Thanatourism -- Exploring the cemeteries & crematoriums around Sydney

    Unfortunately too many ignore cemeteries and crematoriums.  Dismissing them as simply places to store dead bodies.  Yet these places are so much more, they are examples of Sydney's population and cultures.  Truly 'green' places filled with native and rare plants and animals.  And above all filled with a passion and creativity that should not be dismissed.  A lot of dedication has gone into building and maintaining these places, so they should be enjoyed.

    My research into the funeral industry has revealed these places to be wonderful and depressingly ignored or forgotten.  Hopefully the articles below will inspire someone to casually visit and enjoy these places!

Waverley Cemetery tour
    I thought it only appropriate to start with one of the most beautiful places in Sydney.  The graves are unlike anything else in Sydney, there is just so much creativity and dedication to them.  Many graves do an amazing job of conveying a message or feeling with just one statue.  Every time I go there I find something new and interesting.

    It is an easy walk around this cemetery, but not so good to drive.  So my guide focuses more on walking around than driving.

The tour of Waverley.

My inside look of Waverley - this needs updating.

Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park Cemetery & Crematorium
    The ESMP cemetery is a fascinating cemetery, like a visual display of various cultures.  The diversity of the graves is unlike any other cemetery I know.  Most graves are standard for those of that culture.  But then there are some unlike anything else, completely unique.  The best secrets about this place is the beach and the Chinese farms!

    My guide focuses on driving around the cemetery as it is rather large and hilly.  However one can also walk around quite easily, so I have a shorter guide covering that as well.

The tour of ESMP.

My inside look of ESMP - this needs updating.

    This is one of the largest cemeteries in the world, definitely the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.  It is about as big as Sydney Airport on google maps!  Rookwood is a 'Victorian' style cemetery and was originally built for people to enjoy.  It was never designed as just a place to mourn the dead.  So there are plenty of areas to have a nice picnic, or enjoy a book, or to simply relax scattered about.  The 'Friends of Rookwood' volunteer group hold regular tours of Rookwood.

    My guide looks at driving around, this is simply too big a place to walk.

The tour of Rookwood.

My inside look of Rookwood.

Woronora Cemetery & Crematorium
    Woronora is located in the shire area of Sydney.  The crematorium is the most interesting part as the cemetery is fairly standard.  Having said this the cemetery is fun to explore.  Overall this place does not stand out compared to the rest, but it is well worth a look and a very nice place.  My guide focuses on driving but covers walking.  While it is a decent size it is not a 'massive' place.

The tour of Woronora.

My inside look of Woronora.

Northern Suburbs Crematorium
    Northern Suburbs Crematorium (NSC) has one of the best crematorium gardens in Sydney.  The place is not just full of a gentle and historic atmosphere.  It is also one of the most 'sensory' crematoriums in Sydney.  Sounds and smells are only slightly apparent in the background, but make the place unique and very pleasant to explore.  NSC is a good place to wander randomly but satisfy that sense of exploration and discovery.

The Tour of NSC.

My inside look of NSC.



  1. Hey I am doing an assignment on dark tourism (Thana Tourism) and was wondering if you could help me?

  2. Anonymous8/11/15 16:48

    Handle NOT handel
    Handel was a German born composer of music


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