A tour of Gallipoli's battlefields has left Prime Minister John Key sad, sobered and immensely proud.
Mr Key and his wife Bronagh were guided around key battlefields and cemeteries significant to the Kiwi Anzacs by military historian Chris Pugsley.
They visited Lone Pine, The Nek, Walker's Ridge, Quinn's Post and Chunuk Bair - where a special New Zealand commemoration will be held tomorrow after the Dawn Service.
The Keys arrived in Canakkale, the closest city to the Gallipoli Peninsula across the Dardanelles Strait, this morning and were escorted by cavalcade of police and security to a chartered ferry. Security has been visibly higher in the last 12 hours in anticipation of Mr Key and other dignitaries including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry's arrival.
After arriving on the peninsula at about 9am local time, the Keys' personal tour began - similar to one given to the Herald by Mr Pugsley earlier this week.
The couple's Gallipoli lesson began at Lone Pine, where the Australian national service will be held tomorrow.
Lone Pine has one of three Memorials to the Missing, naming New Zealand Anzacs missing or lost at sea.
There, Mr Pugsley told the Keys about the legend of the lone pine at the site. Where that pine stands was no man's land and Australia essentially fought an underground war at the site.
"It's hard to imagine," Mr Key said.
He used his phone to take a photograph of the New Zealand names on the memorial.
Meanwhile, Mrs Key was visibly moved.
"It's such a waste of life," she said.
The couple then laid poppies at the memorial and paused in silence to pay their respects.
The next stop for the couple was Quinn's Post, where Anzac troops were positioned just 30m from the enemy line.
Under a clear blue sky, with the weather slowly warming up, Mr Pugsley explained to the Prime Minister just how close our troops were to the Turks.
Mr Pugsley guided the Keys to the grave of soldier JJ Rowan of the Otago Regiment- an example of a soldier killed in action who was given a proper burial. So many of our troops are named only on memorials to the missing.
At Walker's Ridge, the next stop on the whirlwind tour, the couple walked among the graves together, obviously a sobering experience for them as they remarked on the ages inscribed in the epitaphs.
The Nek was the next stop and there the Keys were shown the spot where the Anzacs charge in Peter Weir's 1981 film Gallipoli.
Mr Key asked Mr Pugsley, who has visited Gallipoli 18 times, how long it took the troops to dig the trenches and is told they dug constantly, always trying to improve their hideouts.
"It's incredible isn't it," said Mr Key, after being told that The Nek was covered in bodies of the fallen that could not be moved or buried until 1919.
He said he was surprised at the steepness of the rugged terrain.
The last top on the tour was Chunuk Bair. The group started at a Turkish memorial at the south end of Chunuk Bair.
The New Zealand memorial sits at the north end.
Mr Pugsley spoke about the efforts of Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone and his contingent, whose trenches and fox holes are still visible 100 years on from the battle, and described Malone's untimely death there.
While at Chunuk Bair Mr Key was taken through plans for the service, where he will be speaking. He surveyed the empty grandstands that tomorrow will seat hundreds of Kiwis who have walked the 6.3km from Anzac Cove to attend the New Zealand service and said the area looked great and commended those behind it for doing a "really good job".
Mr and Mrs Key also laid poppies on graves of Kiwi teenagers killed at Chunuk Bair. Most were just 17 - not much older than their son Max.
Mr Key said he felt a mixture of pride and great sadness and loss at Chunuk Bair.
He was extremely proud of the Kiwi men who "protected one and other, fought for New Zealand, for what we believe in and fought so gallantly alongside their Australian mates."
"It's a place that's quite spiritual for New Zealanders," he said.
"A place of a lot of tears, and a sense of helplessness that their great uncle or great grandfather came here and never returned."
Later today the Keys will head to Cape Helles to attend the Commonwealth and Ireland memorial.
Herald app users watch Mr Pugsley give a full tour of the battlefields here.