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Make your plans to attend now

In 2015, New Zealand will witness the centenary of the Gallipoli landings and the heroic efforts of our soldiers on foreign soil. The centenary also marks a terrible toll of nationhood that touched communities up and down our then young nation and of friendships with Australians and Turks, all of whom now proudly look back on battles that history has immortalised and time has robbed of spite.

There are many New Zealanders, Australians and Turks who wish to be in Gallipoli, at the Chunuk Bair cemetery, at Walker’s Ridge Cemetery or any of the other, sadly, numerous sites of sombre reflection in 2015, but with such a high demand a lottery has been set up and of the 40,000 New Zealanders who have expressed an interest, only 2000 will receive a pass. Those fortunate enough to receive a pass will be required to pay their own travel, travel insurance and accommodation arrangements.

2014 marks the centenary of the eruption of the Great War and gives us another opportunity of significance to visit Gallipoli without the same restriction on place or numbers as the 2015 commemoration.

We all know of the forbidding landscape at ANZAC Cove, the Nek and other battle sites. The paths are often steep with all movement within the battlefield reserve limited to foot, so any personal, medical or mobility needs, require some planning.

War Memorial Canberra, ANZAC Day CoverMore New Zealand

Gallipoli: doing it yourself

The Dawn Service is immensely popular and whether going in 2014 or 2015, planning ahead for accommodation and transport for Turkey is essential. Once in Turkey, you might want to get to Gallipoli a day or two in advance with a tent and creature comforts because there will be a lot of other visitors and after travelling half the planet to attend, missing a spot would be shattering.

Gallipoli: going with a tour

A tour can make the Gallipoli experience more fulfilling as you don’t have to worry about transport, bookings or accommodation. Aside from the battlefield, tours give the opportunity to see some of the ancient wonders of Turkey from the imperious Hagia Sophia to the ruins of Troy. If a tour does interest you, Flight Centre can get you a quote and on your way.

What else to do whilst in Turkey

Turkey is a big country. It is also one of the most amazing countries to see, steeped in history, rich in natural wonders and incredible beauty everywhere you look. Some of the must-sees if you have a couple of weeks in Turkey are:

  • Cappadocia: an eye opening experience. The rocks of Cappadocia near Goreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms thousands of years ago. People of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits. You can visit the houses and underground city and experience a whole new way to live. Seeing Cappadocia by hot air balloon is also an amazing experience.
  • Ephesus: the ruins of this ancient city which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and dates back to before 550 BC. You can walk around all day marvelling at the incredible architecture and buildings at Ephesus—all built so long ago.
  • Pamukkale: although not quite as white as it was before the tourist explosion, this amazing set of terraced hot springs made from a white sedimentary rock has attracted tourists seeking amazing hot baths from far away for thousands of years.
  • Oludeniz: one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Oludeniz means ‘blue lagoon’ and is found at the meeting point of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. It has a secluded sandy bay at the mouth of a remarkably blue lagoon and a long stunning pebble beach. The seawater of Ölüdeniz is famous for its shades of turquoise and aquamarine, while its beach is frequently rated among the top five beaches in the world by travellers and tourism journals alike.

There are plenty of incredible things to do in Turkey. So, if you are thinking of making that special trip over for ANZAC day soon, then perhaps talk to your travel agent about taking a little extra time to see as much of Turkey as possible.