Number of Gallipoli pilgrims plummets

Fewer travellers have made the Anzac Day trek to Gallipoli than at any time in the last 14 years.

Just 4393 Australians and New Zealanders filed in to the Anzac commemorative site near Anzac Cove for the dawn service on Friday.

Around 14,000 attended the service when the site was opened in the year 2000, when then prime minister John Howard attended. Numbers have rarely dipped below 8000 since.

Many attending the service on Friday attributed the low turnout to the ballot for next year's centenary of the Anzac landings.

The result of the ballot was announced in early April - too late for those who missed out to arrange to attend this year's commemoration.

More than 40,000 people registered for the ballot, but only 8000 Australians and 2000 New Zealanders were successful.

The 4393 who made the trip were treated to a night of musical interludes and documentaries about World War I broadcast on giant screens.

Many young people slept on the ground cocooned in sleeping bags, while older travellers sat in tiered seating.

Security was tighter than at any previous Anzac events at Gallipoli.

Vehicles were stopped by Turkish police at several checkpoints on the road to the commemorative site, and everyone attending was screened and searched. Alcohol was banned.

About 1000 Turkish soldiers were stationed in the dark scrub around the site.

And while crowd numbers were down, portable toilets were still in heavy demand, with queues for the toilets stretching hundreds of metres by 4am.