Understanding the costs of a burial or cremation


The time immediately following the passing of a loved one is filled with difficult decisions. One of the most common considerations is whether you will organise a burial or a cremation. While it is true that burials were once the more common, or traditional, choice, there has been a growing popularity in cremations throughout Australia in recent years.

This is in part due to the slowly dwindling space available at cemeteries as the vacant plots are filled up. Limited space has resulted in burial plots increasing in price as remaining spaces become more highly sought after. So, it’s understandable that more people are choosing cremation over a burial to honour their loved one.

Burial costs

The burial process involves cleaning and dressing the body of the deceased before being sealed in a casket or coffin. Finally, the deceased is interred, typically below ground in a cemetery. The cost of a funeral and burial will vary depending on what you decide to organise based off the wishes of your loved one or the family. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 - $15,000 for a funeral and burial. This includes costs for:

  • Transfer of loved ones
  • Preparation for funeral
  • Funeral service
  • Funeral director fees
  • Viewing prior to service
  • Celebrant or clergy
  • Legal documents, including death certificate and medical certificate
  • Coffin or casket
  • Flowers
  • Burial plot cost
  • Headstone

Here at Simplicity Funerals, we provide affordable and respectful funeral services.

Price of cremation vs burial

In comparison, the cost of a cremation is much less than that of a burial. Depending on whether you choose to have a service as well, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 - $9,000.

The cremation process involves transporting the deceased to your chosen crematorium in a coffin or casket. Once your loved one’s remains have been cremated, the ashes are stored in a sealed container and given to the family or funeral director depending on the family’s wishes.

Why are coffins so expensive?

Many people ask us: “Why are coffins so expensive?” Well, this comes down entirely to the quality of coffin you select, including the materials used and the craftsmanship. Simplicity Funerals offers a range of coffin options to accommodate your budget, including our economy, vega and balmoral coffins. 

Religious considerations

Besides price, another consideration when deciding on cremation vs burial is religion. Understandably, families can be concerned with whether their religion permits cremation as this will impact their decision when deciding how to honour their loved one. Ultimately, this is an intensely personal decision and we recommend speaking with members of your faith to discuss any implications.

While there is no clear answer in the Bible regarding the act of cremation, there are many interpretations both for and against the practice. At the end of the day, the decision belongs to you and your family.  

Alternatives to burial and cremation

There are a number of alternatives to burial and cremation should your loved one express this wish. While some of these methods are unorthodox, there are those who prefer the non-traditionalist approach.

Some people opt for a natural burial, where the body is not prepared prior or sealed in a coffin. Others choose a green burial pod, where the remains are buried in a pod that then feeds a tree. This offers a more naturalistic gravestone that families can visit in future to pay their respects.

In a time when environmental awareness has never been higher, many people are choosing to limit their impact on the environment, both in life and in death. Green funerals in particular, are becoming more popular for those wishing to have the most naturalistic passing as possible.

Other people choose to donate their body to science. Whether to a university or organisation, such a donation is an immensely generous act that can contribute to advances in science and medicine.

For more information on the price of cremation vs burials, please contact the team at Simplicity Funerals today by calling 1300 060 989.