Australian/New Zealand highlights in 48 hours
This tour gives you the opportunity to make the most of your 48 hous visit to Flanders FIelds and focuses on sights of historical importance for visitors from Australia and New Zealand. Start your journey at the In Flanders Fields Museum, located in Ypres' imposing Cloth Hall. Visit Hill 60, military cemeteries, Talbot House, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele and other points of interest.
11 am – Just a 10-minute drive from Ypres, we arrive at Hill 60 with its cratered landscape. Australians played a crucial role here, laying underground mines as part of some of the major battles in Flanders. We pay our respects at the memorial for the Australian First Tunnelling Division.
Gasthuisstraat 43, Poperinge
12.30 pm – Where to for lunch? We head for the small town of Poperinge, bristling with cafés and brasseries. Poperinge was behind the Front, and remained one of the very few unoccupied towns in Belgium. After lunch we stop at Talbot House, which opened in 1915 as a club to give soldiers some respite from the fighting. Its serenity is still noticeable today.
4.30 pm – Back to Ypres, we join the Coming World x Remember Me art sculpture workshop. Throughout the centenary anniversary years, thousands of people will help create 600,000 clay sculptures. Each one represents a victim of the Great War in Belgium, and will eventually be Tyne Cot Cemetery displayed in a field outside Ypres.
6 pm – Time to sample Belgium’s fine hospitality with dinner at one of Ypres’ excellent restaurants.
Berten Pilsenstraat 5a, Zonnebeke
9.45 am - At the Passchendaele Memorial Museum 1917 in Zonnebeke, dugout and trench reconstructions provide us with a clear insight into life underground for the troops.
12.00 – Passchendaele is also known for its cheese factory. So that’s where we stop for lunch, and enjoy some of the region’s fresh produce.
rue de Messines, Ploegsteert
4.45 pm – We reach Toronto Avenue Cemetery via a muddy, narrow country track in Ploegsteert Wood, which harbours 78 graves – all of them Australians.