I totally forgot to blog about our visit to “Spirit of Anzac” earlier this year
so I’m jumping in and doing it now.
It was such a wonderful experience
and we don’t want to forget it.
Plus, the exhibition is still traveling around Australia
so check the website and see when it’s coming to an area near you.
The exhibition is visually spectacular.
Every area is different and attempts to take you on a journey.
As you read about the troops enlisting
and traveling on ships to the warzone,
you walk up ramps as though you too were entering a ship.
After you read about the troops training in Egypt,
you exit the room through a tent door
into the Gallipoli zone,
which is dark and loud.
Every zone is themed wonderfully
Nothing is done in an ordinary way.
Videos about the navy are displayed in port windows.
Images about the sick and injured
and those that cared for them
are projected onto hospital beds hung on the wall.
You can even look through periscopes in the trenches
and see images similar to what the soldiers may have seen.
(Every so often bombs would explode in the view and shrapnel and dirt would fly everywhere.)
Even the floors in the exhibition
are a canvas.
There are so many images to see.
You really have to take your time
to soak it all up.
We spent well over two hours exploring the exhibition.
(Children who don’t cope well with seeing, experiencing and hearing a lot might struggle with this exhibition.)
Make sure to check out the famous Cheops photo.
(You can check it out in more detail and at your own leisure online as well.)
There are lots of interesting photos in the exhibition.
Check out this observation tree.
I had no idea that they did things like this.
The observation post is made of steel and concrete
but it looks like a tree.
This photo reminded me that
the weather conditions were particularly unpleasant.
Just check out those icicles.
The artifacts were also fascinating.
This is a sheet of metal from over the top of a trench.
If it’s any indicator of the number of bullets flying into the trenches,
I don’t know how anyone survived!
And this helmet needs no words.
I had a little chuckle over this next one.
These devices were used to warn the soldiers of incoming gas.
The ‘clacker’ on the left is the one used by the Australians
and the more sophisticated one was used by the Germans.
This piece was really cool.
It’s the very last shell fired by a group of Anzacs.
In Egypt they had it engraved and mounted in a display.
Did you know that there were more than 170 MILLION shells launched in World War 1?
That’s just staggering.
There were lots of statistics throughout the exhibition.
My favourite part of the exhibition was the audio guide.
I wish more places included audio tours.
They are wonderful.
My least favourite element of the exhibition
was the little red buttons.
Throughout the exhibition, you could tap your audio device on the red buttons
to collect additional information to be email to you
(all of which is available on their website anyway).
These ‘buttons’ took the children’s focus away from the exhibits.
We were overtaken by quite a number of school groups,
who were dashing from room to room simply tapping buttons and moving on.
These buttons were overkill and a detraction from the experience.
But aside from that, the exhibition was excellent.
If you visit, which you should,
move slowly through the exhibition and take your time.
There is so much to listen to, look at and read
(perhaps a little too much).
“Spirit of Anzac” is one of those exhibition that you must see.
And the very best news is that it’s totally free.
So book your tickets now.