Space-starved Aussies dance with dead

A popular coastal trail in Sydney cuts through Waverley Cemetery. Each day, thousands of people pass between the gravestones as they make their way between the beaches at Bronte and Clovelly.
A popular coastal trail in Sydney cuts through Waverley Cemetery. Each day, thousands of people pass between the gravestones as they make their way between the beaches at Bronte and Clovelly.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN PEARLMAN

Land-scarce cities are using graveyards as entertainment, event and leisure venues

In Australia's larger cities, where wide open space is at a premium, cemeteries are transforming from mere resting places for the dead into lively entertainment, recreational - and even wedding - venues.

In cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, cemeteries have held outdoor movie nights, theatrical performances and "jazz in the graveyard" shows or conducted night-time ghost tours and special events on Halloween. Others have installed bike and walking tracks or opened high-end cafes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 22, 2018, with the headline 'Space-starved Aussies dance with dead'. Print Edition | Subscribe