Anzac Day is one of Australia’s most solemn occasions, marking the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
As home to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra hosts major marches and events to remember the contribution and suffering of all those who have served in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
This year, the traditional mid-morning Anzac Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial has been cancelled due to ongoing redevelopment works, and some of the smaller ceremonies have moved from the parade ground to the western side of the memorial.
The annual dawn service will begin as usual at 4:30 am with representatives from the Australian Defence Force reading excerpts from letters and diaries of Australians who have experienced war first-hand. The official ceremony will follow, starting outside the Australian War Memorial at 5:30 am and inviting all to join together in silence and observe the laying of the wreaths.
For the first time in two years, the War Memorial will then welcome a full veterans’ march at 9:30 am for the 107th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli.
If you want to head somewhere after the dawn service, various clubs, pubs and communities around Canberra are holding their own events to honour Anzac Day traditions including two-up games.
Anzac Day is always enjoyable at The Dock. From 5:30 am, there will be a live broadcast of the dawn service playing in The Dock Beer Garden, followed at 6:15 am by a Run for Resilience 6km social run from The Dock to the Commonwealth Bridge and back.
At 10 am, The Dock opens its doors for food and drink, followed by two-up in the courtyard and live music from 6 pm. Karma Keg, kindly supplied by Great Northern, will put all proceeds raised towards supporting Soldier On. Entry is free with walk-ins welcome. Tables are available for booking through the website or Facebook page.
The Jetty welcomes patrons to join the team after the dawn service with coffee from 7 am. Its beer garden will open from 11 am with Canberra’s favourite burger venue, Grease Monkey, joining The Jetty on the day to provide delicious food. The traditional Anzac Day two-up will be played by the lake from midday.
Come down to Kingston this Anzac Day and join the British-style tavern, The Durham, as it hosts two-up games from midday.
This Anzac Day, Eastlake is hosting two-up with your favourite local sporting teams from across the capital. Eastlake Gungahlin will be hosted by the Gungahlin Bulls, Eastlake Calwell by the Tuggeranong Valley Bushrangers and Eastlake Football Club by the Eastlake Demons. After two-up, all footy games will be livestreamed from 12:3o pm.
Jerrabomberra Hotel’s annual dawn service will return this year at 5:30 am. The Rotary Club will be there to supply breakfast, with complimentary coffee and tea. The hotel will close at 9 am and re-open at 10 am, with the kitchen open all day from 11 am – 7 pm and two-up throughout the day. Visit the hotel’s Facebook page.
Assembly will open its doors this Anzac Day from 5 am, beginning with the dawn service broadcast live with breakfast and hot drinks available. From midday, two-up hosted by Canberra’s best spinners, Hughie & Beathy, will be played in the beer garden. Sports will be streamed throughout the afternoon with the AFL from 1 pm, Essendon vs Collingwood, and NRL – Roosters vs Dragons – from 1:30 pm.
Bookings only required for groups larger than 20 with no holiday surcharges. Visit the Facebook page.