ONLY the eternal flame of the Shrine of Remembrance and large LED screens lit up Anzac Square in Brisbane as thousands paid their respects at the Dawn Service of Remembrance.
The all-ages crowd spilled out of the darkened square onto the closed streets and organisers directed people to King George Square, where the service was being simulcast.
Special bus and train services were arranged to bring people into the city to make the 4.28am starting time.
Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley thanked the assembly for attending the "deeply significant and always deeply moving national ritual of remembrance".
"Anzac Day, it's a curious and perhaps to outsiders, an unusual, difficult to fathom, mix of sorrow and regret and of pride and celebration," Ms Wensley said.
"A time when we mourn lives lost. The foolish errors and waste and the immense tragedies caused by war.
"Those first young men of World War One who eagerly volunteered to serve king and country, many of who lied about their age to be part of the great adventure, who fought in Gallipoli, on the Western Front, in the Middle East and elsewhere, thousands of whom … never came home."
War Widows Guild's Judith Walters said she came not only to represent her organisation but also to honour her husband who passed away 20 years ago.
"He started off as a young man at the Battle of the Coral Sea and went from there for the next 14 years. After the Second World War ended he was then sent to Korea on an aircraft carrier," Mrs Walters said.
"It's such a wonderful ceremony remembering all servicemen everywhere and what they are doing for us.
"The response of people, the hundreds, the thousands of people that were here this morning are indicative of the fact that people are remembering more and more what we owe to so many people - five million in the Second World War, that's a lot of lives to lose."
The crowd included plenty of students in uniforms and young faces.
Dana Werchon said although she had missed other recent Anzac services, she was determined to make it this year.
"I think it's really important to remember everything previous Australians and New Zealanders did for us and just a matter of showing respect and remembering," Ms Werchon said.
"I think it's really important for everyone to do something on the day, even if it's attend the march later, but in particular the dawn service. I guess it's just another chance to really show your respect."