Travelling along the Australian Remembrance Trail is an increasingly popular way of visiting the former Western Front and now a guide has been published to help travellers on their journey.
A Traveller’s Guide is available on the website of the recently opened Sir John Monash Centre located just outside Villers-Bretonneux in France.
The Australian Remembrance Trail links the most significant sites for Australians from the First World War, including battlefields, cemeteries, memorials, museums and relics.
The itineraries suit all modes of transport, including a walk in the Somme, a bike ride through Flanders Fields, a circular trek of 16km covering the front line 1916, and the Australian Remembrance Ride from Zonnebeke in Belgium to Amiens in northern France.
The region’s military history sometimes overshadows the beauty of this part of the world, from the Bay of Somme to ancient towns like Amiens and Arras to lively village markets selling regional delicacies and wines.
From north to south, the commemorative trail runs from Ypres in Belgium, near the site of the Battle of Passchendaele, through Fromelles and Bullecourt in northern France, to Pozieres, the battlefields of the Somme and Villers-Bretonneux.
The governments of Australia, France and Belgium have worked together to update facilities and improve the experience for visitors at a number of these locations.
The new traveller’s guide, published by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, helps visitors plan their journey and offers suggestions for those wanting to re-trace the footsteps of family members who served in the First World War.
It is rich with current details, historical images and easy to navigate maps.
The 56-page booklet is not a military history, but a practical guide with advice on where to go, what to see and do, where to stay and eat, and some suggested itineraries based on different interests and the time available.
There are also some superb walking tracks and some of the best bicycle trails in Europe.
You can view or download a copy of Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front: A Traveller’s Guide here.