23 Apr 2024

Anzac Day: How to mark the day in your town

1:40 pm on 23 April 2024

As Anzac Day approaches, RSAs and council services across the country are preparing to pay tribute to those who served and gave their lives to war.

At the first light of dawn, New Zealanders will gather at their local war memorial to commemorate the day, participating in various civic ceremonies, wreath-laying, and community events to pay their respects.

Each year, 25 April draws large crowds in major centres, such as Auckland's War Memorial Museum or Christchurch's Cathedral Square. This year, some regions are offering hot breakfasts, hero workouts, and choir performances as part of the day's events.

Here is how you can mark the day in your town.

Anzac Day 2023 commemorations in Wellington.
People lay poppies at the conclusion of the dawn service.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver


The traditional commemorations will take place at Laurie Hall Park from 6am. The public is also welcome to join the Te Kamo community Anzac service at 10am, which includes wreath-laying and morning tea.

Later in the day, BHP Functional Fitness is offering a free Anzac Day workout as part of the day's commemorations. The Bring a Cobber: Anzac Day event from 9am is an opportunity to do a hero workout and reflect on the sacrifices of the fallen.

Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau

The Anzac Day Dawn Service will be held at Auckland War Memorial Museum in the Auckland Domain at 6am. The museum's commemorative events also include a centennial choir performance and remembrance tours, open to the public for free until 5pm.

Outside the museum, you can visit the Field of Remembrance, which honours the fallen New Zealand soldiers from all war and conflicts from 1845-2012.

Vector lights on the Auckland Harbour Bridge will be lit up in poppy-red from 5am-7am to usher in Anzac Day morning.

Later in the day, the New Zealand Warbirds Association will be doing a flyover across Tāmaki Makaurau in their trademark billowing smoke.

The sun rises during the Anzac Day dawn service at Auckland Domain.

Anzac Day at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Photo: RNZ / Rayssa Almeida

Hamilton / Kirikiriroa

Both dawn and civic Anzac Day memorial services take place at the Cenotaph in Memorial Park from 6am. There will be big screens in the park that will show the ceremonies, meaning people can see and hear both services from further back. Following the civic service, the Hamilton Brass Band and the Hamilton Gospel Choir will perform.

On the corner of Memorial Drive and Anzac Parade, more than 5000 poppies and 350 white crosses have been installed to acknowledge the Hamiltonians lost in the conflict.


The Tauranga Dawn Service begins at 5.45am at Tauranga RSA Cenotaph on Cameron Road. Free park and ride buses will be running throughout the day.

Gisborne / Tai Rāwhiti

The Dawn Service starts at Lawson Field Theatre at 5.15am and will be followed by a march to the Cenotaph where the ceremony takes place. It concludes with a procession march to the Gisborne RSA.

Napier/Hastings - Ahuriri/Heretaunga

A 6am Dawn Service will be held at Napier Soundshell and Lone Pine Cemetery, while a 6.30am Dawn Service will be held at Hastings Civic Square Cenotaph.


The Whanganui War Memorial Centre commemoration service begins at 7am. It is preceded by a parade from Pukenamu Queen's Park.

At 11am, there is a 28th Māori Battalion Anzac service at Moutoa Gardens.

New Plymouth / Ngāmotu

Celebrate the spirit of the Anzacs with an afternoon of music at the New Plymouth Methodist Church on Sunday 28 April, from 2pm-4pm.

Palmerston North / Papaioea

A 6am Dawn Service will be held in Te Marae o Hine / The Square, followed by a Civic Commemoration Service at 9am.

About 1000 people, including Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, gathered at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington. for the National Commemorative Service to mark Anzac Day.

Anzac Day at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Wellington / Pōneke

The Dawn Service at Pukeahu National War Memorial begins at 6am and the National Commemoration Service takes place at 11am.

At 9am, there will be a Wellington Citizens' wreath-laying opportunity at the Cenotaph Precinct. A national commemoration is also hosted at the Atatürk memorial in Strathmore at 2.30pm.

The evening before Anzac Day, the US Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band is presenting a dusk performance in front of the Australian Memorial at Pukeahu on Wednesday at 5pm.

Nelson / Whakatū

The Dawn Service at Anzac Park begins at 5.30am and will commence at 7am. The Nelson Christ Church Cathedral is also holding a ticketed Anzac Day concert at 2.30pm, where the Nelson Male Voice choir will perform alongside pianist Louis Lucas-Perry.

Christchurch / Ōtautahi

For the second time since the 2011 earthquakes, the Christchurch City Dawn Service will return to Cathedral Square under the newly reinstated Citizen's War Memorial. The service starts at 6.30am and will go on until 8am.

Later in the day, Bealey Quarter is offering their traditional Anzac Day All You Can Eat Breakfast Buffet from 7am-10.30am, which includes a cooked English breakfast section and continental options.

An Anzac Day dawn service took place at Memorial Park in Hamilton.

Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae


The day's events begin with a 6am Dawn Service at the Cenotaph. This will be followed by a parade and marches past the Field of Remembrance, and a Civic Service featuring flyover, haka, hymns, wreath-laying, and a blank firing of a WWII 25 pounder field gun.

Dunedin / Ōtepoti

The Otago University Students Association is holding an Anzac Day service outside the University Staff Club at 1pm. At the same time, the public is welcome to join the city's main service at Upper Junction War Memorial.

Later in the day, Otago Museum is holding an Anzac Day Performance, with the Cantores Choir commemorating stories of war, peace, suffering and hope through song at 2pm.

Invercargill / Waihōpai

A 7am Dawn Service will be held at the War Memorial on Dee Street, at which time the Royal New Zealand Air Force will also conduct a fly-past en route to Mid Canterbury and Blenheim.

Later, a formal civic service will be held at the Invercargill Working Men's Club at 7.45am, followed by morning tea.

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