Cemeteries are parklands full of life

Life among the headstones

Visitors to any one of the eight cemeteries and memorial parks that the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) cares for are immediately struck with how much beauty, and life, exists within the grounds.

Featured image above: Acer rubrum, Norway Maple leaves unfurl like slowly burning embers at Springvale Botanical Cemetery – Image: Debra R.


t is no wonder that many people enjoy walking through our grounds. This is because cemeteries were historically set up as park lands designed to be used by the community for a variety of purposes. Ask any of our staff what it’s like to work at a cemetery and words like ‘beautiful’, ‘natural’ and ‘serene’ are mentioned well before ‘tombstone’ or ‘gravestone’.

Most of us have images on our smartphones of scenes we’ve been moved to capture during our workday. Photos of the seasons unfurling before our eyes, or the wildlife that ‘works’ alongside us in our shared habitat. Photos that show life among the headstones.

Scroll down to see some of our favourite images from SMCT employees. These show the founding principles of cemeteries as multi-purpose, community assets are still very much in evidence, and continue to hold true in our commitment to preserve and enrich the cemetery park lands entrusted to our care.

Cemeteries teeming with life
Winter sun warms the trees at Springvale Botanical Cemetery Image: Paul O.
Cemeteries full of life
Looking out at the rain from the Boyd Chapel at Springvale Botanical Cemetery Image: Paul O.
Cemeteries full of life
Autumn maples stand sentry at Springvale Botanical Cemetery Image: Debra R.
Life at the cemetery
Spot the kookaburra  at Springvale Botanical Cemetery Image: Paul O.
Life at the cemetery
Now spot the magpie. Hint, try the tree Image: Paul O.
Life at the cemetery
Lake Australis gets silver-plated at Bunurong Memorial Park Image: Prethein T.
Life at the cemetery
‘Embers in the mist’ at the Garden of No Distant Place, Springvale Botanical Cemetery Image Paul O.
Life at the cemetery
Autumn bird’s eye view at Song He Yuan, Springvale Botanical Cemetery Image: Paul O.

We hope these images inspire you to visit us at any one of our eight distinctive sites and take photos of your own, or why not take a tour and learn about the environmental, historical, cultural and artistic significance of cemeteries?


  1. Springvale Botanical Cemetery is spectacular across all seasons but none more so than during our Autumn/Fall season. The colours of reds and gold are breathtaking. Bunurong is just so unique – every time I visit I see change – different light from the lake. Just looking out across the lake from The Sanctuary brings both peace and joy!
    I love the spaces which have been created for reflection and joy.


    1. Thanks Madonna, Bunurong Memorial Park really is a beautiful, vast and stunning landscape any time of year…and the great coffee and cake at Cafe Vita there is an extra draw card for family and friends to gather! Jasmine


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