for both those that are successful in the ballot and those that miss out.

20100424adf8248214_002.JPG“This year marks the beginning of the centenary anniversary of World War One, and for many Australians one of the most pivotal commemorative dates during the coming four year period will be 25 April 2015 –which marks the centenary of the Gallipoli landing,” said Mat McLachlan.

“Many Australians are viewing the centenary anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli as the ideal time to embark on a battlefield pilgrimage and learn more about the stories of courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice from this significant chapter in Australia’s history,” McLachlan added.

Australian ServiceThe numbers of Australians that have registered for the Australian Government’s ballot reflect this heightened interest, with over 42,000 Australians having registered for a chance to secure one of the 8000 tickets available to everyday Aussies – with tickets being allocated as double passes.

“Interest in Australian war time history and battlefield tours has strengthened in recent years amongst travellers of all types, ranging from young backpackers who’ve studied the Anzac legend at school through to families tracing fallen ancestors,” said McLachlan, noting that his tour company – Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours – has experienced year on year growth in its battlefield pilgrim numbers, and unprecedented interest in its 2015 Gallipoli Centenary Tour.

To assist Australians in planning their Gallipoli centenary trips, Mat McLachlan has developed a list of top tips to ensure a memorable tour:

2. Choose the right company and tour for you

gallipoli 508The right tour company can make or break your experience. Ensure the company you are looking at offers experienced and knowledgeable guides, caters to your comfort and needs, and covers the regions you are interested in exploring. Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours are guided by a handpicked team of qualified historians who live and breathe the battlefields and are some of the world’s most respected authors and guides. Tour itineraries are specifically designed by Mat McLachlan to include sites unknown to many other groups, providing an unforgettable “off the beaten track” experience.  

2.     Secure your spot in advance

Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours has coordinated its tours to cater for both those Australians that receive tickets in the Gallipoli 2015 ballot to attend the Anzac Day dawn ceremony at Anzac Cove and those that miss out. For those that do not receive tickets in the ballot, a separate dawn ceremony has been coordinated at a significant and beautiful location in the region. Information on Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours’ Gallipoli 2015 tours can be found at: www.gallipolitour2015.com.au

3.     Carefully check the tour itinerary and inclusions

Given the number of visitors expected in Gallipoli over Anzac Day 2015, travellers should carefully check the tour itineraries being offered by operators to ensure enough time is provided at Gallipoli to visit key sites – including Anzac Cove, which is expected to be closed down a day either side of Anzac Day as visitor facilities are put in place. Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours has allowed five nights at Gallipoli to ensure passengers have ample time to visit key sites before or after Anzac Day.

It is also important to check the tour inclusions to ensure there are no hidden surprises – Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours includes all accommodation,ground transport (first class coach), entry fees, sightseeing and most meals (meal inclusions are clearly outlined on itineraries) within its tours.

 4.     Consider your travel dates

2015 will see record numbers of Australians and New Zealanders flocking to the Western Front and Gallipoli.If you are looking for a quieter experience, or if attending the ceremony at Anzac Cove is a core priority, consider embarking on a pilgrimage for the 2016 or 2017 Anzac Day commemorative ceremonies.

5.     Consider other options

While Anzac Day at Gallipoli is certainly a memorable experience, there are a number of other options available to travellers looking for a quieter, yet still unforgettable, experience. Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours is offering a range of tours to commemorate key anniversaries during the centenary of the First World War. Centenary tours are being offered to Lone Pine in Gallipoli (August 2015), as well as a range of 100th-anniversary tours to the Western Front (France and Belgium) including Pozieres & Fromelles (July 2016), Bullecourt (April 2017), Passchendaele (October 2017), Villers-Bretonneux (Anzac Day 2018), Hamel (July 2018) and Remembrance Day (November 2018). Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours also offers custom and Flexi tours which can be tailored to suit your needs at any time of the year.

Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours guides thousands of people each year, assisting travellers to connect with their heritage, and learn more about Australia’s war-time history. First launched in 2007, Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours is headed by leading Australian war historian, author, journalist and media commentator, Mat McLachlan. By combining his extensive war-time knowledge and story-telling abilities, Mat is able to bring the experiences of our diggers to life in the very places they occurred.

To ensure a memorable experience, Mat encourages his travellers to seek out their own ancestral roots as part of their journey, and he is more than willing to help locate sites of personal significance along the way.

Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours is a fully licensed travel company and a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents. It is accredited by the International Cruise Council of Australasia and the Council of Australian Tour Operators, and is the preferred battlefield tour supplier for  Harvey World Travel, Jetset, Travelworld, NRMA Travel, Travelscene American Express, Cruiseabout, Magellan, Travellers Choice, Travel Counsellors, Breakaway Travel, helloworld, itravel, Select Travel Group, Travel Associates, Travel Managers and Independent Travel Group.

For further information on Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, as well as how to customise your own, visit www.battlefields.com.au

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