Two-Up: Where It Started and Why It’s Only Legal to Play Once a Year in Toowong, Other Places

At the Regatta Hotel in Toowong and other places in Brisbane, part of the annual Anzac Day celebration has involved drinking to our war heroes, amidst friendly games of two-up. Did you know that the popular association of two-up with soldiers and Anzac happened by chance?

Here’s a closer look at this game which has been outlawed since the 1980s but is legal to play at a handful of places on Anzac Day only.

For one day in a year, Australians remember and honour those who served in the Gallipoli Campaign during World War I with solemn events at memorial sites, as well as drinking sprees and games of Two-Up. Authorities usually turn a blind eye to those playing Two-Up to mark Anzac Day and there are only a handful of places where the game may be played.

The Regatta Hotel in Toowong is one of those places. Established in 1874, this entertainment and hospitality venue became a prominent fixture in the Toowong Reach of the Brisbane River and people participate in the annual beer and two-up tradition here with much enthusiasm. 

The Origin of Two-Up

Two-Up actually started with diggers in gold mines in Broken Hill, New South Wales, decades before the war. The English and the Irish brought this game, then called Pitch and Toss, over to Australian shores.

Its popular association with soldiers and Anzac happened by chance, as it was what returning servicemen loved to play at pubs or local RSL when they returned from the war and had get-togethers with their band of brothers. Soldiers in the firing line trenches or troopships during World War I played this game whilst biding their time for the next commands or orders.

Over decades, Two-Up evolved into an army game played in Australian infantry battalions wherever the soldiers were serving duties, locally and abroad.

The game does not require much — just two coins, a wood for flicking the coins, a spinner or someone to flick the wood, and a ringie or someone to call out results. Because of this, the game became very accessible to anyone who would like to bet heads or tails and win the pot money.

Two-Up may also be legally played in most RSL Clubs in the country every Anzac Day.

Laneway Vineyard Returns to the Regatta Hotel

The Regatta Hotel will once again transform its loading zone into a festive venue for an exciting culinary and drinking event as the Laneway Vineyard returns on Friday, 25 May until Sunday, 27 May 2018.

Photo credit: Facebook/Laneway Vineyard

Featuring a premium selection of over 50 local and international wines, the event will offer guests a chance to partake of a selection of wine varietals with delicious gourmet food from the hotel’s restaurant The Boatshed.

Official Festival Launch Party

Friday, 25 May 2018 (6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)

The Official Festival Launch Party will be on Friday, 25 May 2018 and tickets are selling fast.

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At a cost of $65 (plus a booking fee of $2.60), you get to be amongst the first ones to sample more than 50 wines that will be featured in the event coupled with unlimited gourmet bites from The Boatshed.

Tickets will be available until 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

Buy tickets

Laneway Vineyard 2018

Saturday, 26 May and Sunday, 27 May 2018 (2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.)

Entry to the event on the weekend is free and live entertainment awaits festival goers.

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Get a chance to savour the flavours of more than 50 international and local wines at Laneway Vineyard 2018. An array of perfectly pairings, gourmet delicacies prepared by The Boatshed, awaits.

Wine passports priced at $30 will allow you to sip up to ten samples of your favourite pours.

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Guests can buy food and beverages throughout the day via the cash bar and all items in the menu will be available for $9 per serve.

Arriving through public transport is highly encouraged as the Toowong CityCat Ferry Terminal is located right out the front of the Regatta Hotel offering convenient access to the venue. Parking is pretty limited and offered only for a two-hour duration.

For more information and updates check the event’s Facebook page or the official Regatta Laneway Vineyard event page.