A large crowd in Hervey Bay watches as the parade makes its way up Main St towards Freedom Park for the dawn service.
A large crowd in Hervey Bay watches as the parade makes its way up Main St towards Freedom Park for the dawn service. Alistair Brightman

Hundreds up before first light for Anzac Day service

AN ENORMOUS crowd began Anzac Day on the Fraser Coast in solemn silence as hundreds of people filled Hervey Bay's Freedom Park while the stars were still shining.

The sound of bagpipes led the line of veterans to the park while onlookers lined both sides of the street and applauded.

The tightly packed crowd spilled out of the park, at the end of Main St, when the ceremony began about 5.25am.

Tanya Zollinger, her 10-year-old son Samuel and partner Hut Sawangsri were among the young families to brave the chill.

Ms Zollinger said she tried to bring her family to the dawn service every year.

"We want it to be a tradition in our family, to remember our freedom," she said.

Hervey Bay RSL president John Kelsey told the hundreds of people at the service they had "really outdone themselves".

"It is just unbelievable, the crowd here this morning," he said.

"I think people are starting to realise Anzac Day is our national day more than Australia Day."