What is a direct cremation and how much does it cost in Australia?

What is a direct cremation and how much does it cost in Australia?

Whether you have lost a loved one, or you are giving some thought to your last will and testament and would like to explore your options, planning a funeral service is a stressful and often rather complicated process—particularly when there are so many different options.

In this article, we’re going to keep it simple by focusing on direct cremation. What is direct cremation? How does it differ from traditional cremation? And what is the average cost for direct cremation in Australia?

What is the difference between cremation and direct cremation?

So, what is the difference between cremation and direct cremation? There is often much confusion surrounding the two, so we’re going to define the important distinctions between them, for your convenience.

The biggest distinction between both traditional cremation and direct cremation is the timeline between death and the cremation itself.

  • Traditional cremation: With traditional cremation, the deceased’s remains will be taken from the hospital or morgue to the funeral home. There, the body will be prepared for ceremony; this involves embalming, dressing, and the other necessary preparations for an open-casket ceremony. After the funeral service is complete, the deceased is then cremated. Finally, the remains will be left with the family.
  • Direct cremation: As for direct cremation, the remains are taken direct from the hospital or morgue, to the crematorium. This is a cremation without a funeral service and the deceased is often cremated in a simple, plain coffin.

What is a direct cremation?

What is a direct cremation? Direct cremation is the quickest and simplest form of cremation available. This is not to be confused with being careless or insensitive. For some people, a direct cremation is all they want, so that the immediate family can share a private and intimate send-off.

Again, the deceased is taken straight from the hospital or morgue to the crematorium where they are cremated and then the remains are handed over to the family from there.

Is direct cremation a good idea?

Is direct cremation a good idea? It all comes down to the deceased’s wishes, and yours as the loved one in charge of arranging the send-off.

In some cases, people will express in their last will and testament how they would like to be cared for. Some people, who are perhaps more reserved and private, would prefer not to have an open-casket funeral. Others may simply not like the idea of having their body embalmed after death. In this case, direct cremation is the best approach—particularly if they expressed that they would like to be cremated as opposed to buried.

In some instances, direct cremation is an essentiality. Depending on the nature of their death, an open-casket ceremony may simply be impossible, or indeed inappropriate.

As an example, for someone who has lost a long and difficult battle with cancer, they will have lost a lot of weight and been a shadow of their former self. In this case, they may want to be remembered as they were in life, and not as they were in their final moments—as such, a direct cremation would be the most appropriate course of action.

Of course, if your loved one died well before their time and didn’t write a last will and testament, then deciding on how to proceed with their funeral arrangements can be difficult. Then again, nobody knew them better than you. In this case, you must give much thought and consideration to what you think they’d have wanted for their send-off.

Some people like the idea of an open-casket funeral with a traditional cremation so that their friends and family can have the opportunity to share a final moment with them before saying their last goodbye. Others, much prefer the idea of having a closed-casket ceremony with a large portrait of them smiling and full of life, as they wish to be remembered.

And finally, a direct cremation is a good idea for those who would like to save as much money as possible. Naturally, the death of a loved one can strike at any time and we are not always in the best of financial positions when this occurs. There is no shame in this. Often, a loved one would much prefer a direct cremation then to leave you stressed and out of pocket whilst having to contend with the grief on top of that.

Again, making this decision is a difficult process and we will do everything that we can to aid and advise you, so that you can come to the ideal conclusion in accordance with what your loved one would have wanted.

How much does a direct cremation cost in Australia?

Finally, how much does a direct cremation cost in Australia? The average cost of direct cremation in Australia is around $4,000, although it can also fall anywhere between $1,800 and $3,000 depending on the situation.

You should allow $4,000 by the time you have factored in funeral director fees, a death certificate, transportation between morgue and crematorium, and the other costs involved. And of course this number can be even higher depending on the level of personalization on top (e.g., casket quality and whether you wish to purchase a ceremonial urn for storing the deceased’s ashes).


And that about sums it up. A direct cremation is the fastest, simplest, and most affordable means of processing a loved one’s remains. It can average about $4,000 and in some cases is the preferred options for those who do not like the idea of being embalmed or having an open-casket funeral.

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at your convenience.

Thank you for reading. We would like to extend our best wishes to you and yours doing these difficult times.
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