ANZAC Day on Wedding Cake Island

ANZAC Day commemorations around Australia are steeped in solemn traditions to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who have fought at Gallipoli during World War I and those who have died and served their countries.

On April 25, Dawn Services are observed around the country, the ANZAC Day Ceremony takes place at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and veterans, soldiers and their families march in parades in the major cities.

Australian War Memorial Canberra

There is a lesser known tradition started by Coogee’s surfing community. Every year in commemoration of ANZAC day, surfers load up their surfboards and backpacks with cartons of beer and drink, and paddle out on their boards from Coogee Beach to Wedding Cake Island.

Surfers paddling out to Wedding Cake Island

Wedding Cake Island is a bunch of jagged edged rocks that lie about one kilometre from Coogee Beach. The white washed island bears the name due to the surrounding lapping waves that make it resemble a wedding cake. There is another belief that bird droppings on the island give it the appearance of icing on a cake. Incidentally, Wedding Cake Island is also a song by Australian rock band Midnight Oil.

Wedding Cake Island

ON ANZAC Day, regardless of the weather conditions, the local surfing community commemorates those who have fallen for their country  in a special way.

Coogee Surfers on Wedding Cake Island

Flag and surfboards on Wedding Cake Island

Lest We Forget.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


    • Hi Tom. That’s great! I hope you all had a wonderful day and everyone got back to shore safe 🙂
      Thanks for your comment!

    • Anil, they have their own way. No less unusual than playing a game of Two Up at the pub in the afternoon!

  • I saw this post in the ‘link within’ and had to have a look. We’re based in Fethiye, Turkey and the Aussies and Kiwis descend on Fethiye after their Gallipoli visit. It’s always a special atmosphere.

    These photos are great – everyone should have their own way of commemorating terrible past events because what’s important is that we never forget. Surfing across the sea with a crate of beer – novel! 🙂

    • Turkey has a special significance for Australians, and not just from a tourism perspective as you mention. This tradition at Wedding Cake Island can seem a little odd but we, Aussies, have our own way of commemorating some events 🙂

      Thank you for your comment.

  • This is a really great article… I just came back from walking the headland and there were so many people on the walking track that didn’t know what was going on over on the island. I think it’s a great way to commemorate ANZAC day. I just hope they all get back safe and sound.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment, Rachel. I appreciate it 🙂 It is indeed a special commemoration.