Our tour members depend on us to provide a once in a lifetime battlefield experience combined with exceptional customer service. We do our best to meet and exceed their high standards, which is what you’d expect from Australia’s leading battlefield tour company. Here’s what our past passengers say about our efforts…
“Thanks again for a wonderful time in Turkey. Every arrangement went well and the quality of our guides and drivers was superb. The whole trip was amazing and it stands as one of the best experiences I have ever had, made all the more special by sharing it with the lovely tour group during the first week. Having the involvement of the Australian War Memorial was the icing on the cake.
Thanks again for your attention to detail and your friendship. We have already recommended the tour to a number of people, and hope we get an opportunity to participate on one of your tours again.”
Brett O’Riley, Auckland
“The main purpose of this note is to thank you for your part in making our recent Western Front 2014 Tour such an inspiring, informative and memorable one. Thank you very much for the research you did before our tour Aaron Pegram, not only on my relative but also on all the others. Hearing their stories and seeing their resting places did give an extra dimension to the battlefield and strategy explanations you gave us. Thank you again, and very best wishes to you for your ongoing work at the memorial.
Rosemary and Leighton Smith, O’Halloran Hill, SA
“After an extra week in St Malo, Jersey and Paris, we missed being looked after and it was a shock to have to think about things instead of being guided so well by Aaron Pegram and John Waller. We really enjoyed our Battlefield Tour thanks to you and John being so organised and calm.
We learnt so much from you and it was wonderful to share the stories from other descendants. I congratulate you on the very efficient manner in which you remembered everyone’s special battlefield place, and how you helped us to pay our respects. It made it very special.
I do hope that you had a safe trip home. Many thanks for looking after us so well and for all the wonderful times we had on our tour. Regards and all the best.”
“I had a great trip. It was my first venture as you know John, and it came off perfectly, with a lot of thanks to you for organising such a fantastic itinerary, accommodation and all the extras such as transfers, meals etc. I’m so glad we organised the extra few days, it was so beautiful, and such a great experience to see another side of Turkey. You were right, the balloon ride was a must, and the scenery unlike anything I have even imagined. Our motels were perfect, the guide was such a resource, and the driver was a delightful soul. The girls we travelled with were great company, and I only wished that everyone else could have experienced Cappadocia as well so that they could see the contrast from Istanbul.
I feel so richer for my experience, and for being able to enjoy it hassle free, and for that I thank you very much. The phone calls from the travel agents to the guide and motels to check that all was going well and to update us on the plans just ensured that everything remained super organised, even after we left the cradle of Graeme, Baris and the team.
I felt very lucky, and now looking back on my photos I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your input into my trip. I hope all is well with your family, and for your next trip, and hope to one day be in touch with you again.”
“I would like to thank both Aaron Pegram and John Waller for making the 2014 Western Front Battlefield Tour a wonderful and memorable experience. Your enthusiasm for the trip was I believe appreciated by everyone.
Aaron, your expert knowledge and your dedication to research everyone’s personal interests ‘made’ the trip. You were able to put the WW1 battles (both general and specific) into context.
John, your friendliness and attention to detail made the trip very enjoyable and satisfied all my expectations. Best wishes and many thanks.”
I would just like to say a thank you for my Gallipoli & Troy tour on 4-5 April 2014, and let you know of some special efforts your local partner, RSL Tours, went to for my visit.
After visiting Troy on the first day of my tour and arriving at the Grand Hotel Eceabat, I was met in person by Gallipoli guide Hussain (who had only just finished guiding a one-day tour group) and Molly. They had learnt that the “ANZAC section” of the peninsula would be closed off the following afternoon for a local cycling event and re-arranged my tour itinerary so that I would not miss out on visiting all the sites (I was the only person booked for the following day). With my agreement, Hussain immediately took me through the southern (British) section sites for the next 2 hours that late afternoon. He then picked me up before dawn the following morning and we enjoyed breakfast at dawn on the Anzac Cove memorial site – an experience I will long remember – before visiting the other ANZAC sites. (As I write this, I am watching the Anzac Day dawn service from that very place and recalling my visit). Molly then organised for me to take a local bus back to Istanbul, where I was met at the bus station and taken to my Istanbul hotel. This meant I was back around 6pm.
I cannot thank Boronia Travel and the local team enough for their willingness to rearrange their own schedules and go out of their way to ensure that I was able to experience all the Gallipoli peninsula sites, and that I was not inconvenienced by circumstances beyond their control. My experience truly reflects that you have a great local partner for your Gallipoli tours.”
“Just flew in from Turkey last night and I congratulate you on the organisation of our trip to Gallipoli back on the 12th September. David and I left the wives in Istanbul to go shopping, whilst we headed off at 6.30am. The team picked us up right on time and were very efficient and pleasant in taking us to Gallipoli and back with no fuss at all. Learnt a huge amount about the event from the tour guide who joined us. You can be well proud of the tour implementation.”
Greg Sidebottom, Shepparton
“I’ve just come back to Australia after my holiday and I wanted to particularly acknowledge what a great tour we had through the Somme and Ypres. Our guide Brian was terrific on both trips and I will have no hesitation in recommending you and your company to my friends if they head that way. We also enjoyed the Carlton Hotel in Amiens and as predicted by you my wife enjoyed the shopping too.”
” Thank you for making the trip so special, I didn’t know what to expect when I left Australia and it has dawned on me just how special it was. The first day home, I found myself going over the whole trip. It was just amazing and I’d like to say thank you once again for making it so interesting because it really hit me when I got home how important it was. I couldn’t have wished for better people to share it with too. The group of people were just great. I thought I was pretty lucky with the tour. Everything about it was great.”
Roslyn Beauchamp, Queensland
“In October 2012 we (me and my husband, Chris Lauer) joined your tour to Gallipoli. We both had a very pleasant and interesting journey and I’m writing to compliment you and your team on behalf of us both.
The accommodation (a wonderful view across the Dardanelles from the waterfront greeted us at Eceabat) and the food, were excellent, with the end of tour dinner in the Cistern in Istanbul, an atmospheric and culinary highlight. The arrangements appeared seamless, due, no doubt, to considerable effort at your end and at our end from Rod Margetts.
We had congenial company and the tour was very thoughtfully organised to take account of everybody’s interests and the need for variety for some of us. I remain particularly appreciative of our drivers, who did not have the deathwish for which Turkish drivers, in general, are infamous.
Personally, the time on the peninsula was the fulfillment of a long-held wish to see Gallipoli, to appreciate the situation on the ground and to walk where my grandfather would have trodden. I shall remember, always, meeting in the village which housed Ataturk’s headquarters, a grandson of a “Mehmet” he may have faced on the battleground, a meeting which we both enjoyed very much.
Most importantly for me, to be able to visit Gallipoli with such a thoughtful, remarkably knowledgeable and distinguished, retired member of our Australian Army, as Rod Margetts is, was a great privilege. His tireless devotion to making this the trip of a lifetime for us all was greatly appreciated by everyone. It is entirely true that nothing was too much trouble for Rod to organise for us- exemplified by him stopping the tour bus and hopping out to pace out the road with us to definitely identify the valley where my grandfather’s dugout would have been, not to mention acceding to my request to swim at Brighton Beach!
Including the dawn commemoration, and including us all in the ceremony was yet another fond memory- with not a day that we were there without wonderful memories-walking Rhododendron Ridge…Best wishes to you and to all at Boronia Travel for a happy and healthy 2013!”
Sheryl and Chris
As the Tour Director, John did a terrific job managing us all in a very friendly manner and his insights and commentary on the local areas was very good.
A special mention for Aaron. His historical knowledge made it all came alive for me and it was terrific how he was able to meet everyone’s needs and requests on the tour. Nothing was ever too much trouble and he got the balance just right between enough information and information overload. A great experience I will never forget.”
“It was of course a most emotional, interesting trip… Should I again travel overseas I would have no hesitation in contacting Boronia Travel”
F Nicholls, Hampton
“I write to commend and thank you for the marvellous Guide we had in Aaron Pegram on the recent Western Front tour in April. Aaron was not only extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the War but he ensured that everyone who had a personal interest in a battlefield, cemetery or memorial had the opportunity to visit the site and was given time for quiet reflection.
Although the Tour participants had a collective interest in the Western Front, we were a diverse group of people and Aaron managed us all with great sensitivity and aplomb. Once again, thank you for such a great Tour”.
“Just wanted to drop you a line in regards to our trip to Gallipoli in Sept. 2012, and thank you and your team for making it such a memorable experience. The day out with Kenan was an experience in itself, what a fine, humble and charming man! Everything, right down to the provision of the wreath for our own little ceremony of scattering our sons ashes on the beach, went like clockwork. Once again, thanking you and your team, and I will certainly be recommending your agency to any friends who will wish to experience the Penninsula as my wife and I have done.”
“I cannot speak too highly of both our guides. Both Baris and Hassan are experienced, extremely knowledgeable,interesting and easy to deal with. They both have a passion for what they do. Each told the Gallipoli story from the Turkish as well as the Allied side. The Turks regard Gallipoli as hallowed ground as we do. It was really interesting to get that perspective. Boronia Travel Centre did a fantastic job. It was even better than we anticipated. I realise that most will want to do a day trip from Istanbul but if you are able spend 2 days at Gallipoli. You won’t be rushed. Try and give yourself time to walk in some of the cemetries. Seeing so many young men’s lives wasted will break your heart.”
We had a wonderful few days & everything more than met our expectations. The accommodation in Amiens & Ypres was very good, especially Ypres as it was on the main square & only a short walk to the Mennin Gate. The tour itself was very informative & we had more than enough time to spend at the memorials etc. We were able to find my Great Uncle’s headstone at Tyne Cot cemetery which was quite an emotional moment for me. A really good, but very sobering day. Such loss of so many young lives. We have told many people of our experiences & have no hesitation in recommending your company to any one who might be considering visiting that area of France & Belgium.”
“Your professionalism, knowledge and love of the history of WWI does you proud and your commitnent to the tour group was excellent…”
J Robertson, Trentham
“Well we are back from our trip and I just wanted to thank you for organising for me to get to the Suzanne Cemetery. We found my great uncle William’s grave and it was just the best experience. The whole day was wonderful including the tour guide and I have decided that I would love to go to Villers Bretonneux for Anzac Day I think it would be a wonderful experience.
Both of the days were really interesting and informative and the guides had such great knowledge I feel that we have a much better understanding of what the soldiers went through, I don’t know how they did it.
Once again thanks for all the effort you went through and I have recommended to all my family and friends that they should go and learn more about our history and book the tours through you”.
“…thank you and all your staff for another great trip. It makes it so much easier for this author to have everything in the travel department taken care of so well… “
J Hamilton, Brighton
“Howard and I have been very remiss in not contacting you to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip to the Western Front with Boronia Travel this year. It was all we were hoping for, and more. The “more” was because of the people. Graeme and John, the tour historian and tour leader, were so generous with their time and knowledge and were the ultimate professionals, making our travel experience one of ease and extraordinary interest. Jean-Michel, our bus driver, was a legend and our fellow tour companions completed the experience. Thank you.”
Rae King and Howard Gibbon
“It is extraordinary to find someone who is so experienced, helpful and willing to offer assistance…”
C Kelly, Aspley
“The Gallipoli tour was absolutely fantastic. Transfers were prompt and courteous. Kenan was amazing – not only a wealth of knowledge on Gallipoli, but a really nice chap, and obviously very well connected. We were indeed every privileged to have him as our guide for our two tours. He made a special point to tell us what detail he knew about my family, and asked questions on what I knew. Indeed , I was most humbled when asked to sign his copy of John Hamilton’s book- Price of Valour. Thank you for all your help in organising this tour- all your work is much appreciated.”
“We had a wonderful time with lots of interesting and enjoyable stories to tell…”
G Hickingbotham, Gisborne
“It was everything I had hoped for and more.”
I Surplice, Middle Dural
“The whole trip exceeded our expectations and the Gallipoli tour, in particular, proved to be a deeply moving and even life-changing few days. It is something we shall remember always and look upon with a strange mix of sadness, enjoyment, awe and privilege. Gallipoli is (to say the least) unique and the tour really focussed the power of the place for us.
You and your team should be very proud of your efforts. My wife and I have become a “two-person” promotional team for your tours – spruiking the depth and quality of our experience to anyone willing to listen!”
S Welsh, Melbourne
“Hasan Gundogar is obviously passionate about the story of Gallipoli and is proud of working with the Boronia team. He is an excellent guide and we were impressed with his telling of the story and his knowledge. Both Steve and myself are long term RAAF members and during our time have studied the Gallipoli battle as well as seen and heard many stories so could tell if he was just presenting to a lot of dumb tourists. Happily he did not give that impression and treated all Aussie, NZ, Irish and English travellers with respect when telling us of the battles.”
“Our battlefield trip was wonderful and will stay in our minds forever.”
A Griffiths, Farrer
“Kenan was absolutely amazing. He is just such a treasure, so humble and so knowledgeable. It was honestly one of the best things we’ve ever done. It was great to watch all of the tour busses schlep the “sheep” on and off to all of the major attractions, while we had Kanan take us to all of the real sites and explain everything in detail. We came away with a great understanding of the conflict, especially from the Turkish point of view (and in political context) which is something that I don’t think we would have got on one of the group tours.”
Clarissa Wilson, Melbourne
“This is just a quick note to say thank you… I had an absolute ball…”
R Mackenzie, North Bondi
“We travelled with an Australia War Memorial group to the Westem Front which was one of the best tours we have experienced.”
P & M Smith, Mount Barker
“This is the best tour we have ever done worldwide”.
Mr and Mrs Woodlock, Bendigo
“Excellent! Collection at Hotel in Istanbul was on time and driver really good. Guide – who we collected some 4 hours later – was excellent. Great local knowledge and a good sense of humour while still being very sympathetic to the ‘lost’ cause of the Allied invasion. We could not recommend this tour more highly. We had originally booked a group tour, but were pleased that we changed to a private tour.”
Albert and Jill Fountain
“Just a quick note to say how much my wife Anna and I enjoyed the couple of days in Gallipoli. Everything about it was great. It’s obviously an emotional experience for any Australian, and we were really moved by it.
No-one knows the peninsula and the battle stories better than Kenan and it was a privilege to spend an afternoon with him. We gained a much better understanding about what happened in 1915 from his knowledge and experience.
The Gallipoli Houses is an excellent place to stay. The owner Eric is full-on, with lots of stories and an extremely personal approach. Fortunately he follows it up with great food and hospitality.
But all up I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. A memorable couple of days. Thanks.”
Peter Blunden, Managing Director, The Herald and Weekly Times
“I really appreciate the amount of time we spent on the battlefields in the course of the tour. Having been about a decade before on one of the 3-4 day round trips to Istanbul, it was very pleasant to spend so much time on the grounds, and to get a real feel for the place…”
D Lawie, Badina
“This has been one of the most infomative & well run tours that I have done…”
J Bell, Narrabri
“May I complement Hasan and yourself John on arranging such an informative tour. It could not have been better. Hasan has a very through and accurate knowledge of the Gallipoli campaign. I could not fault his recollection of events, as I recall them. Further, he had more knowledge than I did and was able to point out various physical aspects of the landscape which had always puzzled me as it is not easy to obtain an idea of them from reading books alone
I mentioned to Hasan that I had met Dr Bean when I was 20 years old. I have also promised to send to him (when I can locate it) a copy of the 50th anniversary service which was held in Canberra. The eulogy was delivered by a soldier who had landed at Anzac and a hymn, composed by Dr Bean, was sung at that service. I have included Hasan in this email in gratitude for all his outstanding services.”
“Thank you for your organisation of the best, and I do mean the best tour I’ve ever been on.”
R Thompson, Stradbroke Island
“Thanks so much for making it such a memorable trip for my mum. She was ecstatic about all the lengths you went to for her to celebrate her father’s life.”
K Holz, Melbourne
“…a profound experience and unforgettable tour.”
A Kirkjian, Rose Bay
“I would have no hesitation in reconrmending Boronia Travel to anyone planning a Gallipoli visit.”
J Holthouse, Canberra
“John – had a very enjoyable time during our Gallipoli sojurn. Our driver was excellent – great knowledge of English and of general Turkish culture etc. Of course, what can I say about Kenan that has not already been said. His knowledge of ANZACs and the military campaign in general knows no limits. Any question we asked he had answers for. Very impressive and very courteous too. Enjoyed the Gallipoli Houses – hosts were nice people and meals were great. All in all, a very well planned trip. Thankyou John for all your efforts to make this side trip so memorable for us.”
“…thank you for the inspiration and energy involved that enabled such a journey to develop and reach fruition…. a truly remarkable experience for me…”
J Agzarian, Wagga Wagga
“Every day brought a new adventure and resulted in a sense of achievement, learning and enjoyment.”
H Donald, Menora
“The organisation of such a big goup in several locations does not happen all by itself and it is thanks to your expertise that it all went so well.”
L & M Zegenhagen, Templestowe
“I am writing to simply thank you for a wonderful experience that I will never forget. It was a privilege to be on the Tour… The Australian War Memorial should be congratulated for making these tours possible with such outstanding historians and leaders.”
L Brear, Blackburn South
“Working through Boronia Travel provided a proven platform to leverage off. They were professional at all stages and provided a tour package and guide well matched for the demographic. The itinerary was flexible and was negotiated each day by the tour manager and OIC, and provided participants a balanced experience”.
Matthew Lamerton, Australian Defence Force Academy
“I can honestly say that it was one ofthe most amazing and enjoyable experiences of my life! Every aspect of the tour far exceeded my expectations.”
R Masters, Koo Wee Rup
“…the organisation was beyond belief, I know that you and your fellow organisers did a lot of background work unseen, but appreciated by all of us… I would never have any hesitation in advising anyone who may in the future be wanting to visit Gallipoli to contact your agency for a first class service and tour.”
A Harding, Lillydale
“We would recommend this tour to anyone who is serious about Gallipoli as you get more information and time to take it all in… We were thrilled with the tour and it exceeded all expectations.”
L Smith, Lithgow
“My wife and I felt so cared for throughout the whole fortnight, and I draw attentions to the caring way your staff made us feel a part of the whole tour. We only had to mention something we needed to know and it was immediately answered or attended to.”
J Faithfull, Armidale
“From 6am the first day till midnight two days later it was all entertaining. Everything went to plan extremely smoothly on the two day tour of Gallipoli.”
“Hasan gives you a very open opinion of the conflicts and situations that happened around the peninsula in 1915. He is factual and honest of the events and battles. He broadens your either limited, or perceived views of the events and backs it up with factual documents and views of the areas of the battles. He is truly more than a Tour Guide. He is a historian.”
Fred Muller, Buderim
“Our tour guide was outstanding in his role. We were searching for my great grand-father’s position at Lone Pine and his cousin’s grave at Shrapnel Valley. His presentation skills and general assistance were first class. He is clearly an asset to your team.”
G Wilcock, Victoria
“I just wanted to give some feedback on the Gallipoli day tour I did on 11 October, 2011. I was very happy with the friendly service from all staff and the quality of the tour. Our guide, Hasan Gundugar, was exceptionally knowledgeable and obviously passionate about the subject. I thought his commentary had a good balance of information, storytelling and humour. I will certainly be recommending Boronia travel to others.”
John Neely, Summer Hill, Sydney
April 2013 Gallipoli Tour Testimonials
Tour Leader: Rod Margetts
This tour was unique as the client group hand-made thank you cards for Rod, Sinan and the driver and presented them on the move back to Istanbul. Below are examples of the comments included in Rod Margetts thank you card, and have been provided as a measure of how Rod is exceeding customer expectations.
“It has been a real pleasure to meet you Rod Margetts. We are grateful for your expansive knowledge and experience, care and concern. We have learnt so much and your ability to impart knowledge has left us with a far greater appreciation and understanding of the ANZAC legend. Thank you so much.”
Monique, Peter and Matthew Wells
“Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to gain an insight into the history of the ANZACs. Your narrations were filled with great detail which provided great meaning and emotion to us. We loved your military approach to day to day activities and really enjoyed your company. Best Wishes.”
Michael Collins and Rose Johnson
“Thank you for not only the extensive knowledge that you have shared with us, but also for your care these past days. We return to Australia with deeper appreciation of those who went before us. For this, we are all grateful.”
Di Markey and Paul Towler
“Thank you so much for the great insight into the ANZAC spirit. Trish and I have a far greater knowledge of what happened in 1915. We will always remember this trip. With warmest wishes and regards.”
Trish Leahey and Peyton Butler
“Thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge and experience (we learned a lot every day and now appreciate ANZACs so much more) and for the patience and good humour you showed us all. Regards.”
Marilyn and Joe Love
“Thanks so much for sharing your extensive knowledge with us. We thoroughly enjoyed your explanation of the ANZAC story, particularly the way you were able to detail the layout of the battlefields. Best wishes.”
Greg and Jill Peek
“Thanks for a great tour Rod. He who doesn’t learn from history is doomed to repeat it. I have learned much with your efforts.”
“Wish I could remember half of all you told me. Therefore, you need to do that book so I remember all. Fantastic tour – have enjoyed it immensely.”
Norm and Ros
“Your passion for history and these events is particularly clear. Your commentary of the events and the why’s and how’s they unfolded was very helpful. Loved the whole experience. The organisation of the trip was excellent and allowed us to enjoy the experience. Thank you.”
Robert and Chris Johnson
“Our time with you was brief but long enough for us to be impressed with your knowledge and leadership. Thank you.”
Lucy and Anthony Harding
“Sir Rod, Thanks for your time and expertise. You are a master of Expectation Management. Best wishes.”
Liz and Greg Hampson
“What a mob! What a job! Only you could manage us and keep us in tow. We loved every minute of it. Thank you.”
Margaret and Trevor Hannigan
“We have learnt much about organisation, preparedness, communication, command, logistics and punctuality – and that was just on the bus! Thank you for sharing your passion, knowledge and expertise and for making this an unforgettable experience. All the best.”
Tanya and Brendan O’Meally
ACT Chief Minister’s Prize contingent
“Many thanks for making our “job” such a pleasurable and easy one. Returning to Turkey and especially Gallipoli has been a wonderful experience. Best wishes.”
“Thank you for looking after us, putting up with us and giving the most detailed analysis of the Gallipoli campaign that is humanly possible! We will take back a newly found knowledge and love for Australian war history.”
“Thank you for the wonderful tour. I’ve had the most memorable Gallipoli experience. Your knowledge of history was fantastic. Thank you so much.”