It's just after 8am here on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It's a chilly 3 degrees, but sun is shining and there is no sign of rain.
This morning the Herald travelled to the peninsula via a police escorted convoy alongside Government officials.
It's now that you really get a sense of the magnitude of tomorrow's commemorations. Up until today it's been effortless to move from Canakkale, the city across the Dardanelles Strait. But this morning our road was paved with police blockades and accreditation checks.
That will increased markedly as the next 48 hours unfolds. Overnight the peninsula's centenary facelift has ramped up. The roads are now clear of tour buses and tourists, no one gets in our without official accreditation.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Security screening points for attendees have had airport-style scanning gates installed and the police presence has at least doubled since we left the area for the day on Thursday.
Catering tents are slowly filling with food and drinks for the masses and hundreds of shuttle buses line the narrow roads ready to transport dignitaries, VIPs, official staff and media between the different locations of services and events.
The place is buzzing. The green light has been hit, putting years of meticulous planning into place.
Later today the national park area of the peninsula, where all the battlefields, cemeteries and memorials lie, will be shut down. Roads will be closed and a two hour security sweep will take place. This entails authorities checking key areas for bombs or other threats.
Then, when all is clear the 10,500 attendees will start to file in.
Who will be first through the entry gate? We'll tell you a bit later.