Personally escorted by Mat McLachlan!
Visit historic sites associated with service and sacrifice during World War 2, and attend Warbirds Downunder, one of the largest airshows in Australia! The tour begins and ends in Sydney, and is our only tour that is personally escorted by Mat McLachlan. Join Mat on this fascinating journey through Australian history, and see an amazing flying display from Australia’s best collection of vintage aircraft.
FROM: Sydney return
DURATION: 4 Days
DATES: 12-15 Oct, 2018
PRICE: $997* pp, twin share
Full Itinerary (Click here)
WW2 in Australia
Day 1, Sydney to Canberra
Join the group at our central meeting point for an 8am departure. We will depart Sydney and drive to Canberra along the Remembrance Driveway, the road of remembrance that links the two cities. On arrival in Canberra we will visit the Australian War Memorial, one of the world’s great military museums, where we will enjoy guided tours of the galleries and free time to explore. At 5pm we will attend the Last Post Ceremony that marks the closing of the Memorial, and then check in to our hotel. We will have time to rest and refresh, before enjoying a welcome dinner, a great opportunity to get to know our travelling companions and historian better. (D)
Day 2, Warbirds Downunder airshow
We will depart Canberra this morning and drive three hours to the central NSW town of Temora. During the war Temora was home to No 10 Elementary Flying Training School, where more than 2400 RAAF pilots learnt the basics of flight before serving in combat in Europe and the Pacific. Today Temora is home to the Temora Aviation Museum, a collection of significant Australian aircraft used during wartime, nearly all in flying condition. On arrival we will tour the museum and then enjoy flying displays from a range of the museum’s aircraft. (Please note that flying days are limited at the museum and may be rescheduled due to weather or other issues. In the event that flying is cancelled on the day we visit, we will still tour the museum and enjoy up-close viewings of the aircraft and historic talks from museum experts.) In the late-afternoon we will drive to Cowra and check in to our hotel. (B)
Day 3, Cowra Breakout
The picturesque town of Cowra was home to one of Australia’s largest Prisoner of War camps during the war. In August 1944, Japanese prisoners staged the largest prison break-out in modern history, when more than 1000 prisoners charged the camp’s fences armed with crude improvised weapons. The Australian guards opened fire on the prisoners, killing and wounding hundreds, while hundreds more managed to flee into the surrounding fields. By the time the final escapees had been rounded up nearly a week later, 231 Japanese had been killed, either shot while escaping or by suicide. Four Australian guards were also killed. The Cowra Breakout sent ripples of shock across Australia, and today is considered the only land battle fought on Australian soil during the war. Today we will tour sites in Cowra that recall this dark chapter in Australian history. We begin with a visit to the POW Theatre, where a holographic display tells the story of the breakout from a local perspective. We will then travel to the site of the POW camp, where our historian will bring the events of August 1944 to life as we walk the ground and view the ruins of camp buildings that still remain. Our next stop is the Cowra War Cemetery, where Australians who died during the breakout or while serving at nearby military training camps are buried. A separate section is the final resting place of all Japanese nationals who died in Australia during the war, including the prisoners killed in the breakout, airmen shot down during attacks on northern Australia and civilian internees who died during the war. After checking in to our hotel, our evening is free. (B)
Day 4, Cowra to Sydney
This morning we will have a farewell breakfast at the beautiful Japanese Gardens, a five-hectare peace park established as a symbol of respect and friendship between Australia and Japan. This is a fitting site to end our stay in Cowra with quiet reflection, and to remember all the men who died in Cowra during the war. We will then depart Cowra for our return drive to Sydney. En-route we will stop in the town of Lithgow, home to Australia’s most important arms manufacturing factory for more than a century. We will visit the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum and enjoy a guided tour of the museum’s extensive collection of firearms that chronicles the history of arms used by the Australian military since its earliest conflicts. We will also see non-military historic items produced at the factory, as well as photographs depicting the long and fascinating history of the plant. In the afternoon we will drive back to Sydney, where our tour will end at our central drop-off point. (B)
OPTION: Join the tour in Canberra and spend extra time at the Australian War Memorial! Ask us for details.
Your Tour Includes (Click here)
WW2 in Australia
- Touring with Mat McLachlan
- All excursions, scenic drives, and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
- 3 nights’ 3-star accommodation
- Breakfast daily and welcome dinner
- Comfortable air-conditioned touring coach with Driver
- Tips to your Tour Manager, Historian and Driver
- Souvenir cap, document wallet and luggage tag
WW2 in Australia
HOW TO BOOK: Contact our reservations team on 1300 880 340 or click enquiry button below and leave your details. Deposit of 30% $360.00 per person due within 7 days of booking. Final balance due 90 days prior to departure
Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. In addition, your Historian may alter the sites visited on each day to suit local conditions.
*Per person, twin share, land only. Single supplement: $290