If you are in Sydney for ANZAC day, brace yourself for punting, booze and a lot of loose behaviour – truth.
ANZAC day is a cultural ritual firmly written in the fabric of what it is to be Australian.
It is the one day of the year when punting is legally allowed in local pubs, and the Aussies go mad. All day.
There is the dawn service, where we all take the time to pay respect to those who have served our country, and not long after, it’s on for young and old ( you will excuse my Aussie slang from here on in, please).
The punting game of choice is two-up, an Australian tradition. And the drink of choice is anything with alcohol, and it all starts at 930am, yes, 930am. And the girls are up for it as much as the blokes.
I live in Paddington, Sydney, and these are my picks for an awesome Australian ANZAC day out.
- The Royal Paddington: This pub is metres from my home, and last year if you were not in by 1130am, you weren’t getting in there. Three floors of two-up, dancing and celebration. A BBQ is often outside on the street. Brilliant.
- Light Brigade Woollahra: The place to be is upstairs in the beer garden, where two-up reigns supreme, but it is crowded, competitive and goes on for hours. Awesome.Very Aussie.
- The Four in Hand: A corner pub that has lot of light and a great bar and a great crowd. They usually don’t get busy until after 12.00 on ANZAC Day, so you can go here if you are running late.
- Golden Sheaf, Double Bay; This monstrosity of a pub has it all. Elegance, great food and a crowd gagging for two-up every year. Starts at midday and is usually one of the last pubs standing, well open well into the night.
- The Lord Dudley: This pub is the best of Sydney and London all in the one venue. A few years ago I had ANZAC day here and it was brilliant. They have a licence to allow patrons – a lot of them, to spill into the street, just like many pubs in central London. Love it. Mixed crowd of ages, and stages. Serious fun.The other bog locations are The Rocks – where you will find multiple pubs packed, with two-up and fun, as well as the city, north, well anywhere really.Just be prepared for a big day out, a lot of booze, and to meet a load of new people. This is Australia at its best.