More than 1000 Rotorua residents, young and old, gathered at Ohinemutu's Muruika War Cemetery this morning to mark Anzac Day.
The dawn service marked the 98 years since allied troops invaded what is now known as Anzac Cove in Turkey.
Lieutenant Colonel Leith Comer was guest speaker for the early morning service.
He spoke about the 8700 Australians and 2801 New Zealanders who died at Gallipoli.
Mr Comer said the absence of controversy surrounding Anzac Day meant it was a day which was accepted by all New Zealanders, young and old.
He said as well as Gallipoli the day also gave New Zealanders an opportunity to remember those who had fought in other conflicts.
"My thoughts are drawn to my grandfather who fought in the first World War," he said.
"I am not alone to have a family member to remember on this day."
Mr Comer said his thoughts also went out to the families who had lost loved ones who were recently serving in Afghanistan including te Teko's Corporal Luke Tamatea, who was killed in August last year.
As he spoke about the cemetery at Ohinemutu, Mr Comer said out of the despair and sadness which usually epitomises war, can come beauty and peace.
A parade of service personnel, school parties, cadet corps and local community groups will get underway at 8.50am this morning at the Rotorua Lakefront which will then march through Government Gardens, arriving at the
Convention Centre in time for the Anzac Day Civil Memorial Service at 9.30am.
Mayor Kevin Winters will host the civic ceremony with key addresses to be given by Reporoa College head girl Brie Piggott and deputy head boy Kerry Power. Father Mark Field will be the officiating minister for the service.