How to spend Anzac Day in Canberra in 2021

Find out exactly what you can get up to on Anzac Day in Australia’s capital.

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As 25 April comes around for another year, Canberra is once again at the ready to honour those who landed in Gallipoli in 1915.

From where to stay if you're visiting over the weekend to the events that Canberra hosts in memory of the troops, this is your guide to an Anzac Day spent in our nation's capital.

Events in Canberra on Anzac Day

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, all official services and ceremonies are now ticketed events. All tickets for 2021 have now been exhausted. Although these events are no longer taking bookings this year, this is what you can expect next year.


Anzac Day Dawn Service

A fundamental part of Anzac Day is the dawn service. In Turkey, this is held in Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. In Australia, it's held throughout the country near where Anzac memorials are placed.

In Canberra, the dawn service is at the Australian War Memorial. While the service commences at 5:30am, commemorations and events are held prior.

In the past we've seen images of Australian service people projected onto the memorial building in the days leading up to the Anzac event. At 4:30am excerpts from letters and diaries of Australians who experienced the war will be read and at 5:15am a one-minute silence will be observed before the service begins.

The 2021 Dawn Service will not open the Commemorative Area to the public after the service is complete.

Details and tickets for next year's service can be found through the Australian War Memorial.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service Memorial

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commemorative Ceremony

Following the Dawn Service is a commemorative ceremony to honour the Indigenous Australians who have served in the Australian forces since 1901. It is held at the Aboriginal memorial plaque beside Mount Ainslie. Keep in mind that the 2021 event is being run by invitation only.

More information can be found through the Australian War Memorial.

National Ceremony and Anzac Day March

In addition to the Dawn Service, the Australian War Memorial also hosts a National Ceremony at 10:30am. This includes a traditional order of service, the Commemorative Address, laying of wreaths, hymn reading, the sounding of the Last Post and a one-minute silence.

The National Ceremony is usually followed by the traditional veterans' RSL march, however, the 2021 ceremony will feature a banner parade instead.

Free tickets for next year's National Ceremony must be booked through the Australian War Memorial.

Last Post Ceremony

Following a long day of commemorations at the Australian War Memorial is the daily Last Post ceremony. Held at 4:45pm in the Commemorative Area, the Last Post Ceremony marks the closing of the War Memorial to the public for the day.

This event remains free, however tickets are sold out.

Images: Australian War Memorial

Things to do in Canberra on Anzac Day

Anzac Day falls on a Sunday in 2021, making the following Monday, 26 April, a public holiday in the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. If you're spending the long weekend in Canberra and are looking to make the most of your time in the capital, here's a few of our favourite things to do in the ACT.

Tours of Canberra

There's really no better way to see a city than by having a local take you along to all the note-worthy sites. Look no further than a complete walking tour or a visit to the National Museum of Australia.

Have a unique experience

From having a once in a lifetime experience with the cheetahs of Canberra's National Zoo to a relaxed gin tasting that includes a lesson or two, these are just some of the ways you can spend that time between ceremonies.

Explore everything Canberra has to offer

Alongside the Anzac Day commemorations, Canberra is also home to exhilarating scavenger hunts that will take you right across the city as well as modes of transportation that take the leg-work out of it.

Have a game of two-up at the local pub

With the ceremonies complete for the day, the next stage of your day should be to hit up your local pub to play two-up. Briefly, this is an Aussie gambling game that was played by soldiers during WWI and involves a "spinner" tossing two coins (traditionally pennies) into the air and punters betting on how the coins would land. It's since become a tradition to play on Anzac Day.

These pubs and clubs are known to hold two-up games on Anzac Day in Canberra:

  • The Duxton: Corner Mcpherson and Sargood streets, O'Connor
  • Ainslie Football Club: 52 Wakefield Avenue, Ainslie
  • Labor Club Belconnen: Chandler Street, Belconnen
  • Siren Bar & Restaurant: 30 Anthony Rolfe Avenue, Gungahlin
  • Gungahlin Lakes Golf Clubs: Gundaroo and Gungahlin Drives, Nicholls
  • Vikings Erindale: 6 Ricardo Street, Waniassa
  • Vikings Chisholm: Benham Street, Chisholm

Where to stay in Canberra on Anzac Day

Stay close to the action at these hotels and homestays, located near the Australian War Memorial.

Canberra Rex Hotel & Serviced Apartments
Canberra Rex Hotel & Serviced Apartments

Finder Hotels

Adina Serviced Apartments Canberra Kingston
Adina Serviced Apartments Canberra Kingston

Finder Hotels

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