Anzac Day – 25 April – marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian troops, popularly known as Anzacs (the acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in 1915. While the campaign ended in military defeat, it is widely claimed that the Gallipoli experience helped foster a sense of nationhood in both New Zealand and Australia.
New Zealand first observed Anzac Day in 1916 with processions, church services and public meetings attended by large crowds. In 1920, the Anzac Day Act made 25 April a public holiday to commemorate those who had died in the First World War. Now the day honours all New Zealanders who have served in wars overseas.
This page provides links to updated versions of information previously available via the anzac.govt.nz website.
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Anzac Day - 25 April - was first marked in 1916. The day has gone through many changes since then. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials up and down New Zealand, and in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, remain rich in tradition and ritual befitting a military funeral. Read the full article...
Each year on Anzac Day, New Zealanders and Australians mark the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings of 25 April 1915. On that day, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey. Read the full article
Follow in the footsteps of the New Zealanders at Gallipoli through the Ngā Tapuwae heritage trails website and downloadable app.
See also: interactive modern-day panoramas of key sites.
Armistice Day was the initial focal point for commemorations in the Cook Islands and Niue after the First World War. But because men from both countries had served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, observances gradually shifted to Anzac Day in April. Read the full article
Some useful resources on the Ministry for Culture and Heritage website for those planning local events on 25 April. It includes information about the order of ceremony, examples of speeches and the Anzac Day messages from the Prime Minister and Governor-General.
Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand includes many articles relating to Anzac Day. Read about the New Zealand and Australia relationship; Public holidays; New Zealand identity; and an overview of the First World War.
New Zealand's war memorials provide a focal point for Anzac Day ceremonies around the country. We list more than 1000 memorials on our register - find those in your region here.
Other useful links
Archway (Archives New Zealand) - includes the digitised service records of almost all New Zealanders who served in the New Zealand military during the First World War
Cenotaph database (Auckland War Memorial Museum) - a database of New Zealanders who have served in the armed forces
Commonwealth War Graves Commission - records for 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars. Includes information on all cemeteries and memorials managed by the CWGC
First World War cemetery maps - Google maps that locate all cemeteries where New Zealanders killed in the First World War are buried or memorialised
NZEF Units - information about the role and insignia (badges, patches, etc.) of each unit in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Researching WW1 - resources for researching New Zealand's First World War history, including a guide for researching soldiers and a database of those who resisted going to war