Sydney city skyline lit up during Vivid Sydney 2013. Credit: Destination NSW; James Horan
ANZAC Day in Sydney and NSW
The ANZAC Day March in Sydney involves approximately 20,000 war veterans, current servicemen and women, police and relatives proudly displaying war medals on crisp uniforms through the city’s CBD. Thousands line the footpaths between Sydney’s Martin Place and Hyde Park to salute our nation’s diggers.
ANZAC Day in Sydney
ANZAC Day on April 25 is a national day of remembrance and commemoration. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, and this year the two nations commemorate and remember the centenary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
On ANZAC Day, Australians honour those who have served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Dawn services, wreath laying, parades and sunset services form a significant part of ANZAC Day commemorations and are held across all of NSW. Sydney's city centre hosts the State's biggest ANZAC Day services which are free to the public and all are welcome to attend. Outside of Sydney, the ANZAC Day services in Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Wollongong also host significant events with a large gathering of ex-servicemen. For a list of ANZAC Day services around NSW visit the RSL NSW website.
The ANZAC Day Dawn Service at The Cenotaph in Sydney's Martin Place begins at 4.15am. Thousands gather in the pre-dawn darkness to pay their respects and lay wreaths in honour of fallen soldiers.
The ANZAC Day March begins at 9am on the corner of Pitt Street and Martin Place. It journeys through George and Bathurst Streets before ending at Elizabeth Street opposite Hyde Park.
At the conclusion of the parade a Commemoration Service is held next to The Pool of Remembrance at the ANZAC War Memorial in Hyde Park South at 12.30pm.
Sydney's official ANZAC Day commemorations conclude in the evening with a short Sunset Service which begins at 5pm at the Cenotaph in Martin Place.
Camp Gallipoli held in Centennial Park on 24 and 25 April will offer friends and families a unique opportunity to sleep out under the stars as the original Anzacs did 100 years ago, for a night of remembrance, entertainment and mateship. In Darling Harbour, a 120 m interactive floating installation called Nomanslanding will commemorate the centenary (on display until May 3), putting a spotlight on the significant role Darling Harbour played as a key loading port during World War One.
The game of two-up
After paying your respects at a solemn service, take part in another time-honoured ANZAC tradition by taking a bet in a game of two-up. Two-up is a game in which coins are spun in the air and bets are laid on whether they fall on heads or tails. This game is only legally playable throughout NSW on ANZAC Day.
Pubs and clubs across all of NSW engage in the tradition. In Sydney, the areas of Balmain, Newtown, The Rocks and Sydney's East are particularly renowned for hosting large two-up tournaments. The Australian Hotel in The Rocks features one of Sydney's biggest outdoor two-up arenas where you can play from 12pm on ANZAC Day.
The game's association with ANZAC Day originates from the First World War where two-up was played in the trenches and on the troop ships.