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TRAVEL & LEISURE

The Best Things to Do This ANZAC Day in Sydney

Where to rise for the dawn service, indulge in a spot of two-up and pay your respects.
By Jasmine Crittenden and Marissa Ciampi
April 19, 2019
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The Best Things to Do This ANZAC Day in Sydney

Where to rise for the dawn service, indulge in a spot of two-up and pay your respects.
By Jasmine Crittenden and Marissa Ciampi
April 19, 2019
  shares

ANZAC Day in Australia is a time of reflection, two-up and copious amounts of Tooheys Old. Whether you're inhaling ANZAC biscuits or learning the rules of the national sport for the first time, be mindful of the historic significance and commemorative nature of the day between schooners.

Here's our round-up of the best things to do in Sydney this Thursday, April 25, which, at both the going down of the sun and in the morning, you will remember.cp-line

Dee Why Dawn Service

WAKE UP FOR AN ANZAC DAY DAWN SERVICE

Australians have been rising early since 1916 to commemorate both fallen and still serving military personnel during the Dawn Service. Be at the Cenotaph in Martin Place well before the 4.30am ceremony commencement. Organisers are expecting big crowds, as usual, and anticipate that the area will be well crowded by 3am. There's nothing like paying your respects as the bugle brings up the sun. Hungry after the service? The Argyle in The Rocks will be serving up bacon and egg rolls and an all-day sausage sizzle from 8am.

In the east, North Bondi RSL will host its beachside Dawn Service. The ceremony will start at 6am sharp, but we suggest you get there much earlier. If you're located north of the bridge, Dee Why RSL is hosting the northern beaches' largest Dawn Service. The ceremony will kickoff at 5.30am at Dee Why Beach and post-service the RSL will be serving up $6 breakfasts and two-up will be played from midday.

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HEAD TO AN ANZAC DAY MARCH

Medals are shone and proudly donned as veterans, their descendants and serving personnel march through Sydney's CBD for the annual ANZAC Day Parade. Commencing at 9am sharp, the parade will begin at the intersection of Martin Place and Elizabeth Street, before travelling down Elizabeth Street and finishing at the Liverpool Street end of Hyde Park. The Last Post will ring out over Hyde Park at the commemorative service, which kick off at 12.30pm beside the Pool of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, in Redfern, the Coloured Diggers March will gather at the Community Centre from 11am for tea, coffee and live music. Then join the march to Redfern Oval for flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies, starting at 2pm.

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The Glenmore

PLAY A NATIONAL SPORT: TWO-UP

Take advantage of one of only three days in the year when this national sport is legal and squeeze into one of many Sydney pubs hosting this beloved ANZAC Day tradition. Convert those notes into gold coins, place your bets and watch those sacred two-up coins fall. We recommend hitting up one of Sydney's best pubs for a spirited crowd and discounted brews.

Here are our picks for two-up hubs:

The Rocks: The GlenmoreThe Australian Heritage Hotel or The Argyle 

Surry Hills: The Dolphin Hotel, The Unicorn, Dove & Olive ($6.50 4 Pines schooners), The Norfolk or The Clock Hotel

Eastern suburbs: Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel ($3.50 ANZAC biscuits) or Bondi Beach Public Bar

Inner west: Newtown Hotel ($4 pizzas), The Bank Hotel, The Courthouse, Vic on the Park or The Imperial

Northern suburbs: The Newport, Manly Wharf Bar or The Beach Club Collaroy

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WATCH A NATIONAL SPORT

After a few brewskies, head to the SCG to watch the NRL's traditional ANZAC Day clash between St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters. Cheering on these sporting warriors as they crash into each other for 80 minutes, channelling the ANZAC spirit is a straight-up riveting way to spend the public holiday afternoon. If you're an AFL fan, then settle in front of the tele (or head to Melbourne) to watch Essendon up against Collingwood.

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HEAD TO THE SUNSET SERVICE

If you're not an early riser and want to pay your respects (or you want to add some symmetry to your day by ending it as it began), head to a sunset service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place. Make your way there for the 5pm start and the going down of the sun. The Beach Club at Collaroy Beach is also hosting its annual sunset service — and there's the added bonus of getting in some beach time

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EAT AN RSL SANGA AT THE DOLPHIN

The rissole sanga is an Aussie culinary classic, but the Dolphin Hotel will be taking it to a new level on April 25. Its creation, dubbed the RSL Sandwich, comes packed with a beef rissole, cheese, onion and sauce, between white sliced bread. You'll be munching it while participating in – or watching over – one of the biggest two-up rings in Surry Hills. All donations on the day will be going to Legacy.
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DRINK CRAFT BEER AT A CAR PARK PARTY IN PETERSHAM

Public House Petersham is going all out again this ANZAC Day with a car park party outside its pub from 11am on Thursday, April 25. Two-up isn't the only highlight — the pub's invited some of Australia's best craft brewers along to make the day extra festive, including locals like Yulli's Brews, Grifter, Young Henrys and Stone & Wood. Each brewery will set up a stall in the car park, slinging tinnies to the masses of thirsty two-up players. There'll also be a beer-themed barbecue (with vego and vegan options), a live performance by The Van Demons and the Roosters vs Dragons game on all screens. All donations on the day will go to Legacy, too.
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NAB SOME KARMA KEG BREWS AT THE NORFOLK

This ANZAC Day, Redfern's The Norfolk has teamed up with Melbourne's Hawthorn Brewing Co. to take the charity donations to the next level. Hawthorn has donated a karma keg of its Aussie Ale to the pub, with punters paying what they can for a brew — remember that all proceeds go to charity though, so don't be too stingy. Make sure to book ahead to nab a table in the venue's coveted beer garden, though walk-ins are also welcome throughout the day.

Apart from the beer, punters can expect bacon and egg rolls for a tenner, two-up until sundown, live music and the NRL game on in the sports bar.

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KEEP THE PARTY GOING AFTER SUNDOWN IN THE INNER WEST

While the two-up rings die down as the sun sets, it doesn't mean the ANZAC party has to end. At Newtown Hotel, DJs will be spinning all your favourite Australian and Kiwi anthems until late and you can nab $4 pizzas and $10 burgers until 10pm. Plus, there are $25 buckets of Mountain Goat and Somersby Cider up for grabs, too, with $2 from every bucket going to ANZAC appeal and Legacy.

The Vic on the Park will also host live acts on its outdoor stage, including inner west locals The Andy Golledge Band and Caitlin Harnett. For drinks, there will be a special slushie and tinnie bars on offer and a charity barbecue, too. And, at The Imperial, the venue's usual LGBTQI+ vibes keeping the party going until 11.30pm. The next day at work will be a tough one, but it'll be Friday, after all.

Top image: The Australian Heritage Hotel

Published on April 19, 2019 by Jasmine Crittenden

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