Free Guided Walking Tours
Discover the symbolism and stories behind the memorials that line Anzac Parade on a tour tailored to your group.
Free guided walking tours take place each month (subject to availability):
1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month
5.15 – 6.45 pm
1st and 3rd Sunday of each month
10 – 11.30 am
Starting Point: Stone of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial following the Last Post Ceremony.
Alternatively, download the attachment below for a self-guided tour of Anzac Parade, to explore the area at your own pace.
About Anzac Parade
The national capital's major ceremonial avenue is set along the Land Axis which forms a key feature of the original 1912 plan for Canberra by Walter Burley Griffin.
The parade is easily distinguishable, especially when viewed from Mt Ainslie. The red gravel (some say symbolising blood) and the mixed plantings of Australian blue gums (Eucalyptus bicostata) and New Zealand Hebe species is the element which links the parliamentary area to the northern lakeshore.
Anzac Parade was officially opened on 25 April 1965 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Anzac landing in Gallipoli. Anzac is the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915.
Commemorative events take place each year on Anzac Day, and on Remembrance Day which commemorates the end of the 1914-1918 Great War' at the Stone of Remembrance in front of the Australian War Memorial. The Anzac Parade Open Day and other significant anniversaries attract crowds of visitors to the various memorials which line the Parade.
Anzac Parade Walking Tour Podcast
Experience the national capital's major ceremonial way with the Anzac Parade Walking Tour Podcast.
Choose between the full tour or downloads of individual memorials. Create your own tour of memorials of personal interest.
Discover the symbolism and stories behind the memorials that line Anzac Parade, including information provided by veterans involved in selected conflicts.
The full takes approximately one hour including walking time.
- Download full Podcast (iPod / iTunes) version with chapter images, file format M4A, file size 24 Mb
- Download full MP3 version, file format mp3, file size 37.2 Mb
- Download Individual chapters, file format mp3
- Chapter 1 - Intro, [Mp3 - 2.49 Mb]
- Chapter 2 - Australian Hellenic Memorial, [Mp3 - 1.85 Mb]
- Chapter 3 - Australian Army National Memorial, [Mp3 - 3.82 Mb]
- Chapter 4 - Australian National Korean War Memorial, [Mp3 - 3.01 Mb]
- Chapter 5 - Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, [Mp3 - 4.12 Mb]
- Chapter 6 - Desert Mounted Corps Memorial, [Mp3 - 3.56 Mb]
- Chapter 7 - New Zealand Memorial 1, [Mp3 - 1.23 Mb]
- Chapter 8 - New Zealand Memorial 2, [Mp3 - 1.22 Mb]
- Chapter 9 - Rats of Tobruk Memorial, [Mp3 - 5.11 Mb]
- Chapter 10 - Royal Australian Air Force Memorial, [Mp3 - 2.42 Mb]
- Chapter 11 - Australian Service Nurses National Memorial, [Mp3 - 2.64 Mb]
- Chapter 12 - Royal Australian Navy Memorial, [Mp3 - 2.30 Mb]
- Chapter 13 - Kemal Ataturk Memorial, [Mp3 - 3.17 Mb]
- Download track listing, file format PDF, file size 67.4 Kb
- Download the Script of the Anzac Parade Walking Tour, file format doc, file size 68.5Kb
Australian Hellenic Memorial
On 6 April 1941 the 6th Australian Division joined an Allied force resisting German advancement in mainland Greece. The troops, largely from Australia and New Zealand, fought with skill and determination but were vastly outnumbered on the ground. Germany also enjoyed total domination of the air. The campaign was, from start to finish, a fighting withdrawal.
Many evacuated Australians were taken to Crete where, with British, New Zealand and Greek troops, they fought an ill-fated campaign against highly trained German troops. More than 5000 Australians were taken prisoner of war in both campaigns.
The Australian Hellenic Memorial commemorates those who died in these campaigns.
Designed by the architectural firm, Ancher, Mortlock and Woolley Pty Ltd, the marble memorial recalls the shape of an amphitheatre amidst an olive grove. The doric column symbolises the birth of civilisation. This column is also embossed with the cross of the Greek Orthodox Church, representing a soldier's grave. The column stands on a mosaic pavement, designed by Mary Hall, which represents the rugged coastline and terrain of the battlefields. The damaged steel fragment reflects the futility and destruction of war.
Australian Army National Memorial
Australian soldiers who fought on the African veldt; in World War I; in World War II; in Korea; in South East Asia; in Iraq and Afghanistan are recognised everywhere as soldiers of skill, tenacity and bravery. This is a memorial to these Australians - in all wars, campaigns and peace operations - and to the continuing tradition of service and excellence.
This memorial also reminds visitors of the importance of the Australian Digger in the formation of national character and sentiment. The term 'Digger' was first used to describe Australian soldiers during the trench warfare of the World War I.
Designed by sculptors Joan Walsh Smith and Charles Smith in collaboration with architects Ken Maher and Partners, the central focus of the memorial is two bronze figures representing Australian soldiers facing east towards the rising sun. The figures stand on a raised podium paved in a radial pattern, which refers to the Army insignia.
Seven cylindrical pillars recall the seven major conflicts in which the Australian Army has been involved in the twentieth century. The pillars stand in water, reminding the visitor of the long sea journeys involved in all Australian campaigns.
Australian National Korean War Memorial
The Korean War began on 25 June 1950 when North Korean forces invaded the South. 17,000 Australians fought under the United Nations Command until the armistice in July 1953. This memorial commemorates and honours those who died and served.
The memorial was designed by the ANKWEM Design Group (Les Kossatz, Augustine Dall'Ava, David Bullpitt, Sand Helsel) in conjunction with architectural firm, Daryl Jackson Pty Ltd to a statement of requirements by the Australian National Korean War Memorial Committee. The design characterises the period of the Korean War. The use of white and grey tones in the memorial, and granite and gravel, recall the harsh climate and terrain in Korea - lasting impressions of those who fought there.
A central walkway leads to a semi-enclosed contemplative space. A boulder from a Korean battlefield is a commemorative focal point and a word in Korean script represents 'Peace and Independence'. A scroll recognises the 21 countries that committed combat or medical units to the United Nations Command. On both sides of the memorial are figures representing the Australian sailors, soldiers and airmen who served in Korea. Battlefield boulders are set in fields of stainless steel poles which symbolise those who died.
The obelisk commemorates those who died with no known grave. The inscription, taken from the United Nations Memorial Cemetery, Pusan, is a poignant link with the Australians who are buried there.
Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial
From 1962 to 1973, 50 000 Australians served in South Vietnam as part of a composite force, predominantly of American troops. The Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial is dedicated to all those Australians who served, suffered and died in that conflict.
The memorial was designed by the architectural firm, Tonkin Zulaikha Harford, in association with sculptor Ken Unsworth AM. It was built largely through contributions from the Australian people - raised by the Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial Committee.
Three concrete stelae, rising from a shallow moat, form the dramatic centre of the memorial and enclose a space for quiet contemplation. Fixed to the inner right-hand wall are 33 inscriptions, a series of quotations intended to recall events of political, military and emotional importance. The photograph etched into the rear wall shows Australian soldiers waiting to be airlifted to Nui Dat after the completion of Operation Ulmarrah. A suspended granite ring contains a scroll bearing the names of those Australians who died in conflict. Surrounding the memorial are six seats dedicated to the memory of the six Vietnam servicemen missing in action.
Desert Mounted Corps Memorial
This was the first Memorial to be constructed on Anzac Parade. The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial commemorates all the Australian Mounted Divisions, the Australian Flying Corps and every other Australian and New Zealand unit and formation that served in Egypt, Palestine and Syria from 1916 to 1918.
The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial is a free-standing, cast bronze figurative sculpture, set on a granite base. It depicts a mounted Australian Light Horseman defending a New Zealander who stands beside his wounded horse.
The original Memorial was in Port Said, Egypt. However, Egyptian nationalists destroyed it during the 1956 Suez crisis. This Memorial was created by noted Melbourne sculptor, Ray Ewers OAM. It is a second casting - a recreation - of the original sculpture by Australian sculptor, C. Webb Gilbert.
New Zealand Memorial
The New Zealand Memorial is located on a pair of flanking site at the southern (Constitution Avenue) end of Anzac Parade.
A gift from the New Zealand Government to the people of Australia in 2001, the Memorial symbolises the ANZAC experience, still one of the most evocative links between Australia and New Zealand.
The New Zealand Memorial also serves as a reminder of the long history of co-operation between the two nations and the close relationship we enjoy.
The design of the Memorial consists of a bronze representation of the handles of a flax basket (kete harakeke). Woven flax is a particularly strong element in New Zealand culture. The design is based on a traditional Maori proverb 'Mau tena kiwai o te kete, maku tenei' ('each of us at a handle of the basket').
The proverb concerns sharing of responsibilities and joint effort to achieve a common goal. The basket handles symbolise co-operation, mutual experiences and sharing the load.
On the western side of Anzac Parade is the Australian side of the Memorial. The pavement was designed by Indigenous artist Daisy Nadjundanga from Maningrida Arts and Crafts, in association with Urban Art Projects. The eastern side of the Memorial is the New Zealand side designed by New Zealand artists Allen Wihongi and Toi Te Rito Maihi, and is based on the whakatu weaving pattern of a flax basket.
Rats of Tobruk Memorial
The German siege of the Libyan seaport town of Tobruk began on 10 April 1941. After desperate fighting, most of the Australians at Tobruk were relieved by October 1941. The town was continuously contested, however, until the Allied victory at El Alamein in late 1942. The Allied defence of Tobruk lengthened the German supply lines and diverted German forces which might have been deployed against Allied troops elsewhere. This memorial commemorates the endurance of those who were besieged.
The replica memorial is based on the 1941 memorial in the Tobruk War Cemetery, built by Australian soldiers during the siege, which has since been destroyed. The inscription stone, the only surviving relic of the original memorial, and at one time a front step of the Tobruk Post Office, is incorporated.
The memorial designed by architects Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd takes the form of an obelisk. Surrounding walls portray the perimeter defences and the design recalls the area in which the siege took place. The coastline and harbour are to the front and the defence positions flank the rear of the memorial. The Eternal Flame, fabricated from bronze, was created by Marc Clark and installed in 1984.
Royal Australian Air Force Memorial
Preceded in World War I by the Australian Flying Corps - which served with distinction on the Western Front and in the Middle East - the Royal Australian Air Force came into existence on 31 March 1921. This memorial was erected to commemorate the RAAF's 50th anniversary and the Second memorial to be placed on Anzac Parade.
Expanded dramatically during World War II, the RAAF served first in the Middle East and in Britain. Australian squadrons in the European theatre served with tenacity and skill, suffering very heavy casualties. Despite overwhelming odds, the RAAF contributed significantly to victory in the Pacific War. The RAAF also made major contributions to the Australian effort in the Malayan, Korean and Vietnam conflicts.
Designed by sculptor Inge King, the memorial honours those who have served in the RAAF throughout its history. The memorial features three upsurging wing shapes in stainless steel representing the endurance, strength and courage of RAAF personnel. The bronze flight image at the centre of the composition embodies the struggle to conquer the elements. Inscribed on the plinth is the RAAF motto: Per ardua ad astra - Through adversity to the stars.
Three polished granite walls frame the sculpture. Using archival images the artwork depicts the dedication and valour of the men and women of RAAF who have served Australia, and traces the major war episodes from 1915 to the present.
Australian Service Nurses National Memorial
The Australian Service Nurses National Memorial honours past and present Australian Service nurses. Since the time of the South African War, nurses have served by caring for the sick and wounded in every conflict to which Australia has committed troops.
This memorial, designed by Robin Moorhouse in conjunction with MonuMental Design and Australian nursing associations, is made of cast glass. Etched and cast into the inner glass walls are text and images, in a timeline sequence, portraying the history and contribution of Australian Service Nursing. The memorial also includes a collage of historical photographs and extracts from diaries and letters, in the original handwriting.
Some panels are blank. This is intentional, reminding visitors of the inconclusive nature of any memorial to an ongoing Service group. The memorial is distinctly horizontal and the form of the interlocking glass walls represents nurturing hands, symbolic of nursing. A contemplative space surrounded with rosemary for remembrance completes the memorial.
Among values reflected in the memorial are those of human dignity and worth, dedication in bringing succour and care, commitment beyond self, courage, companionship and fortitude.
Royal Australian Navy Memorial
On 10 July 1911 the Commonwealth Naval Forces were renamed the Royal Australian Navy. The role of the Navy was to provide for the defence of Australia and to cooperate with broader Empire interests. During the First and Second World Wars, the Navy showed the Australian people the importance of naval forces to a maritime nation. Serving on all oceans of the world, the RAN suffered heavy casualties but proved its fighting capacity in a number of crucial battles.
The Navy served with distinction during the Malayan Emergency and also in the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars. Australia's Navy has made a significant contribution to peace operations in the Middle East, Somalia, Cambodia, Bougainville and East Timor.
Also known as 'Sailors and Ships - Interaction and Interdependence' this memorial, by Ante Dabro in collaboration with Lester Firth and Associates and Robert Woodward, reflects the mutual dependence of sailors and their ships.
Bronze figures feature in the memorial and convey the daily activities associated with naval life, while the geometric forms, such as an anchor chain, depict elements of a ship. The torrents of moving water complement the dynamic force of the work.
Kemal Ataturk Memorial
The Kemal Ataturk Memorial was dedicated on 25 April 1985, the 70th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. The Memorial honours Kemal Ataturk, commander of Turkish forces at Gallipoli and later the first president of modern Turkey, as well as the heroism and sacrifice of both the Anzac and Turkish troops who took part in the campaign.
The Memorial consists of a crescent-shaped wall and five pillars which reflect the crescent and star of the Turkish flag. On the pillars are a series of interpretive panels outlining the Gallipoli campaign and the role of Ataturk.
Centrally located on the wall is a bronze likeness of Ataturk by Turkish sculptor Huzeyin Gezer, a gift of the Turkish government. The inscription beneath – Ataturk’s own words – pays warm tribute to the Anzacs and reflects his understanding of the awful cost of war.
Soil from Anzac Cove at Gallipoli was placed beneath the dedication plaque in the centre of the circular pavement. Surrounding the Memorial are pine trees - Pinus halepensis - grown from seed collected from the Gallipoli 'lone pine'.