Discover The
Spirit Of Anzac

Discover Australia's history of courage, service and sacrifice from the First World War to the present day.


1

Australia – A Nation In The Making

Take a brief journey back in time to what life was like in Australia before the outbreak of the First World War. Take a look at what the people of the time were like and how they lived – their interests, fashions, entertainment and emerging technologies. From rural regions to the rapidly growing cities and suburbs, Australians believed that a better life was achievable, free from old world class and repressive traditions.

2

War Is Declared

The outbreak of war in Europe leads enthusiastic Australians into the unknown – a war many thought would be over swiftly. Young Australian men enlist with excitement and go off to fight for the mother country – Britain. Take a look at the typical cross-section of those signing up and why they decided to fight.

3

Setting Sail

Travel with the young recruits as they head off overseas. Find out more about the Royal Australian Navy’s initial involvement, including the sinking of Emden and the loss of HMAS AE1. Peer through the portholes of the ship for a glimpse of the crowds as they wave you goodbye from the shores of Western Australia.

4

Training In Egypt

Disembark the ship, but not in Europe as first intended. Step onto the sand and explore Egypt as the Australian and New Zealand troops undertake the first part of what they thought would be a great adventure. See the men training in the desert and find out more about their experiences.

5

Gallipoli

Around 4am on 25 April 1915 the Anzacs rowed from ships towards shore under the cover of darkness. Step onto the shores of Gallipoli with the Anzacs; discover the key facts of the campaign from the dawn landings to the evacuation. Watch footage on the confronting terrain of the Gallipoli ridges, then explore more of the story and artefacts hidden throughout the valleys and gullies.

6

Trenches On The Western Front

Prepare yourself for a truly immersive experience with a taste of what life was like for those that lived and died in the fields of Belgium and France: the constant shelling that caused some to suffer ‘shell-shock’, the destruction, gas attacks, night raids and the weather to name but a few.

7

Western Front 1916 and 1917

Take an in-depth look at the key battles that Australian troops were involved in, along with the variety of weapons that were being used. Read about the brave nurses who put their own lives on the line to treat the wounded coming from the frontline and the kinds of wounds that they were confronted with. A glimpse at Australia’s home front addresses the national conscription debate.

8

Western Front 1918

Step into the open fields, demolished towns, and rubble and destruction that were the battlefields of 1918. As General Sir John Monash takes command of the Australian men, explore the battles leading up to the end of the war, including the first tank versus tank battle outside Villers-Bretonneux. See the story of the Australian Flying Corps on the frontline.

9

Sinai Palestine

Discover the often-overlooked Australian battles of Sinai and Palestine in 1916, 1917 and 1918. Find out more about the important role the Australian Flying Corps, the Camel Corps and The Light Horse played on this very different battleground, and the rough terrain they had to face.

10

Aftermath

The end of the war was sudden and with it came a sense of shock and disbelief for troops at the frontline and people back home in Australia. Aftermath touches on the huge task of an orderly repatriation of Australian forces along with the challenges faced by returning soldiers. It highlights the massive contributions of organisations such as Legacy, the RSL and Red Cross along with the work of Charles Bean and his personal legacy to the nation.

11

Lest We Forget

The Lest We Forget gallery is a place for reflection, contemplation and commemoration.

12

Century Of Service

For more than 100 years, Australia’s armed forces have been involved in conflict, peacekeeping, peacemaking, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief around the world. Explore the bravery, commitment and sacrifice of ordinary Australian men and women placed in extraordinary circumstances around the globe.

An immersive Virtual Reality experience

Download the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience 360° Explorer application to take an interactive virtual tour of the exhibition.

For an even more immersive experience click here to find out more about the use of Google Cardboard and other virtual reality devices to enhance your experience.

Did you know?

In 1908, and again in 1912, Australia and New Zealand fielded a combined team, under the name “Australasia”, at the Summer Olympic Games. Competing under the Australasian Olympic Flag (pictured), it won one gold medal for Rugby Union in 1908 and two gold medals for swimming in 1912 (Australian Fanny Durack took out the women’s 100-metre freestyle event and the men’s team won the 4×200-metre freestyle relay).

Did you know?

A small Australian Flying Corps was established as part of the Commonwealth Military Forces in 1912, but Australian military aviation was still in its infancy when war broke out in August 1914. On Sunday 1 March 1914 Lieutenant Eric Harrison made Australia’s first military flight, in a Bristol Boxkite, from Point Cook, Victoria. During the First World War, Harrison trained Australia’s first military pilots and even served overseas.

Did you know?

The first Australian and New Zealand troop convoy destined for the war in Europe set off from Albany, Western Australia, on 1 November 1914. For the Australians, the largest vessels in the convoy were HMAT Euripides and the Orient Line’s Orvieto. The smallest was HMAT Saldanha, while the slowest was HMAT Southern, which could barely average 10 knots (18.5km/h).

Did you know?

In Egypt, many Australian soldiers, when not training, took tours of the pyramids and tombs, and haggled with Egyptian traders for souvenirs in markets. Almost inevitably, such activities away from the camp sometimes became unruly, which only fuelled the Australians’ reputation for indiscipline and larrikinism.

Did you know?

In July 1915, just three months after the Gallipoli landing, a feature-length Australian film titled The Hero of the Dardanelles was released. Directed by Alfred Rolfe, the film vividly depicts the Gallipoli landing, which was re-created on Sydney’s Tamarama Beach – using real troops. The film ended with a call for more men to come forward to enlist. Only a third of the film, which originally ran for around 59 minutes, now survives and is kept at the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.

Did you know?

The space between the opposing trenches was referred to as ‘no man's land’. It varied in width depending on the battlefield. On the Western Front it was typically between 90 and 400 metres, though at Vimy Ridge only 27 metres separated the two sides.

Did you know?

Several official news publications were produced for the men in the trenches, but there were also many unofficial trench papers put out by the soldiers themselves. Circulating in the Anzac dug-outs, these trench newspapers quickly became outlets for rumour-mongering, humorous verses and general larrikinism. Despite sometimes being crudely made, they were a vital part of keeping up soldiers’ spirits.

Did you know?

With Australian numbers declining on the Western Front in 1918, recruiting had to be revived back home. Artist Norman Lindsay (who later wrote the Australian classic story The Magic Pudding) created some alarming posters to encourage enlistment. The trumpet calls poster shouted at passers-by; another begged men to fight in France now or be shot later in their homes and farms by triumphant German soldiers.

Did you know?

Australian poet and author Banjo Paterson (famous for the poem The Man from Snowy River) was commissioned as a captain in the 2nd Remount Unit, AIF, in 1915. In Egypt, his unit trained Australian horses and mules.

Did you know?

The Spanish influenza epidemic swept across the world in three waves during 1918–19, claiming the lives of up to three times the number of people killed in the First World War. It reached Australia in 1919, and by year’s end had killed around 10,000 Australians.

Did you know?

More than 60,000 Australians lost their lives in the First World War. In proportion to the number of troops engaged, Australia’s overall casualty rate was higher than that of any other British Empire country. The magnitude of this loss and suffering is reflected in the large number of war memorials built in cities and towns across the nation after the war.

Did you know?

On 11 November 1998, the 80th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, the Glebe Island Bridge in Sydney was renamed the Anzac Bridge, in memory of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Book Tickets

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Plan Your Experience

From opening and closing times, to on-site facilities and transport options, our guide will help you make the most of your visit to this exciting experience.

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