Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia's and New Zealand's most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landing in Gallipoli in 1915, the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
Anzac Day is a day of national remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders. We remember and reflect on the service of our men and women in all conflicts and in peacekeeping operations. We honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that our nations may enjoy the freedoms they have today. And we pay our respects to those who continue to serve our nations today.
The soldiers who landed in Gallipoli quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day. The spirit of the original Anzacs — courage, mateship and sacrifice — has passed to all who served our countries. This spirit forms part of Australia's and New Zealand’s national identities.
Observing Anzac Day in 2021
Due to the current situation with COVID-19, the Australian Embassy and the New Zealand Embassy will sadly not be able to commemorate Anzac Day in our customary way with a formal in-person commemorative service.
Instead, we invite you to commemorate the day with us virtually.
Watch a 2021 Anzac Day video message from New Zealand Ambassador Nicole Roberton and Australian Ambassador Richard Sadleir.
Follow the Australian War Memorial's livestreaming of its Dawn Service (5:30 am AEST/8:30 pm CET on 24 April) and a National Ceremony (10:30 am AEST/1:30 am CET on 25 April) via:
Official Anzac Day events in New Zealand will be broadcasted on national television, on TVNZ. Māori TV will also be providing live coverage of the 6:00 am Dawn Service in Auckland. Please check for updates at Events | Ministry for Culture and Heritage for live streaming on the day.
Learn more about some of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought and are interred in Austria and Hungary.
Commemorate Anzac Day in your own way by accessing the Anzac Day portal and kitbag provided by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs, the Australian War Memoral Anzac at Home webpage, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage for more ideas.
The Australian War Memorial will be publishing rich media content on its website, encouraging personal commemoration, engagement with Australia’s military history and with its national collection.
- #AnzacAtHome portal – ideas on how to commemorate the day virtually
- AWM Podcast – Episode to be released on 15 April about the Lone pine
- Blog articles – Selection of articles with a contemporary veteran focus
- 3D Treasures – online gallery of objects from the AWM collection in 3D
- Museum At Home hub - stories about our nation's servicemen and servicewomen and the Australian experience of war
Hear from veterans sharing their stories and talking about Anzac Day and their military experience.
You can also experience some of the Gallipoli sites of World War I via the ANZAC Walk podcast.
For families we encourage you to commemorate the spirit of Anzac Day in a way that suits you, e.g. by participating in one of the following activities:
Support our troops overseas and send an email to express support and thoughts to Australian troops via [email protected]. The emails are very much appreciated by Australian Defence Force members on operations away from their families.
Donate to the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RSA), the organisation that makes sure former service personnel and their families get the support they need.
Hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders fought throughout central Europe during the Second World War. 43 Australians died here, and are interred at the Klagenfurt War Cemetery in Austria and at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Solymár, Hungary.
Click here to learn more about some of those Australians and to discover where they fought via an interactive map.
We want to hear from you
Do you have a treasured memory of Anzac Day? A favourite Anzac biscuit recipe? Stories or photos of how you are commemorating Anzac Day? We would love for you to share them with us on our new Facebook page.
Did you know?
- Australian and New Zealand soldiers quickly became known as 'diggers' on Gallipoli because so much of their time was spent digging trenches.
- Australia's Prime Minister during most of the First World War, Billy Hughes, was first nicknamed 'the Little Digger' in 1916.
- Commemorative services were held as early as 25 April 1916, but the term 'dawn service' is not recorded until the 1920s. The first official dawn wreath laying service was held at Sydney's Cenotaph on Anzac Day 1928.
- During the First World War, some soldiers of the Australian Light Horse decorated their slouch hats with a plume of emu feathers. It was a tradition started by mounted troops in Queensland before the war.
- The Victoria Cross is the highest Australian military award for bravery in battle. Since 1900, 100 Australians have received the Victoria Cross.
- Rosemary grows wild on the Gallipoli peninsula. Sprigs of rosemary are traditionally worn as a symbol of remembrance on Anzac Day.
- The felt slouch hat has been worn by the Australian Army since 1903. Soldiers wear the left side of the hat turned up to avoid catching their rifles on the hat's brim during parades.
- New Zealanders have marked the landings at Gallipoli since news of the event first reached the country, and Anzac Day has been a public holiday since 1921. On this day the people of New Zealand acknowledge the sacrifice of all those who have died in warfare and the contribution and suffering of all those who have served.
- About 60 per cent of New Zealanders who served in the First World War became casualties (i.e. were unable to fight, temporarily or permanently), compared with about 25 per cent of those who served in the Second World War.
- Over time there have been changes in the way that the day has been commemorated, reflecting the changing features and concerns of New Zealand society. During the Second World War, for example, there was increased interest and a heightened sense of the relevance of Anzac Day; in the 1960s and decades following it was from time to time used as a platform for anti-war and other social protests.
- The number of New Zealanders attending Anzac Day events in New Zealand, and at Gallipoli, is increasing. For some younger people, the sombre focus of the day receives less emphasis than do the more celebratory aspects of a national holiday. For most, though, the day is an occasion on which to formally pay tribute and to remember.