ANZAC Day traditionally begins with the Dawn Service at the Memorial, a reminder of the dawn landing on Gallipoli in 1915. The screeching of the cockatoos in the early morning chill gives a distinctive Canberra touch to this special day of remembrance.
You are welcome to attend the Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial.
Prior to the Dawn Service
From midnight, 24 April 2013. ANZAC Day will begin from midnight with images projected onto the Memorial building: photographs of Australian servicemen and women, accompanied by the names of iconic battlefields from over a century of conflict. More than 150 images, drawn from the Memorial's rich photographic collection, will depict the faces of those who have experienced the realities of war. The names of battlefields, from the Boer War through to Gallipoli to the Chora Valley, across land, sea and air, will represent the breadth of Australian wartime experience.
5.00 am. Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG will read emotive accounts of Australian service in Afghanistan.
5.15 am. All will be quiet before the Dawn Service commences in darkness at 5.30 am.
5.30 am – 6 am. Suggested arrival: from 4.30 am onwards on the Parade Ground at the front of the Memorial. We recommend being on the Parade Ground before 5.15 am.
The Memorial's Commemorative Area will open 15 minutes after the Service concludes, and remain open until 8 am. Here the public can view the Tri-Service Guard mounted at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.
The Hall of Memory will be open during this time, giving visitors the opportunity to lay a poppy on the Tomb.
Parade Ground, Australian War Memorial
- Large numbers are expected; members of the general public should arrive from 4.30 am. Please note if you are planning to walk to the Memorial via ANZAC Parade to keep to the footpaths and remain off the road as the shuttle buses will be in operation
- This is an informal ceremony, with visitors standing on the Parade Ground
- On-site lighting is provided until 5.25 am
- The Commemorative Area will be open to the public 15 minutes after the ceremony
- First aid tent and ambulances plus trained First Aid staff will be in attendance
- Orders of Service are available free of charge upon arrival
- Poppies and candles will be available for a donation
- It is suggested you wear warm clothing and bring a torch
- Public toilets at the Terrace Cafe will be open, and there will also be portable toilets onsite
- Red Cross and Salvation Army will be serving beverages for a donation
- The Terrace Café will be open after 6 am.
There is no allocated seating for the Dawn Service. Visitors are welcome to occupy the seating in place for the National Ceremony, as well as to stand on the Parade Ground.
Parking and transportation
Road closures will be in effect from 4:00 am until 1:00 pm, which will limit public access to parking at the Memorial. The large number of visitors in attendance at the ceremony will also limit the amount of available parking on site.
- Traffic from Limestone Avenue diverts onto Treloar Crescent
- Traffic from Fairbairn Avenue diverts onto Treloar Crescent
- ANZAC Parade closed from Constitution Avenue including the Blamey Crescent and Currong Street intersection
A shuttle service will run from Russell Offices (Sir Thomas Blamey Square) to the Australian War Memorial from 4:00 am until 5:10 am, with return shuttles to Russell Offices starting at 6:10 am after the ceremony. All visitors are encouraged to use this service and park at the Russell Offices. Please see the attached map for drop off and pick up points. This map also shows ACTION buses drop off/pick points for both north and south side interchanges for the Dawn Service only.
Visitors using the ACTION shuttle service or other public transport should note that where you get off the bus is where you get back on to return to your destination.
Mobility Impaired parking: for details, please refer to this map showing the limited quantity of mobility impaired parking.
Dress and weather
The Dawn Service takes place before sunrise, and the weather can be quite cold. The ceremony will go ahead in the event of rain and inclement weather. All visitors are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather. If you wish to wear family medals then they should be worn on the right hand side of the chest.
The breakfast ANZAC Hall has been sold out. The Terrace Café will be open after 6 am.
Opening hours for the Memorials cafes:
The Terrace at the Memorial: 6 am - 4.30 pm
The Landing Place: 12noon - 4.30 pm