Best ANZAC Day events happening in Perth

Last Updated: 23 Apr 2024
Holly Younge

ANZAC Day is one of the few undeniably unifying celebrations left in Australia and a chance to come together and remember the sacrifices made by the men and women who fought and too often died and suffered for this great country.

April 25th is a big day for the Australian military, as it not only celebrates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli in 1915, but also the recapture of Australian citizens of Villers-Bretonneux in France 1918 and the final day of the Kapyong Battle in Korea 1951.

It’s a chance to remember and show support for those who have served more recently and those still serving today. While perhaps not part of historical military encounters, too often our contemporary military are not sufficiently recognised nor supported – even by their own military bureaucracy. Their contribution, their service and their sacrifice are no less important than any other that has served. Show your support by getting up early this one day of every year. It’s worth the effort and they deserve our thanks.


Rottnest Island Dawn Service

Rottnest Island hosts one of the most unique Dawn Services, held on the Thompson Bay lawn in front of the Dome, providing a stunning view of the sun rising over the ocean. The service starts at 6am and is followed with live music at the Settlement, running from 7.30am to 10.30am.

It’s important to remember that you need to register for the service. If you are unable to make the dawn service or registrations are all booked out, there is an additional sunset service on the eve of Anzac Day, Wednesday the 24th of April at 5.45pm.

There will also be the Bofors Gun Display on Thompson Lawn from April 20th until the 28th. Passersby can enjoy and wonder at the restored anti-aircraft gun on display. If the history of the ANZACs piques your interest, continue down to the Bickley Battery Trail tours, the Oliver Hill guns and Tunnel and of course, the Wadjemup Museum.

If you aren’t already on the island, ferries start running from the mainland at 5am, but you need to book ASAP as tickets do sell out. Tickets are available from Rottnest Express  (Apr 26th and 27th not operating), SeaLink Rottnest (still available as of April 19). Rottnest Fast Ferries do not have any early ferries running for the dawn service. Current and ex-service men, women and veterans can also take advantage of free, same-day-return ferry travel to attend the ANZAC Day service. Plan ahead as car parks are bound to be full upon arrival at ferry terminals.

If you can get the time off, we highly recommend staying overnight or even turning the day into a long weekend. As of 19.04.24, there are some tempting offers still available at the Rottnest Discovery Resort. See here for more deals.


Kings Park Dawn Service

The Dawn Service at the State War Memorial in King’s Park started in 1942, making it one of the oldest and most spectacular in Perth. Taking in the stunning view of the sun rising over the Swan River and Perth Hills, it is also one of the most popular, each year attracting more than 20 000 people.

Starting at 5:30am in the Sculpture Garden, the service takes about 30 minutes and includes a welcome to country, an Anzac Dedication, laying of wreaths, prayers of commemoration, the commemorative address and the Last Post before finishing with the New Zealand and Australian National Anthems.

If you arrive early enough you can find parking in King’s Park or alternatively, take public transport. Early arrival also means you get to hear from Australian Defence Force representatives as they read letters and diaries from veterans who have seen war firsthand, beginning at 4:30am.

After the service, it’s a 2.5km (30 to 40 minute) walk to the Gunfire Breakfast at Government House or you can hang back for a coffee at the picturesque Zamia café, open from 8am. If headed to Government House, you can get the 9.35 bus from Wadjuk Way (see Transperth Journey Planner for busses, stop numbers and departure times).  

Keep in mind this is a standing service. There is also an inclusive All Abilities Sunset Service on April 24th at 4.45pm until 5.40pm at the Flame of Remembrance.

For the Dawn Service you can find a map here.


Gunfire Breakfast at Government House

Running from 7am to 9am, the Gunfire Breakfast starts after the dawn service and offers a rare chance to meet the veteran community and enjoy a cup of hot tea and rum in the spectacular Government House gardens. In the spirit of ANZAC Day, there is no registration required and all are welcome, no matter whether you have a service background or not.

Breakfast is provided by the RSLWA in collaboration with the Rotary Club for a dollar coin donation. After breakfast, you are right next door to the RSLWA ANZAC Day March which begins at 9am and runs along St George Terrace.

For those who don’t know, the Gunfire Breakfast is a tradition which dates back to the 1890s when British soldiers would drink black tea with a dash of rum to give them courage for the day of battle ahead. This was eventually, and most likely enthusiastically, adopted by Australian and New Zealander soldiers. It’s a wonderful excuse to start drinking at breakfast for at least one day of the year.


Veteran’s March, Perth CBD

The RSLWA Veteran's March runs for 2 hours from 9am to 11am, and is the perfect opportunity to recognise service men and women. Come along to remember those who have fought and died in all conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

For your final stop this ANZAC Day, consider attending the Family and Mateship Event at Langley park, a short 2 minute walk from Government House Gardens. This will be a great rest stop after the march and runs from 10am to 4pm. It is free entry, family friendly and there will be live music, food vans, drinks and kids’ activities such as interactive military vehicles.

For the audio description service for the march email Jacqueline Homer from DADAA at: for a confirmation email and details will be sent directly to you.

Find the order of the march for 2024 linked here and the map for participants here.


Albany Dawn Service

If you’re out of Perth and in the southwest, head to the Albany Dawn Service or keep it in mind for next year. The service runs from 5.30am to 6am at the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial in Mount Clarence, and is open to all with no ticketing requirements.

Albany was the last port of call for many troops on their way to Europe during WW1 and is reportedly the site of Australia’s first ever Dawn Service, conducted by Padre White in 1930.

Albany’s RSL sub-branch and the City of Albany run the Dawn and Commemorative Services on ANZAC Day each year, which includes the traditional Gunfire Breakfast and Troop March.

There are shuttle busses leaving from Albany Entertainment Centre and Middleton Beach Bus Port, starting at 3.30am and continue with 15-minute intervals. After the service, shuttle busses can be taken back to the Gunfire Breakfast held at the Albany Entertainment Centre from 6am to 7.45am. Breakfast comprises the traditional coffee with rum for a $5 donation to the RSL. The ANZAC Day Troop March is then held on York Street near the entertainment centre from 10am to 10.30am. The morning ends with a Commemorative service from 10.30am to 11am at ANZAC Peace Park.


More ANZAC events

  • ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Mandurah War Memorial (Western Foreshore), Leighton Place: starts 6am (Call to Order commences at 5.55am) and is followed by the Main Service hosted by the Mandurah RSL at 10.15am. Service followed by Gunfire Breakfast ($5) sponsored by Mandurah Lions and refreshments from 12 noon at the RSL.
  • Fremantle Dawn Service: silent dawn service, 5.50am-10.45am, free entry and located at the Fremantle War Memorial. This is a unique location as it was the last Australian experience that many soldiers and sailors had before heading off to war.
  • Rockingham Dawn Service: 5.30am-6am at Village Green in Rockingham. Sausage sizzle on offer for a gold coin donation following the service at the PCYC Hall, Palm Beach Rotary. 


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