ANZAC Day in Australia is a time when people pause and reflect on the sacrifices our armed forces have made for our freedom, as we honour all those who have served or are currently serving our country. It goes beyond the first landing of Australian and New Zealand soldiers in Gallipoli, and is a day when we commemorate the ANZAC spirit - embodying the qualities of mateship, courage and sacrifice. As this continues to shape our national identity, there is no better place to pay tribute to the ANZACs than by visiting the Australia War Memorial in Canberra.
It is often considered to be a highlight for tourists visiting Australia and also for those of us who were born and raised here. The Australian War Memorial is a place where you can spend countless hours there by wondering through the world-class museum, extensive archive and beautiful shrine honouring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It’s worth your while to take a trip to Canberra even if it’s just to visit this spectacular place, although you’ll undoubtedly find our nation’s capital has a lot to offer.
Beating the likes of famous landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the Australian War Memorial won TripAdvisor’s 2016 Travellers’ Choice Award for the South Pacific region - and it’s no wonder why. Ranking among the world’s greatest national monuments, the Memorial is home to vast collections of war relics, films, official and private records and photographs, which are used to convey the story of Australia’s experience in World Wars, regional conflicts and international peacekeeping. The enduring impact this has on Australian society is evident when you wonder through the galleries.
On my recent trip to Canberra, a visit to the Australian War Memorial proved to be a personal experience for me. I was able to find the name of my Great Uncle who died while serving our country in World War ll, memorialised on the poppy-lined Roll of Honour. Another family member of mine had signed his name on a commemorative wall in the Gallery of Recent Conflicts, in honour of his service during the War in Afghanistan. Having these personal ties to the Memorial definitely created a stronger connection for me throughout my visit, but any guest to the War Memorial will leave with a deeper appreciation and understanding for those who have served.
When looking down at ANZAC Parade from the Memorial, you’ll notice the unobstructed view of both Parliament Houses. Many people suggest it was designed so that if the Government was considering sending our armed forces into battle, they would be able to look out towards the Memorial and be reminded of the hardships and sacrifices of war.
Visitors to the Australian War Memorial on ANZAC Day can attend a Dawn Service, National Ceremony and Last Post Ceremony. If you’re unable to make it there on April 25, the War Memorial is open daily and does Last Post Ceremonies every afternoon for you to attend. While ANZAC Day is a time for us to commemorate our nation’s courageous servicemen and women, we should endeavour to uphold the ANZAC Spirit each day of the year.
Amanda Earl is an Australian-based media and marketing professional who is constantly daydreaming about the next destination to jet off to. She’s always looking to explore new cultures and see parts of the world she hasn’t experienced before. Follow her on Instagram @amandaearl26 to keep up with her latest adventures.
All photographs in this blog were taken by Rebecca Earl.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the PDS available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.