About our Cemetery

Melbourne’s iconic and historically significant cemetery.

One of Australia’s most historically significant cemeteries, Melbourne General Cemetery is characterised by it’s notable interments, heritage listed Gate House, Prime Ministers Garden and Saint Mary of the Cross mausoleum.

Established in 1852, Melbourne General Cemetery is one of nine cemeteries within the care of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) and is SMCT’s oldest cemetery.

The striking grounds, designed like a large public park, span 43 hectares (106 acres) and feature many historic and ornate monuments.

Melbourne General Cemetery offers a range of burial, cremation and mausolea memorial options.

Our history

Covering 43 hectares (106 acres), the Melbourne General Cemetery is one of the most important cemeteries in Australia, established with trustees in 1852 and opened in 1853. It was the first modern cemetery in Victoria, in that it was designed like a large public park with wide wavy paths, separate religious areas, gate lodges, rotundas, chapels, evergreen trees and shrubs.

The first burial was that of John Burnett in 1853 and there have been over 300,000 burials since then. The heritage listed gate lodge was rebuilt during 1934 and 35 and the oldest surviving buildings are the Jewish chapel of 1854 and the Catholic mortuary chapel of the 1870s and 1880s.

There are a large number of notable interments, including Australian Prime Ministers.

Our continuing care of the cemetery

At Melbourne General Cemetery we are proud of our historic grounds and the very special areas in which to honour and celebrate life. Our skilled maintenance teams, arborists and horticulturist’s work year round to keep our grounds in pristine condition.

Map of Melbourne General Cemetery

To help you find your way around our grounds, this location map highlights some key areas and points of interest.

Floral and memento guidelines policy

To help us maintain a beautiful, clean, tidy and hazard-free environment, Melbourne General Cemetery has developed a Floral and Memento Policy. These guidelines clearly outline what kind of tributes can be left at graves, crypts and cremation memorials.

Registered Funeral Directors

In order to work with Melbourne General Cemetery, funeral directors must be registered. Funeral directors who are registered with us have the appropriate governance requirements in place and have a clear understanding of how to manage a funeral service within our location.

Registered Monumental Masons

A monumental mason is a stonemason who specialises in the creation, installation and repair of headstones or monuments. In order to work at Melbourne General Cemetery, monumental masons must be registered. Those who are registered with us have the appropriate governance requirements in place.


We place great emphasis on employee engagement as we recognise that our people are our greatest asset. We aim to recruit and retain highly skilled employees and offer excellent working conditions, flexibility and tailored training programmes. The welfare of our team remains a priority and, as a result, our people are motivated to provide the highest level of service to our client families.