What's On

13 Things To Do On ANZAC Day In Melbourne

By James Shackell - 20 Apr 2018


Well, ANZAC Day is here again. And whether you’re planning a bleary-eyed Dawn Service salute or a leisurely sleep-in, there’s heaps of stuff going on around town. Services, celebrations, sausage sizzles, tow blokes playing two-up in a ring. It’s all happening.

Here’s our guide for everything to see, eat and do on ANZAC Day in Melbourne.


ANZAC Day Dawn Service

The ANZAC Day Dawn Service is something all Melbournians should do at least once in their lives. It’ll test the alarm function on your phone, but it’s totally worth the pre-dawn wakeup. Usually you want to arrive between 4am and 5am. Prime spots are up at the Shrine, but if you’re running late, you can still catch the ANZAC Day Parade down St Kilda Rd. That one kicks off at 9am and starts at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders. Parking is always tricky, but the Ballet Centre and Arts Centre nearby usually open up early for the occasion.

Where: Shrine Of Remembrance
When: 6am
For more info, click here.

ANZAC Day Clash

Nothing gets a Melbournian’s blood racing like the roar before the first bounce of the ANZAC Day Clash at the MCG (even better was the roar after Zaharakis’ goal in 2009...but that’s just one Bomber supporter’s opinion). Tickets are mighty hard to come by, but there’s usually a few General Admission spots up for grabs. Otherwise you can head to a pub in the CBD and watch it on the big screen. Don’t forget the Richmond v Melbourne game on ANZAC Eve either. Should be a cracker.

Where: MCG
When: First bounce is at 3:20pm
For tickets, click here.

Photography: Visit Macedon Ranges 

ANZAC Day Mt Macedon

If you’re based up north, Mt Macedon’s Dawn Service is pretty special. It’s staffed entirely by volunteers, and takes place at the giant Macedon Memorial Cross every ANZAC Day. The focus of this year’s service is the famous Battle of Villers Bretonneux, fought on ANZAC Day 1918. Ceremonies kick off at a sprightly 5:45am, so plan for a very early drive (might be better to snag a B&B in Macedon and make a night of it). Private vehicles won’t be able to drive all the way up to the Cross either—there’s free buses running from around the Shire instead. Check the website for deets.

Where: Mt Macedon Memorial Cross
When: 5:45am
For more info, click here.

Free Pots & Pints At Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor is getting in on the ANZAC Clash spirit, with free pots from the first siren to the first score (they’re switching to $10 pints after that). There’ll also be an 11am toast from Publican Rabih Yanni, with complimentary pots for all those wishing to pay their respects. If you’re up early, they’re also slinging breakfast burgers from 5:30am. You can get ‘em from the St Kilda Burger Bar truck outside the Arts Centre. Nice one.

Where: Grosvenor Hotel, 10 Brighton Rd, St Kilda East
When: From 11am
For more info, click here.

ANZAC Day Japanese Feasts

The guys at Ichi Ni Nana, Ichi Ichi Ku, Hawker Foodhall and Ichi Ni Izakaya are throwing open the doors on ANZAC Day for a whopping collection of Japanese feasts. Opening hours vary from venue to venue, but you can expect food and drink specials and good tunes running till late.  

Where: Ichi Ni Nana, Ichi Ichi Ky, Ichi Ni Izakaya & Hawker Food Hall
When: Various
For more info, click here.

ANZAC Day At The Waterside Hotel

Not to be out-done by The Grosvenor, the guys at The Waterside in the CBD are broadcasting the footy live in the public bar. They're also giving away a free pot of Carlton with every table booking. Doesn't get more Aussie than that. 

Where: Waterside Hotel, 508 Flinders St, CBD
When: Doors open at
For more info, click here

Snags, Footy & Froths At Lona

Lona in St Kilda are gearing up for a big ANZAC Day this year. There’s going to be a sausage sizzle in the courtyard out back (snag with the works will cost $3.50), and the Pies vs Bombers clash will be playing on the big screens. Stick around after the game too: Happy Hour kicks off from 3pm. We’re talking $5.50 schooners and half price chicken tacos.

Where: Lona, 64-66 Acland St  
When: From 8am
For more info, click here.

Free Coffee At St Ali

Not only is South Melbourne's favourite coffee bar open on ANZAC Day (seriously, do these guy ever close?) they're giving away free coffee to all servicemen and women, along with volunteers at the Dawn Service. Onya, guys. 

Where: St Ali, 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
When: From
For more info, click here

Starward Whisky Party

Wine is fine, but liquor is quicker. Good thing Starward are opening up the distillery door in Port Melbourne on ANZAC Day from 12pm. There's gonna be a few cheeky beer collabs, a new cocktail list to try, and cheese boards and charcuterie flying through the air at alarming speed. We'll have two fingers thanks. Neat.

Where: Starward, 50 Bertie St, Port Melbourne
When: 12pm – 8pm
For more info, click here


Photography: The Fox Hotel

Wouldn’t be ANZAC Day without a game of two-up, right? Here’s how you play. Chuck two coins on a paddle (‘kip’) and gather round in a circle. Everyone screams things like “Tennahead!” (you want to bet $10 on two heads). If you want to take the bet, lock eyes and nod at the better, then hand them your cash (whoever bets heads holds the dough). The ‘boxer’ (ref) will yell “Come in spinner!” to finish the betting, and the coins are flicked. They have to go higher than the spinner’s head and land in the circle. Heads? You lose. Tails? You beauty! One of each? The spinner goes again.


The Corner always puts on a good show. It’s so close to the ‘G you can practically hear the crowd roar. Expect to see hundreds of people cheering the Bomber and booing the Pies, BBQ in the beer garden from midday and Two-Up at the front bar. No bookings, so get in early.

Where: 57 Swan St, Richmond
When: Two-Up from 12pm in the Front Bar
For more info, click here.  

The Mail Exchange Hotel

Always draws a big crowd, including a lot of servicemen and women from the Dawn Service. Brekky kicks off from 7am, and the Two-Up begins at 12pm. Get in quick and enjoy the chaos.

Where: The Mail Exchange, 688 Bourke St
When: Two-Up from 12pm
For more info, click here.

Prahran RSL

ANZAC Day always goes off at The Prahran RSL. It’s one of the oldest RSL clubs in the country, and they don’t hold back on the big day. Raffles, banquet lunches, live music, BBQ and a cracking game of Two-Up.

Where: Prahran RSL, 301 High St Prahran
When: All day
For more info, click here

Caulfield RSL Family Day

It’s gonna be a big day in Caulfield. They’re running a march down St Georges Rd at 6:15am, followed by an ANZAC Service at 7am and BBQ lunch and Two-Up from 12pm. The kids are welcome too—there’ll be a magician, balloon artist and face painting.

Where: Caulfield RSL, 4 St Georges Rd, Elsternwick
When: Two-Up from 12pm
For more info, click here.  

Young & Jackson

You just know Young & Jackson is gonna get packed on ANZAC Day. The location on the corner of Flinders St pretty much guarantees it. The Two-Up ring usually gets going in Chloe’s bar from 10am, with live music kicking on till the wee hours.

Where: Young & Jackson, Swanston & Flinders
When: Two-Up from 10am.
For more info, click here.


Photography: Visit Victoria 

Want to get out of town for ANZAC Day? There’s a bunch of stuff you can do.

Want to know what's open on ANZAC Day? We've got you covered over here. 

Image credit: Visit Victoria 

Get our top stories direct to your inbox.


You May Also Like