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Anzac Day Events Airlie Beach 2024

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Talia Jones
Updated Fri 12 Apr 2024

A lady standing next to a war memorial

What is Anzac Day in Australia?

Anzac Day is an important day of remembrance in both Australia and New Zealand. Each year, Anzac Day falls on the 25th of April. The day marks the anniversary of the first military action fought by Australian and New Zealand soldiers in World War I. The soldiers became the ANZACs which stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. 

On April 25th, 1915, the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli in Turkey to join their allies but were met with a fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. The battle dragged out for up to eight months and eventually the allied forces were evacuated. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers lost their lives in Gallipoli.  

In 1916, the 25th of April became known as Anzac Day to commemorate the Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in the battle.

How Is Anzac Day Commemorated In Australia?

A war memorial statue

The biggest Anzac Day commemoration is a Dawn Service ceremony. Dawn Services are held at war memorials all around Australia at dawn on the 25th of April, which was the time of the first landing in Gallipoli. Dawn Services involve one minute of silence, a recitation, the national anthem, the Last Post (a bugle call), and laying wreaths. 

Other ways Anzac Day is commemorates in Australia include playing games of Two-Up at the local town pubs (a game played by the soldiers during the war), baking Anzac biscuits (a long-life oat biscuit which was a substitute for bread during the war), and wearing rosemary (a symbol of remembrance).

Anzac Day is a public holiday in Australia and most shops trade from 1pm onwards and take the morning to take part in Dawn Services and parades. 

2024 Anzac Day Events in Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays 

If you’re in the Whitsundays for Anzac Day 2024, you can attend a Dawn Service, games of Two-Up, a tribute festival, or join the march through the main street.   

Dawn Services in Airlie Beach and surrounding Whitsunday towns

  • Airlie Beach
    • Dawn Service: 5:30am at the Coral Esplanade Cenotaph in Cannonvale
    • Main Service and March: 9:00am march from Broadwater Avenue car park to Airlie Esplanade Cenotaph  
  • Bowen
    • Dawn Service: 5:30am at Stanley Street Cenotaph
    • Main Service: 9:30am. Meet at 8:50am at the RSL and march to the Cenotaph
  • Proserpine
    • Dawn Service: 4:30am at Ken McPherson Memorial Gardens Cenotaph
    • Main Service:10:50am. Meet at the RSL at 10.30am for march to the Cenotaph

A sign on a war memorial saying 'In Memory of All Who Served'

Anzac Day Events in Airlie Beach

Two-Up at the Airlie Beach Hotel

Two-Up is a popular Australian pub game, traditionally played on Anzac Day. The game was a played by the soldiers during the war. Two-Up involves one player throwing two coins in the air while others watch and bet on whether the coins will both land on heads or tails! 

The Airlie Beach Hotel is partnering with the RSL Club and hosting a game of Two-Up from 1:30pm to 3:30pm on the pool deck. You can pay tributes to those who have served and fallen during the war by enjoying a game they once played!

Australian Rock Tribute Festival at the Airlie Beach Hotel

Airlie Beach Hotel is also hosting a tribute festival to celebrate Anzac Day! There will be a tribute rock band playing Cold Chisel, INXS, and ACDC covers. Enjoy a meal, have a drink, and watch the band rock the day away! 

An aerial shot of Airlie Beach

For more information on what to do in Airlie Beach on Anzac Day, our local team of travel agents are here to help! Simply jump on our live chat to speak with them!

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