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.
ANZAC Day in Australia is a time of reflection, two-up and and chats over a couple of Tooheys Olds. Whether you're inhaling ANZAC biscuits or opening the bowling in a game of backyard cricket, it's important to be mindful of the historic significance and commemorative nature of the day while celebrating mateship with those closest to you.
Following a year of at-home commemorations in 2020, ANZAC Day has returned to relative normality this year; however, current COVID-19 restrictions mean some things will still run a little differently. Here's our round-up of the best things to do in Sydney this Sunday, April 25.
WAKE UP FOR THE ANZAC DAY DAWN SERVICE
There's nothing like paying your respects as the bugle brings up the sun. Australians have been rising early since 1916 to commemorate both fallen and still serving military personnel during the Dawn Service. As is tradition, the service will run at the Cenotaph in Martin Place from 4.30am; however, the event is ticketed this year to comply with public health orders and is completely booked out. If you didn't register in time, the Dawn Service will be streamed on ABC TV, ABC Radio and YouTube.
As most Dawn Services around the country are currently fully booked, the RSL Australia is once again encouraging Australians to 'Light Up the Dawn' by lighting candles on their front porches, balconies and living rooms at 6am on ANZAC Day.
And, if you're looking for a once-in-a-lifetime Dawn Service, Bridgeclimb is hosting one atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Climbers will join veterans for a guided climb of the bridge, the Act of Remembrance and the Last Post. Tickets to the climb are $388 per person, with all profits being donated to Mates4Mates and $20 from each ticket going to RSL LifeCare.
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. This year's march has been given special exemption from public health orders to have 10,000 marchers and 5000 attendees. 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. Those travelling in to attend at a spectator are asked to scan the QR code check-in once they've arrived and to socially distance (and, to also stay home if feeling unwell.)
Each year in Redfern, the Coloured Diggers March gather to march to Redfern Oval for a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions the march will not go ahead, however the Babana Aboriginal Men's Group is doing a live stream of the service from 2pm.
PLAY A ROUND OF TWO-UP
Take advantage of one of only three days a year this beloved coin-toss game 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:
HEAD OUT TO WATCH SOME 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. The match-up will also be broadcast on screens all across Sydney, from Paddington and Marrickville to Marsden Park.
If you're an AFL fan, then settle in front of the tele (or head to Melbourne) to watch Essendon up against Collingwood.
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 – the biggest two-up ring in Surry Hills. All donations on the day will be going to Legacy.
LISTEN TO LIVE TUNES 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 midday on Saturday, April 25. Two-up isn't the only highlight — the pub's invited some of Sydney's most exciting young artists along, with Rosa Maria and Megafauna performing live, and Deepa and Fly Waves jumping on the DJ decks. Beer stalls will be set up in the car park, or you can head inside to the courtyard for a drink and a feed. Those who choose to partake in a cold jug of Reschs on the day will also be helping raise money for Legacy.
NAB SOME KARMA KEG BREWS AT THE BANK
Newtown's The Bank is tapping a keg of good old-fashioned VB to raise money for Legacy. Head down to the beer garden and pair a selection from The Bank's pizza menu with a sun-drenched schooner you can feel good about. Other than the beer, Sydney drag queen Tora Hymen will be hosting two-up from midday until sundown, and DJs will be in charge of the tunes from 6pm until late.
Top image: The Australian Heritage Hotel
Published on April 23, 2021 by Concrete Playground