Straight off of the back of Easter break, we are blessed with another public holiday just days after, and there are no complaints to be heard. Paying respects on ANZAC Day to commemorate New Zealand’s service men and women is widely available throughout Auckland with services across the city. There are also plenty of activities and ways to fill the rest of your day, and even spots to eat despite a lot of closed eateries.
Here are the best things to do in Auckland this ANZAC Day.
Attend The Dawn Service At The Auckland War Memorial Museum
Attending a commemorative service is a great way to pay your respects on ANZAC Day. The Auckland War Memorial Museum
is holding a dawn service and a civic service, both open to all of the public to attend. The dawn service is held at 6am in the Court of Honour, and the civic service is held at 11am in the same spot. The Museum will open after the dawn service where you can visit the commemorative galleries, to discover and learn more about New Zealand’s history and involvement in WWl and WWll. If you cannot attend the dawn service, it will be live broadcasted on Maori Television.
Watch A War Film
If you are wanting to get a little more educated about ANZAC Day and New Zealand’s history in war, this special screening of They Shall Not Grow Old
is a great way to learn and be entertained at the same time. Film-maker Peter Jackson used state-of-the-art technology and materials from the BBC and Imperial War Museum to create this story of World War I, told by the men who were there. Through the voices of the soldiers, life on the front is explored and discussed, from their feelings about the conflict to the food they ate and the friends they made. There will be two screenings of the film, 5pm and 7pm at Lopdell House in Titirangi.
See The Stunning Vector Lights
Auckland’s loved Harbour Bridge will be shining bright this ANZAC Day to commemorate the servicemen and servicewomen, past and present who have displayed courage and selfless service. The beautiful light and sound show
will be visible from near and far across Auckland, some of the best spots being Queens Parade, Mt Victoria, Sentinel Beach and the Waterfront. Find yourself a spot and gather your favourite food and people for a picnic with an amazing view.
Have A Laugh At Sinarella
Each year, the award-winning team from Mangere Arts Centre, Nga Tohu o Uenuku, brings together the local community and performing arts industry to present a stage show. This year's show, Sinarella
is a heartfelt twist on the much-loved and well-known Cinderella. With a Kiwi twist and cheeky flavour, the show is full of dream-big optimism, joy and humour that will have you giggling from the get-go. This feel-good show is a fun way to spend your ANZAC Day evening but be sure to book your spot in advance.
Stock Up At The Pop And Rock Vinyl Sale
If you are a record and vinyl fan, you will want to head along to this epic sale on ANZAC Day. Held in St Anne’s Hall in Browns Bay, there will be thousands of second-hand, good condition vinyl records to browse through. The range of artists on offer will cover everything from Led Zeppelin to The Beatles, Dolly Parton to Lou Reed and everyone in between. It is the perfect time to bulk up your collection or find a great gift for your record loving pals.
Head To Pro Night At Premium Comedy
Thursdays are the original live comedy night that launched stand-up comedy in New Zealand over 20 years ago and is still the best night of the week to see combinations of established and renowned acts along with new faces and rising stars. Thursdays are Pro Night at The Classic
and ANZAC Day is no different. Head along at 7.50pm and be ready for a hilarious evening as the line-up of brilliant comedians do their thing.
Go For A Remembrance Sail
The New Zealand Maritime Museum is having special ANZAC sailings of remembrance on NAUTILUS
. Used as a hospital ship in WWI, it transported thousands of wounded soldiers from the Mediterranean and Western Front to England and New Zealand. In 2011, NAUTILUS was gifted to the Museum and after years of restoration work was relaunched to sail. This is an amazing opportunity to get a glimpse into the history of the ship and the journeys it has done. There will be two chances to sail this ANZAC day, at 11:15am and 1:15pm, bookings are essential to secure a spot.
Attend A Pro Hockey Game
In the ultimate ANZAC Day extravaganza, the final home games of the 2019 Pro League
where the Vantage Black Sticks will take on the Australian men and women will take place Thursday evening. The global hockey competition has the world’s best hockey teams going head to head in what have been fierce games so far. The games will be full of action and skill, and if you haven’t seen live hockey before then this is your perfect chance. Come and get your sport fix this ANZAC Day in what will be a jam-packed event—there will be a food festival, music and games on top of the world-class hockey.
Go For A Day Trip
An extra day off work gives you the perfect opportunity to get that day trip in you never seem to have time for. Auckland has so many spots close by that are worth checking out, the drives are beautiful and destinations are full of things to explore. Get up north to Puhoi or out west to Muriwai and venture around a new spot for the day. Here’s a list of all the best day trips from Auckland.
Eat Your Heart Out
There are all of the opportunities to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner this ANZAC Day, although public holidays can make cafes and restaurants a little harder to navigate. Here are a few of our top picks that are open on ANZAC Day.
If you’ve just attended a Dawn Service or treated yourself to a sleep-in, get to Woolfys
for the perfect breaky. Open from 8-3pm this ANZAC Day, you can feast on some of their delicious food and drinks. If you have a sweet tooth in the morning then the brioche French toast with boysenberry cream, chocolate sauce and fairy floss if a winning choice. Or, if you pop in later for lunch then the famous home-style fried chicken on corn fritters with chipotle mayo, tomatillo ranch, jalapenos and coriander are sure to go down a real treat.
Make the trip out to Waitakere and spend some time at the destination restaurant, The Grounds. The kitchen is run by Mike Shatura and Ben Bayly who create meals that feel like home, but taste like the work of two of New Zealand’s best chefs. The menu has exceptional dishes such as the market fish with almond hummus, warm vinaigrette of leek, grilled zucchini and tomato, as well as the hangi pork pancakes with shitake mushrooms, daikon, cucumber and coriander. Open this ANZAC Day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this beautiful spot will make you feel like you truly have escaped the city for the day.
Proudly showcasing 100% New Zealand food and drink from artisan producers, Little Jimmy is a great choice to eat at on ANZAC Day in Auckland. For lunch, you can devour delicious dishes such as the warm roasted chicken salad with thyme, kumara, green beans, pancetta, feta and rocket. And for dinner, there are indulgent meals like the Hawkes Bay lamb ribs with garlic and chilli caramel and lime. The bar and eatery has concrete features, lots of light and slick décor which along with the stunning dishes give the place a modern and elegant vibe.
The City Works Depot
One of Auckland’s go-to spots for brunch, Odette’s Eatery is open this ANZAC Day from 8am. The inviting and spacious café has a luxed-up menu with classic dishes that have a special Odettes spin. The wild mushrooms, with a brown rice crepe, Thai basil, black garlic toum and soy butter is always a winning choice. Or, the herbed scramble with halloumi, broccolini, fig jam, midnight baker and bacon for something more classic will definitely have you satisfied. Pop in to enjoy all of the delicious food and laid-back atmosphere.
Image Cedit: Shannon Kemp
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