NZ'S FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY 2014–2019

Battle of Beersheba centenary

When: 31 October 2017 Time: 9 a.m.

Where: Beersheba War Cemetery, Be'er Sheva, Israel

Registration update – Australia and New Zealand Service at Beersheba War Cemetery and the New Zealand Service at Tel Sheva – 31 October 2017

New Zealanders registering for passes to attend the Australia and New Zealand Service and the New Zealand Service are currently informed that they are waitlisted. Additional New Zealand passes will be made available and we are confident that all New Zealanders currently on the waitlist will receive passes to the commemorations.

New Zealanders who haven’t registered and are planning to attend Battle of Beersheba commemorations in Israel are encouraged to register at https://overseascommemorations.ticketek.com.au/All New Zealanders are encouraged to register with Safetravel once their travel details are confirmed at www.safetravel.govt.nz

On 31 October New Zealand and Australia will conduct a commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba at the Beersheba War Cemetery in Be’er Sheva, Israel.

A New Zealand commemoration will be held at Tel el Saba at 2 p.m. Tel el Saba is approximately 5 kilometres east of Be’er Sheva. This mound was New Zealand’s objective in the Battle of Beersheba. The Australians supported the New Zealand Mounted Rifles attack in 1917, but the Tel was captured by the Auckland Mounted Regiment. The elevated Tel site is uninhabited and well preserved because it is a National Park with UNESCO World Heritage status due to the bibilical wells and ruins located there. Rising 20 metres above the surrounding area, the site provides a clear view across farm land to the Anzac approach route and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles attack onto Tel el Saba.

About Be’er Sheva and Beersheba War Cemetery

Be’er Sheva is a town on the edge of the Negev Desert, 75 kilometres south-west of Jerusalem.

The Cemetery is situated on the south-west of Be’er Sheva town. On arrival in the town via route 40, continue on until you reach a large junction with a shopping complex on your left. Turn right on road No. 25, signposted Hazerim. Follow this road for 2 kilometeres, turning left at the traffic lights opposite the high-rise blocks, sign-posted Hazerim. The cemetery will be found on the left.

Owing to the one way road system you must do a complete tour to reach the entrance so continue and turn left at the next set of traffic lights. Then take the next left turn on Harzfeld Street. At the end of this street, turn left and the cemetery entrance is on your left.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an attendance pass for the Battle of Beersheba commemorations?

Yes, you must register to attend the Battle of Beersheba commemorations at https://overseascommemorations.ticketek.com.au/

Do I need a visa to enter Israel?

Visitors travelling on Australian and New Zealand passports do not need a visa to enter Israel. Visitors travelling on other passports should check with their relevant authority as to whether they require a visa.

Foreigners wishing to enter Israel must carry a passport or travel document with an expiration date of at least 60 days beyond the date of expiration of their visa, visa exemption or residence permit, or intended date of travel.

Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a must-have for overseas travel, so make sure that you have organised a comprehensive travel insurance policy before you leave New Zealand or your home location. Overseas medical care and repatriation is very expensive. If something unexpected happens and you don’t have the appropriate travel insurance, you are personally liable for all costs. Your insurance policy should cover provision for medical evacuation by air.      

Make sure your insurance covers all the activities you will be undertaking and any pre-existing medical conditions. It’s important to be clear about what is covered under your policy; if in doubt, talk to your insurer.

Do I need to register my travel?

Before you leave your home location you are encouraged to register your travel details on the SafeTravel website. Registration means that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade can keep you updated with travel advisory information, and can contact you and account for your well-being in an emergency.

The Safe Travel website provides travel advice for Israel. It is recommended that all New Zealanders travelling to Israel monitor this advice. 

How do I get to Be’er Sheva?

Be’er Sheva is a town on the edge of the Negev Desert, 75 kilometres south-west of Jerusalem and 100 kilometres south of Tel-Aviv.

Public transport is available from both major cities. Trains run from Tel-Aviv to Be’er Sheva.

Further details will be provided once they have been confirmed.

What can I expect at the commemorations?

Seating

At the joint Australia and New Zealand service, limited grandstands will be available with bucket-style seats and grassed area with no seats.

At the New Zealand service at Tel el Saba, no seating will be available and visitors must be prepared to stand for at least one hour.

Weather

The weather is likely to be hot to very hot.

As there is limited shade in Beersheba War Cemetery and at Tel el Saba, attendees should be prepared with wide-brimmed sunhats and sunscreen.

Security

All attendees will enter the commemorative sites through airport-style security screening

Are there any prohibited items?

The following items are prohibited and will be confiscated at security screening:

  • Dangerous or hazardous items
  • Advertising or marketing messages
  • Large backpacks or luggage (day packs, aircraft cabin bag-sized are ok)
  • Opened bottles of liquid
  • Flammable liquids
  • Weapons or sharp objects, including umbrellas
  • Large objects (e.g. chairs, musical instruments)
  • Hiking/walking sticks or poles that do not fold down/telescope (medical and mobility aids such as walkers, walking sticks and wheelchairs will be permitted subject to medical need)
  • Large flags or banners
  • Professional photographic equipment (including telescopic zoom lenses, audio visual or cinematographic devices apart from for accredited media)
  • ‘Selfie’ sticks and large camera tripods
  • Drones and remote control devices
  • Alcohol – Intoxicated persons will be refused entry.

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