Service Information

Before You Depart Home

Register your travel

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides travel advice for France on its Smartraveller website. It is recommended that Australians travelling to France for the 2016 Commemorations monitor this advice and register their details at the Smartraveller website. Registration means you will be advised of any changes to the travel advisory and allows DFAT to get in touch with you or your family in the event of an emergency. 

Obtain travel insurance

Travel insurance is a must-have for overseas travel, so make sure that you have organised cover before you leave Australia or your home location. Overseas medical care and repatriation is very expensive. If something unexpected happens and you don’t have the appropriate travel insurance, you are personally liable for all costs. Make sure your insurance covers all the activities you will be undertaking and any pre-existing medical conditions. It’s important to be clear about what is covered under your policy; if in doubt, talk to your insurer. 

Check your visa requirements

France is located within the Schengen Area of the European Union (EU). If you are travelling on a passport issued by Australia then you do not require a visa to enter this area of the European Union if you are staying less than 90 days. 

Individuals travelling on passports issued by countries other than Australia may need an entry visa. The EU has a common list of countries whose citizens must have a visa when crossing the external borders and a list of countries whose citizens are exempt from that requirement. Further information can be located on the European Commission website

Download guides and apps

Explore the Australian Remembrance Trail online, with access to audio guides, interactive maps, images and historical information. You will step back in time, reliving the experiences of the soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force. Stay informed of updates to the Australian Remembrance Trail via the Western Front website

Discover the brutal battles in which Australian troops took Pozières village and its environs during the First World War. Visit the sites of some of the heaviest and deadliest battles. Listen to extraordinary individual acts of bravery by soldiers and learn about the unimaginable conditions they had to endure. The ‘Australians at Pozières 1916’ application has been developed by the Poppy Country (Somme / France) in collaboration with the Australian Embassy, the Australian Government and the French Government. Available on both Apple and Android from the app store or the Western Front website.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) War Graves app provides information about the cemeteries in France and allows you to search for the location of an individual’s war grave.  Visit the CWGC website to download the app.

Children and infants

If you are planning to take an infant aged three years or under to the commemorations, they are exempt from holding an attendance pass. If you are seated in the tiered seating at Fromelles or Pozières, then Infants aged three years or under must sit on the lap of an attendance pass holder. If you have a child aged over three years, the child will require an accompanying person attendance pass to attend the commemorations.  

Please seriously consider your requirement to bring a pram and/or stroller. Prams and strollers will not be permitted into the commemorative sites at Pozières and at Fromelles, they must be left unaccompanied and not brought into the tiered seating area. The Australian Government accepts no responsibility for lost or stolen belongings.  

Staying in Amiens?

Somme Tourisme is organising a bus service from Amiens (Place Longueville, next to Amiens Circus) on 23 July 2016 at 12.00pm. The bus will take you to the Albert Airport where the Australian Government will provide free event shuttles to Pozières for the ceremony. After the ceremony the event shuttle service will bring you back to the airport, where you will be able to pick up your bus for the return trip to Amiens. The Somme Tourisme bus service plans to be back in Amiens (Place Longueville) between 7.00pm and 9.00pm. These bookings are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. - See more at the Somme Centenary website.

Arriving at the 2016 Commemorations – Security and Attendance Pass Validation Process

All visitors to the 2016 Commemorations will go through attendance pass scanning points and security screening as part of the entry process.

The Australian Government works closely with the French authorities to provide appropriate security arrangements.  You should follow instructions issued by French security personnel and allow sufficient time to travel to commemorative sites and to pass through the various security checkpoints.

Security and crowd management measures include screening of all visitors at the entry points to all commemorative service sites, bag searches and crowd control barriers.  The barriers are used as a means of directing public access and protecting the surrounding environment. 

Security measures may be in place several days in advance of the services.  Certain areas of the commemorative sites may not be accessible to the public.

Fromelles - Attendance pass validation and coach registration

Attending the Fromelles commemoration by private vehicle? – Obtain your shuttle ticket here.

Important Note: All visitors should have their passport and attendance pass on their person ready for validation prior to arriving at the check point entry location.

All visitors arriving in Fromelles must go through the check point entrance gate. At this point, visitors will progress through security scanning and receive a wristband that will permit entry to the commemorative site then have their attendance pass validated. Visitors will also be provided with their information pack and a lanyard to hold their attendance pass. By showing the wristband, visitors will be permitted to proceed through the commemorative site at their leisure. 

Visitors should ensure that they are adequately equipped for wet, cold and hot weather, have appropriate footwear and do not take any prohibited items off their coach/bus.  All coaches/buses will depart the area from the drop off location and visitors will not see their coach/bus again until after all commemorative services have concluded.

Coaches and buses will also be registered as they drop off in the town of Fromelles and given an identification number.  Visitors will be given a matching card to help them identify their coach/bus number after the services have concluded.

Private Vehicles and Taxis:  Please note that private vehicles and taxis will not be permitted access to the town of Fromelles.  All visitors arriving in private vehicles and taxis will be directed to Lille to park their vehicle and board a Nord-Pas de Calais Crèateurs d’horizons shuttle bus. It should be noted that there is a small fee associated with this service.

Visitors arriving in private vehicles and taxis should note that it is their responsibility to get to Lille to board the shuttle. Visitors are also responsible for their departure from the town of Fromelles and ensuring they board a shuttle back to Lille at the conclusion of the commemorations.  

Pozières - Attendance pass validation and coach registration

Important Note: All visitors should have their passport and attendance pass on their person ready for validation prior to arriving at the check point entry location.

All visitors attending the Pozières commemorations must go through the check point and security verification at the Albert airport (approximately 10km from Pozières). At this point, visitors will have their attendance pass validated, progress through security scanning and receive a wristband that will permit them to board an Australian Government shuttle to the commemorative site. It is here that visitors will also be provided with their information pack and a lanyard to hold their attendance pass.

Visitors should ensure that they are adequately equipped for wet, cold and hot weather, have appropriate footwear and do not take any prohibited items off their coach/bus.  All coaches/buses will stay at Albert Airport and visitors will not see their coach/bus again until after all commemorative services have concluded.

Once arriving at the commemorative site it is important that you are wearing your wristband which verifies you have been to Albert and have been processed through security screening. 

Private Vehicles and Taxis:  Please note that private vehicles and taxis will not be permitted access to the town of Pozières.  All visitors arriving in private vehicles and taxis will be directed to the Albert airport to park their vehicle and board the event shuttle.

Visitors arriving in private vehicles and taxis should note that it is their responsibility to get to the Albert airport to board the shuttle. Visitors are also responsible for their departure from the town of Pozières in ensuring they board a shuttle back to the Albert airport at the conclusion of the commemorations.  

Departing the 2016 Commemorations

Fromelles – Collection and departure arrangements

Visitors will start to depart from the town of Fromelles after the conclusion of the VC corner commemorative service broadcast live to the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military cemetery. There will be limited opportunity for attendees to depart the town of Fromelles prior to this service. You will however be able to exit and re-enter the commemorative site between services.

Information screens will display the coach or bus number, and a PA system will announce numbers, which are ready for loading, which you can check against the card you received on arrival.

The large number of coaches and buses that must depart Fromelles means that you should be prepared for a reasonable wait in the town centre. 

It is important you do not wander away from Fromelles during the coach loading period. If you are not present when your coach or bus is loaded, it cannot wait for you.  All tour operators will be informed of the correct departure arrangements. If you are given different instructions you should question your tour operator as no alternative arrangements will be available. 

Pozières – Getting back to Albert Airport

Visitors will board event shuttle busses which will return them to the Albert airport to be connected with other coaches or private vehicles. These shuttles will run in a constant loop at the conclusion of the commemorative service and it does not matter which shuttle you board.

Assisted Mobility Services

If you nominated within your application a requirement for Assisted Mobility services at Fromelles and/or Pozières, the Assisted Mobility pass will be sent to you separately. Each registered individual will receive two mobility passes, one for the individaul with the need and one for a carer or accompanying guest. The carer or accompanying person must be registered and hold an attendance pass to the commemoration in their own right.

Assisted Mobility services at Fromelles and Pozières are limited to:

  • Dedicated seating areas at the Commemorative Site for those with assisted mobility needs and their accompanying person.
  • Transport from the coach set down point to the Commemorative Site for those with assisted mobility needs and their accompanying person. In the case of Fromelles this is from the coach drop off point in the town of Fromelles and Pozieres this is from the Albert Airport.
  • Access to a limited number of dedicated Accessible Mobility toilets. 

Assisted Mobility services will not include:

  • Personalised or dedicated one-on-one assistance.
  • The provision of carers, wheelchair pushers, or physical assistance with seating or embarking and disembarking vehicles (although most Assisted Mobility vehicles will have steps to enter and exit). 
  • Wheelchairs, walkers or mobility aids – any visitor requiring this assistance must bring their own. 
  • An indoor/covered area.
  • Oxygen or personal medications. 
  • Specialised support for “high care” individuals. 
  • Support travelling to or from your accomodation to either Fromelles town or Albert Airport. 

If you require any of the above support, you should ensure your accompanying person is capable of assisting you. 

Vehicles used to transport you at the commemorative sites will not have a separate luggage compartment. You must be able to carry your bag or luggage on your lap in the vehicles if required. 

VC Corner Wreath laying – 19 July 2016

There will be an opportunity for you to lay a wreath at the VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial.  A shuttle service will be in operation between Fromelles and VC Corner during the morning of 19 July 2016. 

The shuttle service will run from 9:00AM to 12:00 Noon. Support staff will be available during this time and the Australian Federation Guard (AFG) will be present providing a vigil at the memorial.

During the dedication ceremony at Fromelles there will not be an opportunity for you to lay a wreath during ceremony proceedings. 

What to Take

Prior to arriving at Fromelles and/or Pozières, all visitors should have their attendance pass and passport (or a photocopy of their passport) readily accessible and within reach, for validation as soon as they arrive at the commemoration entry location.
In your preparations, you should consider that northern France can experience extreme heat (up to 40⁰C) in July. 

Visitors will also need to ensure that they have everything they need for the day in a small bag or day-pack. Your bag should not be any larger than that allowed as carry-on luggage on a plane. 

What to pack: 

  • Attendance Pass and passport (or photocopy of passport) 
  • Wet weather and windproof jacket and pants 
  • Prescription medications (if required) 
  • Non-perishable food and snacks 
  • Drinking water (opened bottles will not be allowed into the site) 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Compact personal camera 

Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited at the commemorative services:

  • Dangerous or hazardous items
  • Advertising or marketing messages
  • Large backpacks (Day-packs, eg. aircraft cabin bag sized are OK)
  • Camping equipment (e.g. tents, folding chairs, stretchers, etc)
  • Opened bottles of liquid
  • Flammable liquids
  • Weapons or sharp objects, including umbrellas (a poncho will be issued in the information pack provided) 
  • Large objects (e.g. chairs, musical instruments)
  • Hiking poles (Medical aids, such as walkers and walking sticks will be permitted subject to medical need)
  • Large flags or banners
  • Professional photographic equipment (eg. Large zoom lenses, audio visual or cinematographic devices apart from for accredited media) 
  • ‘Selfie’ sticks and large camera tripods
  • Drones and remote control devices
  • Smoking is prohibited within the commemorative site
  • Alcohol – Intoxicated persons will be refused entry

These items must be left on your coach or vehicle.  Visitors to the commemorative services are screened by the Australian Government’s contracted security provider upon entry to the sites and bags are scanned.  Prohibited items will be confiscated upon entry to the site and may be destroyed.

Information Packs

On arrival at the Anzac Commemorative Site, visitors will be provided with an information pack which will contain:

  • The Orders of Service for the Commemoration
  • A poncho
  • A hat
  • A survey form
  • A pencil
  • Small bag of sweets
  • Commemorative pin

There are only sufficient information packs to issue one pack per visitor attending the services.  There are no spares and information packs can not be purchased or replaced.

Contact Information

Online

Anzac Centenary Website
Facebook – DVA Aus / Anzac Centenary
Twitter - @DVAAus

In Australia

Ticketek

Monday to Saturday: 9am to 9pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 9am to 7pm

Telephone: 1300 364 002
International Callers: +61 3 9039 9318

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Monday to Friday: 8am to 5pm

Email: france@dva.gov.au
Telephone: 133 254 
International Callers: +61 2 6289 1133

In France

The number 112 can be dialled from anywhere in Europe for emergency services (medical, fire and police).

In France, Australians can obtain consular assistance from the: 

Australian Embassy
4, rue Jean Rey
75724 Paris
Cedex 15
Telephone +33 140 593 300
Telephone (Emergency after hours) +61 2 6261 3304
Facsimile +33 140 593 310 
Email Consular.Paris@dfat.gov.au

For the latest travel advice on France, please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller website.  Australians are also encouraged to subscribe to the travel advice for France so they receive free instant email notification each time the travel advice is updated.