Impromptu haka takes place at Sydney's Anzac dawn service

Australia's Anzac Day has been punctuated by an emotional impromptu haka, the first-ever performed at Sydney's Martin Place. 

Eased COVID-19 restrictions allowed for Anzac services to take place across Australia on Sunday - it also means the famed and fabled Anzac Day tradition of two-up will return to local pubs and clubs in 2021.

The stirring sounds of the haka broke the silence and solemnity of a war memorial at dawn, the Anzac spirit transcending the Tasman sea.

"You felt the shift in ambience and the shift in spirit, and it was just done spontaneously, and that was that we've never done the haka here before, so that was the first," says Kiri Barber from the  Māori choir.

This was a morning two years in the making. After being kept apart for so long, the ties between New Zealand and Australia were felt profoundly.

"As whānau, and people, just to come together, and be together, we've been waiting for that, for some time," Barber says. 

Wreaths were laid in tribute together and a waiata shared, the Māori choir singing The Song of Sorrow.

Marches like this are a luxury, the Western Australia snap lockdown means Anzac commemorations have been cancelled there. 

In Sydney, a public health exemption has been granted to allow up to 10,000 people to take part in this march through the CBD. 

While some march with medals and memories, other Aussies honour the fallen with their own favourite pastime -  a game called two up.

The much-loved Aussie betting game - first played by soldiers - is an Anzac Day special as it's only legal one day a year. This year it must be outdoors and distanced.