Just one annual leave day in exchange for a four-day getaway?
That’s our kind of maths. With Anzac Day (25 April) falling on a Tuesday in 2017, why not spend your self-made long weekend with us in Canberra.
Combine your Anzac commemorations with some amazing food and wine, an outdoor adventure and a visit to some of our city’s beautiful museums and galleries.
Saturday 22nd April
National Archives of Australia
After you’re settled into your Canberra accommodation, get out and begin exploring. Learn a side of the Anzac story you may not have heard before by making your way to the National Archives of Australia. You’ll have the chance to explore two complementary exhibitions that tell the stories of Indigenous soldiers, Facing Two Fronts: the Fight for Respect and Indigenous Australians at War from the Boer War to Present. These exhibitions uncover stories of service and sacrifice made by Indigenous Australians, and how these stories helped shape discussions about social justice.
As the afternoon draws to a close, sort out your hunger with a visit to the Kingston Foreshore dining precinct. With options ranging from fresh seafood at C Seafood & Oyster Bar to pub eats at The Dock or Walt & Burley, there’s something for everyone.
Sunday 23rd April
National Gallery of Australia
Take in images from the First World War as expressed by some of last century’s great artists at the National Gallery of Australia. The Artists of the Great War exhibition addresses wartime propaganda, front-line experiences and remembrance through paintings, drawings and prints. Will Dyson’s remarkable works are prominent throughout the exhibition, through his role as Australia’s first Official War Artist, but you’ll also discover artworks by combatants and women.
Lake Burley Griffin
While you’re in the area, take the time to go for a stroll along Lake Burley Griffin. Now’s your chance to go meandering through our national attractions and take in the beauty of the lake and the surrounding trees’ autumn colours.
Cap the day off with a bite to eat and drink in Canberra’s buzzing Braddon precinct. Taste a local brew at award-winning brewery Bentspoke Brewing Co. and enjoy a modern take on pub grub as you sample some the region’s best local produce.
Projections at the Australian War Memorial
On your way back to your hotel, be sure to swing by the Australian War Memorial, where image projections will have just commenced on the Memorial of Australian servicemen and women drawn from the Memorial’s extensive collection. These projections will continue until the Dawn Service commences on Anzac Day.
Monday 24th April
Australian War Memorial
We recommend you set aside an entire day to explore the Australian War Memorial so that you can spend time going through their moving exhibitions at your own leisure. With something on from dawn to dusk every day, we’ve pulled together 10 Australian War Memorial experiences you can’t miss.
For nearby eats, try hitting up new kids on the block Teddy Pickers (can you say “all day breakfast”!) and The Pedlar. If their oh-so-cool interiors don’t win you over, their extensive menus and cocktail lists will.
And be sure not to miss this very important step – gloating to your co-workers about how you had the good sense to take the day off and come to Canberra. We’re always looking for the best Instagram images to feature, so if you feel like rubbing extra salt in their wounds, upload your pics with #VisitCanberra for your chance to pick up a regram.
Tuesday 25th April
Return to the Australian War Memorial to pay your respects on Anzac Day. Prior to the Dawn Service commencing at 5.30am, excerpts will be read from the letters and diaries of Australians who experienced war first-hand from Gallipoli onwards. The Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra is a moving experience that every Australian should experience in their lifetime. For everything you need to know about how to get there and timings, check out the Australian War Memorial’s website.
Anzac Day National Ceremony
The Anzac Day National Ceremony begins at 10.30am with the traditional order of service including the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand, the Commemorative Address, the laying of wreaths, the reading of hymns, the sounding of the Last Post, and the observance of one minute’s silence. The Australian War Memorial have you sorted for the specifics.
After the ceremonies draw to a close, head to one of the local clubs for a gunfire brekkie (rum-laced coffee), a spot of two-up or to catch one of the big sports matches on their screens.