The official NSW ANZAC Day Dawn Service will be held at the Cenotaph in Martin Place Sydney on 25 April at 4.30am the time at which the first Australians waded ashore at ANZAC Cove. This year’s service marks the 96th anniversary of the first Dawn Service held at the Cenotaph in 1928.

General public information

You can view a public map here.

There are three public viewing areas available:

1. Martin Place outside Challis House Seating is available until capacity is reached, once reached standing room will be available until capacity is reached Entry via George Street
2. Martin Place at George Street Seating is available until capacity is reached Entry via George Street 

3. Martin Place between Pitt Street and Castlereagh Street Standing only Entry via Castlereagh Street 

Please note for the safety of all patrons, bag checks will be conducted on entry. There is no general public entry via Pitt Street. 

Accessibility and Inclusion

To ensure the Dawn Service is accessible to our whole audience, designated accessibility viewing areas are available for people with disability and/or limited mobility and their guests. To register for seating in one of the accessible viewing areas, please contact Karen Wade on or call 9228 4613. 

Auslan interpreting will be available in the accessible viewing area at the Dawn Service. The broadcast will include an Auslan sign language interpreter for the Dawn Service, which will start from 4am with the live stream of the service commencing from 4:15am. Please click on the link below for this service: 

Wheelchair accessible/limited mobility/sensory drop-off & pick-up locations have been established, and sign posted at the following locations. These are no parking zones or Special Event Clearways, persons utilising the area will be required to move on as soon as they have dropped off their passengers. 

  • Wynyard Street, Southern Side (off York Street) 
  • 21 Elizabeth Street (in front of Commonwealth Bank building) – only available until 5:45am 
  • 197 Macquarie Street at Martin Place, western side of Macquarie Street (front of St Stephen’s Church) 

Portable wheelchair accessible toilets will be located on Pitt Street and Castlereagh Street; otherwise there are wheelchair accessible toilets at the CBD train stations. 

As there are large crowds expected, we strongly advise taking this into account before entering the accessible viewing area as it may be difficult to access the toilets once the service has commenced. 

Road Closures & Public Transport

Major road closures will be in place throughout Sydney CBD from 2am until 4pm. 

Detailed information and maps of the road closures can be found on 

Special event clearway parking restrictions will also be in effect on most major roads throughout the CDB, meaning street parking will be very limited. 

Buses to and from the city will be using alternate routes and stops while road closures are in place. 

Please note no light rail services will operate between Town Hall and Circular Quay from 3am to 6.30am. 

Public transport is free for members and ex-members of the Australian Defence Force in uniform or wearing their medals. This entitlement also applies to accompanying carers, family and widows of veterans who are carrying an accreditation letter from RSL NSW or present a war widow’s gold card. 

Additional early morning train and bus services will be running and continue throughout the day. Please plan your trip ahead of time by visiting or call 131 500 

For road closure, clearway details and real-time traffic updates, visit



Ben Robert Smith

In the early hours of that day, five members of the Association of Returned Sailors and Soldiers Clubs who had been attending the Association’s Anzac eve annual general meeting and dinner in the Martin Place Blue Tea Rooms (between Castlereagh and Pitt Street), were wending their way home when they saw an elderly lady moving to place a sheaf of flowers on the then bare granite plinth of the Cenotaph in Sydney’s Martin Place.

When she stumbled and dropped the flowers they helped her and awkwardly watched her place the flowers; when she commenced to pray they silently joined her. The men were Jim Davidson, Ernie Rushbrooke, George Patterson, Len Stickler and Bill Gamble. They recounted their experience, and to old soldiers it brought back memories of other dawns.

The creation of the Cenotaph had heightened consciousness of commemoration and, in response to a motion by Rushbrooke, its honorary secretary, the Association decided to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Anzac Day 1928 at 4.30 am, which was when the landing commenced at Anzac Cove on 25th April, 1915. A small number attended this first service, including the five men mentioned. Patterson laid the wreath. The service was most simple but its solemnity created a deep impression and ensured the continuance of the Ceremony. With the completion of the Cenotaph, attendance grew rapidly, so that by 1931, it was up to 800.

Learn More


The Anzac Day Dawn Service Trust Inc. © 2011 Website updates by Quikclicks