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Anzac Day 2016: Things To Do and Where To Go

the popular anzac biscuits

Observed as a day of national remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC Day falls on the anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. The day was originally celebrated to recognise the soldiers who died in that battle, but now salutes all Australian and New Zealand soldiers, past and present, who have served and succumbed in all wars, clashes and peacekeeping operations.

Customarily, people in Australia and New Zealand assemble and meet for a sunrise ceremony known as the Dawn Service, which is regarded as one of the most cherished and well received ceremonies on Anzac Day.

The Dawn Service is said to have established in the military routine called as the “stand-to.” Usually, the opposite armies struck in the limited light of twilight as well as dawn. Watchful at all times, the Australian military prepared their soldiers to stay awake and be vigilant at their posts with weapons prepared before the other armies could attack. Up to now, this stand-to technique is still used by the Australian Army. The Dawn Service recaptures those silent moments in the near-darkness, when soldiers had time to connect and reflect. While the earliest Dawn Services were vigils fulfilled only by veterans in total silence, all Australians are now encouraged to attend. Nowadays, services include readings, hymns, as well as rifle volleys and gun salutes.

The rite also involves traditions like the Last Post (a military bugle call, symbolising the end of the day's activities), wreath laying, and a reading of the Ode of Remembrance. 

In honour of Anzac Day, Aussies and Kiwis enjoy baking and eating Anzac biscuits. It's a popular myth that they are named Anzac biscuits because they were delivered to the Anzac soldiers during the war. The traditional Anzac bikkie is made from a mixture of oats, flour, coconut, butter, sugar, golden syrup and a few other ingredients. These days, you can purchase these biscuits in major supermarket across Australia and New Zealand.

Here are some famous locations for ANZAC Day commemorations in Australia

veteran soliders with medals at anzac day

The Australian War Memorial

Situated in the capital of Canberra, the Australian War Memorial holds one of the biggest ANZAC Day celebration. Popular activities include their own Dawn Service, and exhibits for a whole weekend.


Brisbane holds a silent service at midnight , which is trailed by a Dawn Service at the Shrine of Remembrance. Between ten and fifteen thousand people are present on the Anzac Day march in Brisbane enthralling fifty thousand of spectators flocking to show their support.


In Melbourne, the Shrine of Remembrance not only hosts a Dawn Service, but also a Ray of Light ceremony. In addition, the Consort of Melbourne arranges a concert at St Paul's Cathedral starring the Choir of St James' King Street from Sydney. 


Other than the Dawn Service at Monument Hill as well as the march departing from Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle also hosts an ending service via  Anzac Day Concert. The commemoration is then extended at the Sir Hughie Edwards Anzac Day Derby between South Fremantle and North Fremantle football clubs. Admission is free for attendees with military medals or uniforms.


In Perth, the biggest Dawn Service in Western Australia begins at the State War Memorial in Perth. This is followed by a Gunfire Breakfast for ex-servicemen and the people to cover the  time between the Dawn Service and the March, which concludes in a memorial service.

Article by

Jayson Paor is a Content Writer and car rental expert at VroomVroomVroom.com.au - The easiest way to rent a car!
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