The Complete ANZAC Day Dawn Services & Trading Hours Guide

The Complete ANZAC Day Dawn Services & Trading Hours Guide

Tomorrow on ANZAC Day, thousands will gather to commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. It's a public holiday that spans the whole continent with each state and territory having their own practice. arches and trading hours. This year is also special as it marks the 80th anniversary of the Second World War.

This guide will come in handy if you want to keep yourself updated on their schedules and timings.


In Melbourne, dawn service will start at 6AM, followed by an 8:30AM Anzac Day march down St Kilda Road, finishing at the Shrine of Remembrance with a commemorative service.

Stores in Victoria are only permitted to trade after 1PM on ANZAC Day unless the store falls into one of Victoria’s ‘exempt store’ categories. Case in point, chemists, petrol shops, restaurants, cafes, takeaway outlets, service providers and hire outlets are able to trade unrestricted on ANZAC Day. Also, anyone considering a late night movie or concert the tonight will have to reconsider because all cinemas and entertainment venues are required to shut down by 12AM on ANZAC Day.

New South Wales

The official state dawn service will be held at the Cenotaph in Martin Place at 4:30AM. Then the march starts at 9AM at Elizabeth Street and Martin Place, moving south to the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park. At 12:30PM, a commemoration service will take place at the same venue, adjacent to the Pool of Remembrance.

New South Wales follows the same law as Victoria, with businesses not permitted to trade prior to 1pm. The state’s exemption for small business is much stricter, however, with the state’s Retail Trading Act stipulating the business must not have more than four employees working on the day. Businesses who hold hotel or bar licences are permitted to trade, however, and there are also a number of exempted local government areas.


ANZAC Day will begin at Brisbane with a dawn service at ANZAC Square at 4:28AM, which is the time the first boats hit the beach at ANZAC Cove on April 25, 1915. A parade along George and Adelaide Streets will follow from 10AM.

Businesses in Queensland must fall into one of two categories if they wish to trade on ANZAC Day: exempt shops or independent shops.

Exempt shops include a large list, which can be found on the Queensland government’s website, but includes retailers such as butchers, florists, fruit and vegtable sellers and soap shops. These shops can trade all day.

Independent shops are categorised as being run by an individual, partnership or a proprietary company, as having no more than 30 employees engaged in the store at any one time, having no more than 100 employees engaged across Queensland at any one time, and the business not being conducted within a non-exempt shop. Independent shops must remain closed prior to 1PM.


From 4:30AM, the letters and diaries of Australians who experienced war firsthand will be read aloud by a representative from each of the armed forces at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Following these readings, all will be quiet before the commencement of the Dawn Service, which will start from 5:30AM.

A commemorative ceremony to honour the Indigenous Australians who have served in the Australian forces will be held at the Aboriginal memorial plaque beside Mount Ainslie at 6:30AM. Between 2000 and 2500 people are expected to take part in the veterans’ march at 10:50AM.

Businesses in the ACT can open all day on ANZAC Day. Although many stores choose to remain closed prior to 1PM.

Northern Territory

The Dawn services commence at 6AM in Darwin at the Cenotaph on the Esplanade and at Memorial Park in Palmerston. There are parades in both Darwin city and Palmerston CBD that step off at 9AM.

Businesses can stay open all day in the NT.

Western Australia

About 30,000 people are expected to gather at the Kings Park State War Memorial in Perth for the dawn service at 6AM. Afterwards, there will be a Haka for Life performance at Kings Park followed by a gunfire breakfast at the Government House Gardens. There will also be separate services at the Jewish War Memorial at 7AM and Vietnam Memorial at 7:30AM. About 10,000 people are expected to attend the annual march in the city, which will begin at the corner of Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace at 9AM. The march will head east along St Georges Terrace, turn right at Victoria Avenue and on to Langley Park where there will be a sausage sizzle. The Commemorative Service will be held at the Perth Concert Hall from 11AM.

To trade on ANZAC Day in WA, your business has to fall into an exempt category. To be exempt, your business must have a certificate deeming it as a small or special retail shop, which is generally one considered necessary for emergency, convenience or recreation goods. These include stores such as pharmacies, newsagents, duty-free shops and arts-and-crafts stores. Other automatically exempt businesses include restaurants, cafes, petrol stations and takeaway-food shops.


The Hobart Dawn Service will be held at the city Cenotaph on the Queen's Domain from 6AM, followed by a march down Macquarie Street at 11AM. A wreath-laying will be part of the main commemorative service, which will take place at 11:40AM at the Cenotaph.

Businesses in Tassie may not open before 12.30pm on ANZAC Day. However, you guessed it, there are some exemptions. These include pharmacies, newsagents, bottle shops, cafes and restaurants, service stations, car yards and real estate agents. Shops that are are part of a large shopping complex and employed fewer than 10 employees in the month of March are also exempt.

South Australia

The annual commemorative march in Adelaide will take place from the National War Memorial on North Terrace to the Cross of Sacrifice in North Adelaide. The march will follow the city's dawn service, also held at the memorial, where more than 10,000 people are expected to gather from 6AM. Australia's oldest living Victoria Cross recipient, Keith Payne VC AM, risked his life to save 40 men in Vietnam. He will receive Australia's highest military honour on this year's ANZAC Day commemorations in Adelaide.

Unlike many other states and territories, South Australia’s trading hours for retail stores on ANZAC Day is based on what region the store operates in. Non-exempt stores may trade between 12PM to 5PM if they operate within the CBD Tourist Precinct, otherwise, they may not trade.

Exempt stores may open from 12PM on ANZAC Day. Exempt stores in SA are ones not located in the Greater Adelaide Shopping District or in Binnum, Grace, or Millicent. But if your business is located in those districts, it may trade if the business’ retail floor area is less than 200m².

The state also has a number of default exempt stores, which may trade unrestricted, which includes cafes, service stations, hairdressers, and tobacconists. See the full list here.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.