Funeral Costs in Australia – 2023 Report

Unlocking Peace of Mind: Transparent Funeral Costs in Australia
Published on September 13th, 2023
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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Learn about the expenses associated with a funeral in different states and territories around Australia.

  • Basic burial cost in Australia – $8,048. Average cost of basic cremation – $3,108.
  • Standard funeral in Australia costs an average of $9,403 for a burial and $5,591 for a cremation.
  • Premium funerals, which include additional services, cost on average $11,279 for a burial and $7,187 for a cremation.
  • Basic cremation cost more than doubled from $1,435 in 2011 to $3,108 in 2019.

Are you wondering how much it costs to have a funeral in Australia?

Savvy investigates to find the answers. For most of us, funerals are thankfully a rare occurrence. However, this rarity can mean we don’t have much experience navigating the various costs and expenses associated with farewelling a loved one. What’s more, feelings of grief and sadness can leave us unable or unwilling to delve deeper.

Here, we look at the price for basic, standard and premium burials and cremations, as well as what’s included in each.

Rising funeral costs in Australia

Funeral costs in Australia have been steadily increasing. The average cost of a basic burial has doubled from $4,000 in 2011 to $8,048 in 2019. This rise in funeral costs in Australia has put a strain on many families, especially for pensioners who may struggle to afford these expenses.

As a result, more people are considering funeral plans in Australia, such as prepaid funeral plans, to help alleviate the financial burden on their loved ones. These plans allow individuals to pay for their funeral expenses in advance, ensuring that their wishes are met and reducing the financial stress on their families.

It's important for pensioners and their families to explore these options to ensure that funeral costs are manageable and to provide peace of mind during a difficult time.

Average burial and cremation costs in Australia - 2023

The Cost of Death

In the realm of funeral expenses in Australia, understanding the intricacies of pricing across various scenarios is crucial for individuals and families facing the inevitable. Funeral costs can vary significantly based on a multitude of factors, but they typically fall into three main scenarios: Basic, Standard, and Premium.

Basic Scenario: In the Basic scenario, families can expect the fundamental services necessary for a respectful farewell. This includes the removal and transport of the body, a hearse for casket viewing during transportation, body storage, handling all legal documents, professional service fees, and a memorial or service. Families may choose from budget, mid-range, or high-end coffin/casket options. Burial incurs additional cemetery or grave fees, while cremation comes with cremation facility charges.

Standard Scenario: The Standard scenario adds extra elements to the funeral service. It includes all the services from the Basic scenario but also incorporates viewing, a celebrant or clergy, and enhanced coffin/casket choices. Families may opt for floral arrangements, death notices, order sheets (service order keepsakes), and audiovisual equipment.

Premium Scenario: In the Premium scenario, families can expect a comprehensive funeral service, often with opulent features. This includes everything from the Standard scenario, plus a more upscale venue/location for the service. Families can choose extravagant coffin/casket options and may go above and beyond with elaborate floral arrangements and extensive memorial books.

It's essential for individuals and families to carefully consider their preferences and budget when planning a funeral, as the costs can escalate significantly based on the scenario and the choices made. Funeral expenses should be a thoughtful part of end-of-life planning to ensure a dignified farewell without undue financial strain.

Basic Funeral Expenses

Basic FuneralMetro Burial Metro CremationNon-Metro Burial Non-Metro Cremation
NSW$15,244$3,360$6,283 $2,524

Source: Australian Seniors, Cost of Death Report, 2019, pg6.

The impact of funeral director fees on expenses

You may be surprised to learn that one of the main factors driving up expenses is the rise in funeral director fees. Funeral costs in Australia have been steadily increasing, and funeral director fees play a significant role in this upward trend. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Funeral costs can vary greatly depending on the type of funeral and the services included.
  • The average cost of a basic burial in Australia is $8,048, while a basic cremation costs around $3,108.
  • A standard funeral, which includes essential services, flowers, and a chapel service, can cost around $9,403 for a burial and $5,591 for a cremation.
  • For a premium funeral, which includes additional services like newspaper notices and audio-visual presentations, the average cost is $11,279 for a burial and $7,187 for a cremation.

As funeral costs continue to rise, it's essential to consider the impact of funeral director fees when planning for end-of-life expenses.

Standard Funeral Expenses

Standard FuneralMetro Burial Metro CremationNon-Metro Burial Non-Metro Cremation
NSW$16,243$6,188$7,933 $4,926

Source: Australian Seniors, Cost of Death Report, 2019, pg7.

Premium Funeral Expenses

Premium FuneralMetro Burial Metro CremationNon-Metro Burial Non-Metro Cremation
NSW$18,946$7,872$10,175 $6,276

Source: Australian Seniors, Cost of Death Report, 2019, pg8.

Understanding the breakdown of funeral costs

As you explore the breakdown of expenses, it's important to understand the factors that contribute to the rising cost of funerals. Funeral costs have been steadily increasing at a rate of 6% to 11% since 2011. To give you a clearer picture, let's break down the cost of death into three scenarios: basic, standard, and premium funerals.

On average, a basic burial/cremation costs around $8,048 for a basic funeral, $9,403 for a standard funeral, and $11,279 for a premium funeral. These costs have been steadily increasing, with the cost of a basic cremation more than doubling from $1,435 in 2011 to $3,108 in 2019. It's no wonder that Australians believe funerals are getting more expensive and place unnecessary stress on loved ones. To alleviate this burden, consider exploring funeral plans or pre-paid funerals to better manage the cost of death.

Trends in funeral expenses in Australia

The rising expenses of funerals in Australia have prompted many individuals to explore alternative options for managing the financial burden. It's important to find ways to alleviate the financial stress associated with funerals, especially considering the average cost of a basic burial is $8,048 and a basic cremation is $3,108.

Here are three alternative options to consider:

  • Funeral insurance: Purchasing funeral insurance can help cover the costs associated with a funeral, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
  • Pre-paid funeral plans: By pre-paying for your funeral in advance, you can lock in today's prices and relieve your family of the financial responsibility in the future.
  • Direct cremation or burial: Opting for a direct cremation or burial can significantly reduce costs, as it eliminates the need for additional services and elaborate ceremonies.

Financial stress and the cost of funerals in Australia

Managing the financial stress associated with funerals can be challenging, especially considering the rising expenses and the burden it places on families. Funerals in Australia have become increasingly expensive over the years, with costs steadily increasing at a rate of 6% to 11% since 2011.

The average expense associated with a basic burial in Australia is $8,048, while a basic cremation attracts a cost of around $3,108. For a standard burial, the average cost is $9,403, and for a standard cremation, it's $5,591.

Premium funerals, which include additional services like flowers, newspaper notices, and audio-visual presentations, can cost an average of $11,279 for burial and $7,187 for cremation.

The rising costs of funerals are causing unnecessary stress on loved ones, with the majority of respondents believing that funerals are getting more expensive and that Australians are looking to spend less on them.


This report has shed light on the rising expenses of funerals in Australia. Funeral director fees play a significant role in driving up costs, and understanding the breakdown of funeral expenses is crucial.

The report also highlights emerging trends in funeral expenses and the financial stress it can cause. Overall, Australians are concerned about the increasing cost of funerals and its impact on their finances.

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