Guide to Burial Plots in Australia

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This guide sets out everything you need to know about burial plots (otherwise known as cemetery plots or grave plots) and burial plot costs in Australia. It covers the following topics:

  1. Types of Burial Plots
  2. Styles of Burial Plots
  3. How Long Do You Own a Cemetery Plot For?
  4. How Much Does a Grave Plot Cost?
  5. Other Costs Associated with Burial Plots
  6. Pre-Purchasing Burial Plots

Before you buy a burial plot, you first need to find a cemetery. If you don’t already have a preferred cemetery, see our Guide to Finding a Cemetery in Australia. Or, for more information about the cemeteries in your city that have burial plots available for sale, see our city guides:

For more information about burials generally, see our Guide to Burials.

1. Types of Burial Plots

There are 3 main types of below ground grave plots that may be purchased. The difference between the options mainly relates to the size of the area purchased and the number of persons that may be interred there. So before investing in a grave plot, you should give some thought to the future and decide whether to move forward with just a single grave, or to plan for a partner and/or family.

  • Single Burial Plots – as the name suggests, hold the remains of one person.
  • Double Burial Plots – either hold the remains of two people side by side, or at double depth (one on top of the other). Double depth plots can be a more cost-effective option as they only take up the space of one grave plot, and can also make use of one burial vault to house both coffins. (For more information on burial vaults, see section 4 below.)
  • Family Burial Plots – allow enough room for multiple plots to be used in future for family members. The names of the family can sometimes be inscribed on a large monument relating to the whole family section.

2. Styles of Burial Plots

While there is a large range of styles of burial plots, there are 2 common styles that you will find available in almost all Australian cemeteries:

  • Lawn Burial Plot – comprises a grass-top grave with a headstone or plaque at the top of the grave. The headstone may either be raised above the ground, or lie flat with the grass.
  • Monumental Burial Plot – incorporates a larger monument (usually made from granite) that covers the entire grave.
Lawn Graves Australia
Example of Lawn Burial Plots at Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Melbourne
Monumental Burial Plots
Example of Monumental Burial Plots at Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney

3. How Long Do You Own a Cemetery Plot For?

When you buy a burial plot you are only buying the right to be buried (or interred) on the land. You are not buying outright title to the land itself.

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to understand that the right or licence purchased may only be for a fixed period of time, such as 25 or 50 years. After this time expires, a family member will be given the opportunity to renew the licence for a further term.

If you want to purchase a cemetery plot that will remain forever (without further payments), make sure you confirm with the cemetery that the right of interment is for a perpetual term.

4. How Much Does a Grave Plot Cost?

The cost of a grave plot depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Cemetery location
  • Section in the cemetery
  • Type of burial plot
  • Style of burial plot
  • Term of the right of interment (i.e. 25 years to perpetual)

Perhaps the biggest determinant of price is the location of the cemetery. In metropolitan areas, where there is a limited amount of space, prices have risen dramatically over the past decade as cemeteries approach capacity. For example, in Sydney, the cost of a cemetery plot has doubled over the past 5 years, and a basic lawn grave at Waverley Cemetery starts at $21,200 and rises quickly to $52,000 for more expensive options.

To give you an idea of how much a grave plot costs around Australia, we have sampled the prices for a standard lawn burial plot and a monumental burial plot at some of the major cemeteries in each state.

Burial Plot Cost – Sydney, NSW

  • Price Range: $5,720 – $14,300
Cemetery Lawn Burial Plot Monumental Burial Plot
Rookwood Cemetery $8,024 (perpetual term) $8,298 (perpetual term)
Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park $13,600 (for 1 or 2 persons) $14,300 (for 1 or 2 persons)
Forest Lawn Memorial Park $5,720 Not covered

Burial Plot Cost – Melbourne, Victoria

  • Price Range: $2,620 – $15,515
Cemetery Lawn Burial Plot Monumental Burial Plot
Altona Memorial Park $2,620 (perpetual term) $9,385 (perpetual term)
Fawkner Memorial Park $3,815 $5,815
Lilydale Memorial Park $2,630 $4,150
Springvale Botanical Cemetery $3,055 $15,515*

*Note: Price includes standard headstone, weekday interment and use of chapel

Burial Plot Cost – Brisbane, Queensland

  • Price Range: $3,707 – $6,160
Cemetery Lawn Burial Plot Monumental Burial Plot
Pinnaroo Cemetery $3,707 $6,170
Hemmant Cemetery $3,707 $6,170
Mount Gravatt Cemetery $3,707 $4,570

Burial Plot Cost – Adelaide, South Australia

  • Price Range: $2,850 – $4,950
Cemetery Lawn Burial Plot Monumental Burial Plot
Centennial Park Cemetery $2,850 (25 year term) /

$4,950 (50 year term)

$4,950 (50 year term)
Enfield Memorial Park $4,875 (25 year term)  $5,875 (25 year term)
Cheltenham Cemetery $5,875 (25 year term)  $5,875 (25 year term)

Burial Plot Cost – Perth, Western Australia

  • Approximate Price: $6,417
Cemetery Lawn Burial Plot Monumental Burial Plot
Rockingham Regional Memorial Park $6,417 Not covered

(Note: The prices above are current as at the date of this article and are subject to change in future.)

5. Other Costs Associated with Burial Plots

Cemetery fees don’t end with the purchase of the cemetery plot. There are a number of other costs associated with burial plots that can add up quickly, and may take you by surprise if you have not budgeted for them.

  • Interment Fee (or Opening and Closing Fee) – the fee for digging the grave, use of equipment and staff to inter the coffin, and filling the grave. Note a similar fee will be payable for re-opening double depth graves for the second use.
  • Extra Depth Digging – if you are intending to use the plot for a double depth burial, an additional fee is often charged for deeper digging.
  • Grave Liner or Burial Vault – most cemeteries require the use of a grave liner or burial vault for below ground burials, basically an outer container that helps to keep the soil from around and above the grave from collapsing inwards over time.
  • Maintenance Fee – this is the fee for maintaining the cemetery grounds in good condition. Many cemeteries include this fee in the price of the burial plot, although some may include it as an additional fee, so it’s important to check.
  • Monumental Work Fees – most cemeteries charge an additional fee for the installation of the headstone.

Average Prices for Associated Burial Plot Costs Price

Depending on the cemetery, the amounts charged for associated costs can vary quite significantly. However, as a rough guide, you can expect the following approximate fees in Australian metropolitan areas.

Interment Fee (or Opening and Closing Fee) $2,300
Extra Depth Digging $590
Grave Liner or Burial Vault $1,000
Monumental Work Fee / Permit $700

For more information on burial costs, see our article on The Average Cost of a Burial in Australia.

6. Pre-Purchasing Burial Plots

As mentioned above, with many cemeteries filling up reaching capacity, prices are increasing rapidly.

If you know you would like a burial, it makes sense to pre-purchase a burial plot as it will allow you to lock in the cost at today’s price (or close to today’s price – it may actually cost $200-300 more than the quoted at-need price). Most cemeteries will also give you the option of paying the sum in instalments over 3-5 years.

If you are considering pre-purchasing a cemetery plot, you might also consider planning your funeral service with a prepaid funeral. Prepaid funerals are one of the best ways to financially prepare for your funeral. For more information on prepaid funerals, see our Guide to Prepaid Funeral Plans in Australia.

We hope you have found this guide to burial plots and burial plot prices in Australia helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at or leave a message in the comments section below.

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