For many Aussies, visiting the battlefields where the Anzac legend was forged is a pilgrimage – to delve deeper into family stories and to pay our respects.
For tour company Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, business is booming after a post-Covid surge in bookings. Its Anzac Day tours this year were booked out and its tours for later in the year are selling strongly, with some already fully booked. Mat McLachlan, who founded the company in 2008, anticipates battlefield travel will continue to boom in 2024 and beyond.
“Walking the ground where the Anzac legend was born, where loved ones fought and fell, is an important way to connect with our wartime history, to bring the soldiers’ experience to life and to honour those who served,” says the producer and presenter of the Living History YouTube documentary channel and a range of podcasts including BattleWalks and Living History.
“For many of our travellers, this is a pilgrimage and trip of a lifetime, but we also have many people return to tour the battlefields time and again, as although the sounds of gun fire on the Western Front and at Gallipoli ended over 100 years ago, there is always something new to discover.”
The tour company leads thousands of Australians each year to follow in the footsteps of the Anzacs, its historians bringing stories of service and sacrifice to life, and helping travellers to uncover their relatives’ stories, including visiting final resting places of the fallen.
Its 2024 Anzac Day itineraries include commemorative tours of the Western Front, Gallipoli, and Hellfire-Pass Thailand. It is also offering a special 4-day Anzac Day in Ypres tour with a dawn ceremony alongside local townspeople at Polygon Wood in Flanders.
Earlybird savings are available for bookings before 30 June 2023. Tours include accommodation in the heart of the battlefields and exclusive visits led by historians who can assist with researching relatives who fought in World War One on the Western Front or at Gallipoli.
More information: 1300 880 340 or www.battlefields.com.au
Photos supplied by Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours. This is not a sponsored post and as we haven’t travelled with Mat McLachlan, neither is it an endorsement. It’s intended merely to bring you news of the tours on offer. If you enjoyed this post, you might also be interested in our post on the Landscapes series of exhibitions and experiences that will be held in Flanders, Belgium, over the next 18 months.