Whether it be whipping up a batch of ANZAC bickies, buying a red poppy, listening to the Last Post at a dawn service or partaking in a boisterous round of two-up, there is an activity and a place for you to celebrate this special day in Sydney and to commemorate the sacrifice of our service men and women.
This year the 25th of April falls on a Sunday which means - sorry NSW, Victoria and Tasmania – no public holiday for us which, I’ll be honest, feels a little unfair. Regardless of whether or not we’re getting a day off work, it’s still important to do something special to mark this day. Here’s our round up of all the ways you can commemorate and celebrate this ANZAC Day.
While commemorations take place across the state and country, the official dawn service taking place at 4:30am at the Cenotaph in Martin Place is a particularly solemn affair, commencing at approximately the same time at which the first Australians waded ashore at Anzac Cove in 1915. The service always attracts large crowds and spectators are encouraged to arrive early (from 3:00am) to ensure access. Because of COVID-compliance spectator space is limited and ticket allocation has been exhausted however, you can always watch the Martin Place service on TV or check out services hosted by local RSL branches across NSW.
Martin Place, Sydney
Colour us shocked, but there actually was something born from the ashes of 2020 that we all loved and decided to keep. Last year, we commemorated ANZAC Day by decorating our homes and gathering on balconies or at the end of our driveways with candle light to listen to the Dawn service over the radio. With COVID-safe limits still in place, there are fewer opportunities to attend marches or dawn services in person so Light up the Dawn is the perfect way to commemorate our veterans this ANZAC Day.
Giving veterans and the general public the opportunity to honour those who’ve served to defend Australia, the ANZAC Day March is the ideal way to pay respects and honour the celebration accordingly. The march is led by veterans of the World Wars, followed by Navy, Army and Air Force Veterans, civilians in support of Australian Troops, descendants of veterans.
The RSL has been working with health officials since September 2020 to make sure the event will be as COVID-safe as possible so expect QR check-ins, social distancing and a whole heap of hand sanitiser to feature heavily at this years march. Starting at Martin Place and processing down to the ANZAC Memorial (near Museum Station), the march is a touchingly poignant reminder of the sacrifices that Australian men and women have made in order to serve our country.
Corner of Martin Place at Elizabeth Street, 9:00am
This year Cardly has partnered with Legacy to make it easier than ever before to get in touch with veterans and their families and thank them for their service. For just $4 you can select a special (and cute-as-a-button) ANZAC Day card from Cardly and they will send a physical card directly to members of our military community. Making this initiative even more worthy is the fact that 100% of the profits from Cardly’s ANZAC Day cards will be donated to Legacy to help with fund their important work supporting veterans and their loved ones.
If staying in is the order of the day, whipping up a batch or two of Anzac biscuits is the perfect activity for curious kids or, let’s face it, hungry grown-ups. The only thing better than delicious sweet, oat-filled, coconutty cookies is seasonally appropriate sweet, oat-filled, coconutty cookies. So pick up a bag of rolled oats, pre-heat the oven and get ready to enjoy some ANZAC cookies this Sunday. Check out our favourite ANZAC biscuit recipe as well as all our favourite cookie recipes.
What’s ANZAC Day without a spot of larrikinism? Celebrating mateship, sinking a few beers and maybe even playing a spot of two-up is a fitting tribute to our ANZACs. There are so many great bars around Sydney where you can play two-up this ANZAC Day.
However, our top three picks would have to be… drum roll please, Harbord Hotel, The Sackville Hotel and Squire’s Landing. The Harbord Hotel has become an ANZAC Day go-to for many Sydneysiders. Opening for coffee and breakfast right after the dawn service, the Harbord comes alive later in the day with tunes, two-up and good times continuing well into the night. The Sackville Hotel which will be open from 10am with tinnies, an outdoor BBQ, DJ sets and two-up as well as tapping a Karma Keg and donating funds to Legacy. Finally, Squire’s Landing who will be hosting the mother of all two up games this weekend. Against the backdrop of the stunning Sydney harbour, there will be live music, delicious brews and yummy feeds on offer from 10am, you can read more about it in our guide to what’s on this month in Sydney.