The Best Things to Do This ANZAC Day in Brisbane

Here's where to rise for the dawn service, indulge in a spot of two-up, track down ANZAC Day pastries and pay your respects.
Concrete Playground
Published on April 22, 2024

No matter which day of the week it falls on, ANZAC Day is a day of significance. It's also a day of thinking about the past, tossing coins into the air and throwing back cold ones — remembering Australia and New Zealand's military war efforts both then and now, and savouring the things worth fighting for.

Whether getting up early to attend official events is your thing, or enjoying a few brews with friends is more your style, there's a way to mark the occasion to suit everyone. To help you decide, here's our round-up of the best things to do in Brisbane. Eating ANZAC biscuits isn't one of them, but we suggest you do that anyway.


Attend an ANZAC Day Dawn Service

More than a century ago, ANZAC forces landed at Gallipoli on April 25. Sacrificing sleep to honour their sacrifice is the least we can do to mark the occasion.

In the CBD, the Brisbane ANZAC Day Dawn Service kicks off at 4.28am at the Shrine of Remembrance in ANZAC Square, timed to come to a close just as the sun rises — and there'll be no tickets or restrictions on access. As always, it includes the laying of wreaths, the sounding of the Last Post and the observance of one minute's silence — and if you can't make it into the thick of the action, both dawn and morning services are also happening at plenty of places around town.


Head Along to the ANZAC Day Parade

Since the first ANZAC Day parade in 1916, Brisbane has come out in force to pay their respects to past and present servicemen and women — and this year won't be any different. At 9.45am, the procession starts on the corner of George and Elizabeth streets, making its way through the city's roadways.

As always, finding a spot along Adelaide Street will give you the best vantage point; however, the parade will also be broadcast on ABC if you can't make it along.


Play a National Sport: Two-Up

It's the only day of the year that two-up is legal, so plenty of pubs will be throwing coins into the air to see which way they fall. That includes The Boundary in West End, where there'll also be live entertainment from 4pm — and The Regatta, where you can check out its pop-up food stalls and bars, start flinging currency from 1pm and listen to live music. It's also doing a dawn breakfast from 5am

Similarly getting in on the action: The Osbourne, with doors open from 11am. There'll be a bugle performance of 'The Last Post' at 1.50pm, and the rest of the tunes start at 6pm. And, you can sip from karma kegs, with proceeds usually going to support veterans.

And, fellow Fortitude Valley venue The Prince Consort is starting its commemorations at 11am, with two-up kicking off at 1pm. Soldier On, which supports defence personnel who've been injured physically or psychologically in the line of duty, will be the recipients of its karma kegs and fundraising activities. Plus, menu-wise, shepherd's pie and Aussie parmigianas are on offer.


Jared Vethaak

Spend the Day Hanging Out by the River

Fancy pairing all those flung-about coins with a cruisy day by the river? Then you have a couple of options. The first: head to Howard Smith Wharves from 11am for the Felons' ANZAC Day event, which will let beer-loving patrons mark the day with two-up and beers. Attendees can also expect to see historical cars on display throughout the precinct, especially if you spend the day hanging out on the brewery lawn — and donate to the folks from the City-New Farm RSL, who'll be on hand all day.

Or, Eagle Street's Riverbar & Kitchen is getting in on the action from 10am. There'll also be brews, views and two-up here, plus live music. And, a portion of funds from every Balter purchased will go to Legacy Australia.


Watch a National Sport

It's the day that stops the nation; however, there's still a sporting component to ANZAC Day. Whichever code of football you prefer — AFL or NRL — you'll be able to combine sinking a few brews with watching some of the year's big matches on the screens at Brisbane's pubs.

In Aussie Rules, it's normally all about black, red and white on April 25 each year as Essendon take on Collingwood as usual in their annual berth, which kicks off at 3.20pm. But 2024 is giving Brisbane Lions fans some action, too, as the 2023 grand finalists face off against the Greater Western Sydney Giants. You'll be watching both games on TV, as the Lions–Giants match at 7.35pm is in Canberra, not at the Gabba.

Also via the small screen, rugby fans can catch the traditional clash between St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters at 4.05pm, with the Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors also hitting the field the same day — earlier, in fact, at 2pm.


Tuck Into a Limited-Edition ANZAC Day Pastry

If you like flaky pastries, the folks at Lune Croissanterie have probably already won over your tastebuds. There's a great reason for that — their regular wares are next-tier, and its special one-offs are even better.

For the month of April, Lune has whipped up something particularly enticing in the second category: ANZAKAs, aka sweet and salty caramelised kouign-amann made with a classic ANZAC biscuit dough inside, then tossed in brown sugar. It's available in store at the brand's South Brisbane and Brisbane CBD outposts.


Tourism and Events Queensland

Enjoy a Much-Deserved Nature Fix

Public holidays don't come around every weekend — and if you'd like to spend this one making the most of the great outdoors, Brisbane certainly isn't short on options. Soak up some nature while stretching your legs on one of these scenic hikes within 50 kilometres of the city. Or, for something a little more challenging, tackle one of these mountain hikes near Brissie.

And, because Brisbane is both cool enough for caves and warm enough for river swims in April, you can pop them on your agenda as well.


Turn a Crab and Barbecue Feast Into a Good Deed

If your tastebuds are hankering for seafood or something off the grill, a trip to Claw BBQ & Grill in Bowen Hills means tucking into both — include crab, of course, given that it's a crab shack — while drinking beer and checking out sports on the big-screen TV.

That's always the case, but on April 25, $1 from each purchase is going to Legacy. There'll also be live music from 12pm.

Published on April 22, 2024 by Concrete Playground
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