With an almost full moon still beaming, thousands gathered in Brisbane's CBD for the Anzac Day dawn service.

As the Last Post echoed across Anzac square, the crowd stood in reverent silence.

More than 10,000 people attended the Brisbane service to remember Australia's fallen soldiers.

Veterans, dignitaries and members of the public laid wreaths around the eternal flame in Anzac Square, burning bright in the early morning darkness.

Access to Anzac Square was cut off at 4:00am (AEST) and crowds were diverted to nearby King George Square where organiser Arthur Burke says the ceremony was simulcast.

"On a large screen with a cross of sacrifice as the centre point, with its own cenotaph," he said.

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley spoke of the sacrifice Australia's troops have made.

"To remember the story of the Anzacs and the birth of the Anzac legend to pay tribute to our shared history," she said.

Ms Wensley spoke of the courage and sacrifice of those who have fought for the country.

"A difficult mix of sorrow and regret and of pride and celebration - a time when we mourn," she said.

Ten-year-old Erin Lafferty and her father were among those paying their respects.

"We've come along today to remember the ones who died in the army," she said.

Toni Schulz brought her daughters, aged five and six, to pay their respects.

"We became Australian citizens last year and so we are thinking this is going to become a tradition for them because it is going to be important for them to know about their heritage as Australians," he said.

At Victoria Barracks in Brisbane, Lieutenant Colonel Nigel Motley, told those gathered the spirit born in the trenches of Gallipoli lives on.

"Those who serve today in the ADF are the guardians of the Anzac spirit, the baton carriers of a legacy that was created through great sacrifice, a debt that cannot be repaid," she said.

"A legacy that ensured a innumerable freedoms and the reason we choose to serve today is because we believe that legacy is worth defending, just as previous veterans did."

Townsville

Meanwhile, communities across Queensland are marking this national day of remembrance in their own special way.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard was among the thousands commemorating Anzac Day in the north Queensland city of Townsville.

It is the first time in more than 50 years a prime minister has attended a dawn service in Townsville.

Ms Gillard joined about 15,000 people paying their respects at the city's cenotaph at Anzac Memorial Park.

She laid a wreath as the crowd reflected on the seven soldiers who lost their lives since last Anzac Day.

It was a sombre reflection for the garrison city, which is home to one of Australia's biggest defence communities.

Wing Commander George Hodgson told the crowd in Townsville they are worthy of Australia's thanks and gratitude.

"We must not forget today's veterans," he said.

"The young men and women who are returning from duty in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Solomon Islands, Bougainville and Timor-Leste, many who are in the audience today.

"We not only honour those who have died to protect our way of life, but we also honour those were wounded physically and emotionally and those who have stayed at home to support personnel in operations.

"We honour those friends and family who continue to support personnel after they return."

Later today, Ms Gillard Prime Minister will attend the city's Anzac Day parade.

From populated cities to isolated outposts, hundreds of activities are planned across the state.

Almost 250 RSL sub-branches are joining with their local communities for Anzac Day commemorations.

Solemn memorial services will make way for parades and reunions.

At Beaudesert, south of Brisbane, there will be Anzac golf and bowls tournaments, as well as a Diggers Cup at the local race track.

Overseas service

RSL state chief executive officer Chris McHugh says today is a quintessential Australian day.

"My wife is English and she said in England, Remembrance Day is for older people," she said.

"But today here in Australia we actually see young men and women out doing things, going out and remembering."

Mr McHugh says this year is particularly significant because it is the longest period that Australia has been continuously involved in overseas operations.

In 1999, troops first went to East Timor.

Since then, they have also served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Solomons.

Over 66,000 men and women have been deployed, more than in the Vietnam war.