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ANZAC Day in Melbourne

words by niall roeder

Anzac Day is a day to commemorate all Australian and New Zealand service men and women who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

We look at how one can enjoy a grand old time on April 25; from paying respects in the morning to flipping coins at lunch and watching the footy in the afternoon. This is Your Guide to Anzac Day in Melbourne.

Dawn Service
The major dawn service in Melbourne is at the Shrine of Remembrance. Starting at 5:45am, around 45,000 people gather at the Shrine forecourt to pay tribute in what is a very moving, very still and very silent ceremony. The dawn service concludes around 6.30am. 

Anzac Day March
Another important commemorative tradition is the Anzac Day march at 9am. Thousands of veterans and their descendants, as well as current service men and women, proudly march down St Kilda Road and are cheered on and waved to by a sea of people.

Come in spinner! If you haven’t yet played two-up, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. Originally a game played by diggers in World War I, two-up is basically a heads and tails coin-flipping game of chance. Compared to the silliness of pokies and the difficulty of trying to pick a roughie from the form guide, in two-up you have great odds (think about it), and to put it bluntly – it’s really fun. It’s only legal in Victoria on Anzac Day, so plenty of non-gambling folk come out of the woodwork for their “one day a year”. After the Anzac Day march, head to a good old fashioned Aussie pub, like Young & Jackson or Prahran RSL and get ready to take part in the simplest and most enjoyable form of punting.

Go to the AFL
An afternoon at the footy? Don’t mind if I do! The famous annual AFL match between Essendon and Collingwood is something to see. With and pre-game Anzac Day service, a 100,000-strong crowd and the most impressive stadium in Oz (Melbourne Cricket Ground), this is a landmark Australian sporting event.

Eat some nice food
When it comes to sipping and nibbling nice things, some places will be shut on Anzac Day. QT Melbourne’s Pascale Bar & Grill, Hot Sauce and Rooftop will be open and so will Section 8, Siglo, Nieuw Amsterdam, Boilermaker House, Madame Brussels, Magic Mountain Saloon, Mamsita, Maha, HuTong, Shujinko and Journal, amongst others.

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