Group visits of the ANZAC Memorial Center.
We offer a unique, surprising, informative and moving experience to groups visiting the Center.
Your group will experience a professionally guided tour of the Center, which can be customized as part of your visit to Be’er Sheva and the cemetery, or as a standalone visit to the Center.
You are welcome to contact us in order to organize the ideal tour package for your group and receive a special price quote for agents, tour guides, and group organizers.
Tour of the ANZAC Trail
We offer an exciting group tour of the ANZAC Trail which retraces the “Great Outflanking” maneuver undertaken by the ANZAC soldiers. Throughout the tour we will pass through the stations along the route taken by the soldiers and tell the story of the Great Outflanking, taking in the breathtaking views of the Negev desert and its fascinating history.
First stop: The ANZAC Memorial in Be’eri. A lookout tower at the top of the monument looks over the battlefields. The cornerstone of the monument was laid in April 1967, to commemorate 50 years since the battles took place. The memorial was erected thanks to the donations of friends of the JNF in Australia. It is shaped like the letter “A”, the first letter of ANZAC. It is designed to look like the shadow of the front part of a horse, in honor of the Australian and New Zealand horsemen who’d played a critical part in the campaign.
Second stop: Tel Gamma (Tell Jemmeh), rising over the southern bank of the Besor stream, the longest river in the Negev region. The river, spilling into the Mediterranean Sea, has the largest drainage basin in Israel. In this section, the river is called the Wadi Gaza in Arabic, and it is by this name that it was known to the ANZAC horsemen. The upper tributaries of the Besor stream trickle down from the Hebron Hills and the Sde Boker area. During the battles for Gaza and the preparations for the conquest of Beersheba, the British had established their line of fortifications along the bank of the Besor stream. The Turks, for their part, had barricaded themselves on the northern bank of the stream across from the British.
The Besor stream was also the location of the ancient road to Gaza. Tel Gamma is identified with the Canaanite city of Yurzah, which lay on the thoroughfare of this ancient trade route. In the eighth and seventh centuries BCE, the Tel was held under Assyrian rule. It appears that during the Hellenic era, the settlement moved to the areas around the Tel, while the Tel served as a grain storage site for the wheat grown in the Besor valley.
In Tel Gamma we will talk about the two attempts made by the British army, the ANZAC soldiers among them, to conquer Gaza, and explain why the first attempt was doomed to failure despite the British having the upper hand in all the battles, as well as describe the technological innovation that was used during the second attempt.
Third stop: Eshkol National Park. Eshkol Park is the place where the sources of the Besor stream spring out of the ground. The British used these springs to establish an important water base here. They damned the stream, blocking over two million liters of water for their use. They also laid tracks for a light railway running south to their fortifications along the river. Remnants of this railway can still be witnessed in the area. In addition to the springs and the remnants of the railway tracks, we will also visit the archeological site where a marvelous mosaic, currently displayed at the memorial site in the capital city of Australia, Canberra, was found and talk about how it had been transported from here to Australia in the middle of the war.
Fourth stop: Golda Meir Park (Bir Asluj). Bir Asluj was the location of a large Turkish base, which was established here due to the large and easily accessible water source. We will learn why the Turks had abandoned this large base, who had planted the eucalyptus grove that grows here, and talk about the accidental circumstances that led to the formation of the lake.
Fifth stop: Tel Be’er Sheva. Fierce battles were waged in Tel Be’er Sheva on the momentous date of 31/10/1917. When we get to the lookout point at the top of the Tel, we will understand why General Chauvel, leader of the ANZAC forces, insisted on withholding the command to charge until the Tel had been conquered, and tell the story of the day which ended with the horsemen finally receiving their fateful order to charge the city of Be’er Sheva.
Sixth stop: The ANZAC Memorial Center in Be’er Sheva. We will end out tour with a visit to the interactive museum commemorating the ANZAC soldiers, established in honor of the centennial anniversary of the battle over Be’er Sheva.