National Anzac Centre, Albany, WA

It’s here in Albany, in the waters off King George Sound, where the first convoy of Australian and New Zealand troops departed for the Great War on November 1, 1914, many never to return. Honour their memory at Mt Clarence, the birthplace of the dawn service, with a moving tribute to our service heroes.

Afterwards make your way to the Albany Entertainment Centre for a traditional ‘gunfire breakfast’ – a hearty meal traditionally washed down with rum-laced coffee that was enjoyed by the Anzacs before they marched into battle.

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The view from Mt Clarence, Albany (Courtesy of Chris Fithall, via Flickr Creative Commons)

Anzac Day clash, Melbourne

The AFL match between Collingwood and Essendon is as much a tradition on April 25 as Anzac biscuits and sprigs of rosemary. The staunch rivals will face off before a sell-out crowd on the hallowed turf of the MCG in Melbourne, in what has become the biggest AFL match outside the finals. Soak up the atmosphere of the game as the players exhibit their own unique brand of Anzac Day camaraderie on the field.

While the morning is reserved for quiet reflection, the afternoon is anything but, as Australians young and old unite for a common cause – sport. What colours will you be wearing?

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Camp Gallipoli, Brisbane

What better way to mark the dawn of the centenary of Anzac Day than with hundreds of countrymen and women, camped out under the stars just as the Anzacs did all those years ago? Join Camp Gallipoli at the Brisbane showgrounds for one of six sleep-outs held simultaneously around the country.

The Anzac-eve event will feature a light horse procession, commemorative videos and performances by singer Christine Anu and the St Andrew’s Pipe Band. The night will conclude with the screening of the Russell Crowe film Water Diviner, before a lone bugler rouses the family-friendly crowd for a dawn service. 

Two-up, Sydney

Once you have paid your respects to our diggers at the dawn service and the annual march through Sydney’s CBD, head to The Rocks for a bit of true blue Aussie larrikinism. Annual two-up contests (legal only on Anzac Day) hark back to the trenches and are as Australian as pie and sauce. And one of the best venues to enjoy all the betting action is at The Australian Hotel. After filling up on their Diggers Breakfast, head outside for a flutter in what is billed as the largest outdoor two-up arena in the CBD.

The rules are simple: a ‘spinner’ tosses two coins from a paddle and punters bet against each other on either heads or tails. A double of either determines the winner.

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Two-up in Sydney is a must on Anzac Day! (Courtesy of Newtown Graffiti, via Flickr Creative Commons)

National War Memorial, Canberra

If you can’t make it to Gallipoli, the nation’s capital is your next best bet. Thousands of pilgrims will gather in the crisp early morning for the traditional dawn service to remember the sacrifice of our service men and women. Letters and diaries of those touched by war will be read during the service, which will be followed by a national ceremony attended by top Australian dignitaries, including Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

The order of events includes a diggers’ march, wreath-laying ceremony and sounding of the Last Post. The commemorations also include a haunting tribute to the 62,000 Australian souls killed during Word War 1: their names will be projected onto the façade of the Hall of Memory from sunset to sunrise until November 2018, to mark the centenary of the Great War.

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