A walk around 14 battlefield sites
Overview and instructions: the 1-day ‘Anzac Walk’
The graves of Gallipoli, exquisitely maintained, where Anzac folk can walk amid thousands of names as familiar as those along Collins or Pitt Streets, do call for visitors.
[Charles Bean, Gallipoli Mission, Sydney, 1990, p 346]
Welcome to the Anzac Walk, a path which covers 14 key locations where Australians fought and died on the Gallipoli peninsula. These locations are linked directly below to allow the exploration of each site along the walk, and its history, in detail:
Directions: an overview of the Anzac Walk
The path of the walk is close to a circuit, extending approximately 2 kilometres down the western coastline of the Gallipoli Peninsula, from North Beach in the north, past Brighton Beach in the south. It then moves inland and northward again along the ridge lines finishing at Walker's Ridge north-east of North Beach and looking down on the beach from its heights.
Beginning at North Beach and walking a quarter of a kilometre south, you will come to the second stopping point, Ari Burnu Cemetery. A little further south is Anzac Cove. At the southern end of Anzac Cove along the coast road is Hell Spit. Turning left back towards Anzac Cove and walking a few metres up Shrapnel Valley, the main route up from the beach area to the Anzac frontline on the ridge is the fifth stopping point, Shrapnel Valley Cemetery. Turning back from Shrapnel Valley Cemetery onto the main coast road, and walking south along this road for about half a kilometre is the sixth stopping point, Brighton Beach.
About half a kilometre along the Brighton Beach road, there is an unpaved road up hill to the north east – Artillery Road as it was known to the Anzacs – leading to Shell Green Cemetery and further uphill to Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial, the eighth stopping point.
Continuing north east along the main ridge road for a few hundred metres, you will come to Johnson’s Jolly, and an equal distance further along the ridge road is the tenth stopping point, Quinn’s Post. A little further up the hill is the Turkish Memorial, a larger than life sized representation of the ordinary Turkish soldier, rifle in hand.
A short distance further up the road, you turn left onto a unpaved road to the eleventh stopping point, The Nek Cemetery. Turning down the track towards the coast will bring you to Walker’s Ridge Cemetery. Winding westwards further along the track you reach the end of the ridge, overlooking North Beach to the south-west, where your walk began.
The aim of the 'Anzac Walk'
The Anzac Walk is designed for the Australian visitor who has little time but can devote one day to explore the main area the ‘Anzacs’, Australian and New Zealand soldiers and others, held on Gallipoli from 25 April to 20 December 1915. It was known as ‘Anzac’, or eventually ‘old Anzac’ once more territory to the north had been captured from the Turks after the so-called ‘August Offensive’ of 6–10 August 1915. ‘Old Anzac’ embraced a strip of scrub-covered treeless land deeply indented by steep valleys and eroded gullies about two kilometres long and under a kilometre deep at its widest point.
For the walk you will be provided with the following material to help you appreciate something of the experience of Australian soldiers here in 1915:
- Instructions to guide you from the first point (1) on the walk at North Beach to the last (14) high up on Walker’s Ridge from which you can look back on your starting point hundreds of metres below and
- Historical information relevant to each stopping point.
- Visual material, mainly photographs, chosen to help you visualise something of what was going on in that vicinity between April and December 1915. Some of these images will provide a recognisable ‘then and now’ effect while others take you into the Anzac lifestyle, so to speak. Extended captions attempt to draw out the significance of each photograph.
- Quotations, roughly two per stopping point, from those who were there. As this is a leisurely walk we suggest you take the time at each point to sit and read these short accounts of daily life and death on Gallipoli. They are the authentic voices of men who fought here and their stories are the very reason that keeps attracting so many Australians to Anzac.
Audio Commentaries – an audio tour of Gallipoli
There are 14 audio commentaries – one for each walk stop. You can either listen to them directly, or download them to your mp3 player for an audio guided tour of Gallipoli. These readings, by Trevor O'Neill of Vocalpoint, are not fact-filled travelogues, or military history. Instead they tell some of the stories of men who were there in 1915, aiming to help you travel back in time.
This walk is a brief ‘in situ’ introduction to a huge and fascinating subject for Australians. Of necessity, it has little to say about the thousands of others who fought at Anzac – New Zealanders, British, Nepalese, Indians – but it acknowledges their presence. It would like to have said a lot more, if time and space were available, about the most significant ‘others’ that the Australians met at Anzac – their Turkish enemies. It is hoped that other walks of this kind will be developed in the future to more fully embrace the many human stories of this beautiful but tragic landscape.
Please be aware that the Anzac Walk is not an extensive guide to everything that happened at Anzac. Nor has it been devised to supplant detailed guidebooks which visitors are urged to consult. Two that we can recommend are:
- Phil Taylor and Pam Cupper, Gallipoli: A Battlefield Guide, Kangaroo Press, 1990. ISBN 978-0864172723 and
- Major and Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guide to Gallipoli, Pen & Swords Books, 1999. ISBN 978-0850526387