$2,759.00 Member Price From
$2,797.00 Non-Member Price From
- Expert Vietnam War Historian – Gary McKay
- All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
- Breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 5 dinners (including a welcome dinner)
- 7 nights’ 3- and 4-star accommodation
- Visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels
- Bottled water for each passenger each day
- All entrance fees are as per the itinerary
- Travel by comfortable air conditioned touring vehicle
- Copy of Gary McKay’s book Australia’s Battlefields in Viet Nam
- Souvenir cap, document wallet and luggage tag
The battles of Fire Support Bases Coral and Balmoral stand in the annals of Australian military history as the longest and deadliest battle for Australians in the Vietnam War. Fought during the pivotal year of 1968 following the Tet Offensive, this month-long engagement would be the crucible of combat for the recently arrived Centurion tanks of the Armoured Corps and a true test of the mettle of the infantrymen of 1 and 3 RAR. This commemorative tour will return to the battlefields of Coral and Balmoral and pay homage to those who fought and died on the field of battle. The tour will then visit the iconic battlefield of Long Tan and visit the scene of the battle at Binh Ba and Nui Le. Led by author, historian and decorated veteran Gary McKay this commemorative tour is a must for those who served and for those who wish to learn how the Australians fought their war.
FROM: Saigon to Saigon
Day 1, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Welcome to this special anniversary journey. On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), we will be met by a Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours local representative and transferred to our hotel. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner.
Day 2, Saigon City Tour Today we have an orientation tour of the city including the Opera House, Post Office, City Hall and other city landmarks including the Ben Thanh Markets. Visit the former Presidential Palace and the War Remnants Museum. Your Historian will deliver a briefing on the Australian headquarters system and liaison with Vietnamese and American headquarters during the war. Tonight we will enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3, Cu Chi Tunnels After breakfast we will travel to Cu Chi to visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels, where Australians first operated in the Iron Triangle in 1965. A battlefield brief will be given on the bus enroute to Cu Chi and cover Operation Crimp that Australians were involved in 1965. After visiting the Dien Ben Duoc temple at Cu Chi we will have lunch at a nearby floating restaurant. The return trip from Cu Chi will be by fast boat (provided river conditions are suitable).
Day 4, Coral-Balmoral 50th Anniversary This is a full day tour where we will commemorate the anniversary of this important battle. The battle site is now a working rubber plantation. You will receive a detailed brief on the battle and visit the mass grave site and Viet Cong memorial. We will also be conducting a commemorative service at the Fire Support Base Coral battle site (dependent on the Vietnamese authorities). Tonight we will be having a special dinner to commemorate the 50th anniversary.
Day 5, Vung Tau This morning check out and depart Saigon via the Saigon River by hydrofoil, to the former site of 1 ALSG in the seaside resort town of Vung Tau. After check-in to our hotel and freshening up we will depart for on an orientation of the town including the former 1 ALSG base, the airport, port and former Peter Badcoe Club site. A brief will be delivered on the area and its relevance to Australian operations and the role of 9 and 35 Squadron RAAF and the RAN clearance diver teams
Day 6, Nui Dat – Long Tan – Horseshoe Travel to the former Phuoc Tuy Province area and area of operations for 1 ATF via Baria and visit the former task force base area. The area is still a military reserve in parts and some areas may be restricted to visitors. Receive a brief on 1 ATF operations that were conducted from the base and how it was developed and protected. After a picnic lunch we will drive to the battlefield at Long Tan and the Long Tan Cross memorial site and receive a detailed battle brief on the battle of Long Tan. There will be a commemorative service at this site and we will lay a wreath.
Day 7, Binh Ba – Nui Le We will depart our hotel in Vung Tau and head north through the former area of operations and visit the scene of the battle of Binh Ba. We will receive a detailed brief on this battle where the Armoured Corps won a battle honour and after a picnic lunch and leaving Binh Ba we will travel north to the area of the Courtenay rubber plantation and the scene of the last major battle at Nui Le. We will receive a detailed brief where our historical guide fought and was wounded in action. We will return via road through the Hat Dich area to Saigon. On return to Saigon free time is available to allow last minute souvenir gathering and shopping
Day 8, Departure Those passengers not joining our extension tour to central and northern Vietnam will depart Ho Chi Minh City for Australia after breakfast. Those joining the extension tour will be transferred to the airport for the next leg of this fascinating journey. Please ask our reservations department for further information and pricing for our Vietnam North Extension Tour.