There are many ways to honour the New Zealanders who have served our country.

This Anzac weekend, many in Rotorua will be doing something to reflect on their courage, loyalty and sacrifice, whether it is attending a service, visiting a relative who served, or taking our children to a special activity.

Since 1899, more than 30,000 New Zealanders have died at war for our country.

Monday's dawn service at Ohinemutu honours the soldier's dawn routine of "stand-to" getting under way at 5.45am.


At 9am, a parade of service personnel, school parties, cadet corps and local community groups will leave the Lakefront intersection of Whakaue and Fenton Streets marching to the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre.

From 9.30am, the Anzac Day memorial service will be held at the Civic Theatre.

This is the first year the Rotorua RSA has not had its own building, and service people have been generously offered the Rotorua Bowling Club for a cuppa and a catch-up (or something more medicinal if they wish).

The bowling club will be open from 8am until 4pm and will have food, drink, and bar facilities for RSA members.

"It is a little favour we can do for them and I hope they enjoy their day," said club president Greg Gould.

Although it was a bit disappointing not to have its own building, Rotorua RSA president William McDonald said the original role of the association was to work for the welfare and support of service people and their dependents, not to be in the hospitality industry.

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"It has freed us up to realise what our real role is. We feel as though we are progressing and it is positive. Not having a building is a bit like driving a Mercedes, having an accident and having to drive in a Morris Minor. It still gets you from A to B," he said.

The Rotorua Museum will be open earlier than usual on Anzac Day and it offers a variety of ways for people to reflect on the day. Its doors open from 7am, and people will be greeted by 1000 red poppies in the foyer. These have been donated by the Waiouru Army Museum, members of the public, and made by local yarn-bombers.

People are invited to write a message on poppies which will be added to remembrance displays on show.

A film about the 28th Maori Battalion will run every 30 minutes at the museum, and the RSA will lay a wreath at this exhibition room during the day.

The legacy of Anzac Day can be handed down to the next generation through many ways, and a special craft activity specifically for children is on from 10am until 3pm. "Children will be asked to think about the personal qualities that it took to be an amazing service person during the war. They can then make a craft medal and reflect on these qualities," said Jo Doherty, communications lead for Rotorua Museum.

She said the exhibition, Balls, Bullets and Boots - From Rugby Field to Battlefield, explores the legacy of WWI through the eyes of 15 Kiwi rugby players and their female coach. "It's absolutely something for the whole family as it is very interactive and interesting."

Anzac Day services:

* Dawn parade: Muruika War Cemetery, Ohinemutu. Parade from 5.45am, service from 6am.

* Civic service: Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, 9.30am. Parade assembles on Memorial Dr at 8.50am.

Rotorua Museum Anzac activities:

* Anzac Day - Ka maumahara tonu tatau ki a ratau: We will remember them. Balls, Bullets and Boots - from Rugby Field to Battlefield. Entry is included in museum admission price.

* Anzac day craft-making for children, 10am-3pm.

Museum will open from 7am.