LAST week at the Bunurong Memorial Park - a big cemetery near the outer Melbourne suburb of Dandenong - earth movers were starting to build a road to an on-site red-gum forest which, in less than a year, will host the newest of Australia's new-age burials.
Forest or "woodland" burials on the grounds of existing cemeteries, with the body in a shroud or light covering, are also gaining popularity in other states.
It is seen as a more natural or environmentally friendly option than being buried deep down in a heavy coffin - especially for the technologically savvy, environmentally friendly and wealthy baby boomers, who will soon start dying.
From early next year at the revamped Bunurong, families of those buried in the red gums with no gravestone and moss and grass growing over them in time will be able to track the body by GPS.
The 10-cent-coin-sized GPS trackers will be encased in a plastic capsule and attached to the shroud. As the shroud and body decompose the tracker remains in the ground and visitors can find the burial site through an app on a mobile phone or other device.
New trends in burial and memorialisation will become more common as the generation that says it changed life also goes about changing death. The oldest post-war baby boomers - born between 1946 and 1964 - are now 69. Their demise is, if not imminent, then at least looming.
And it will be a busy time for the death industry. According to Sydney funeral director Dale Maroney, chief executive officer of Walter Carter Funerals, it will be "a boom time - the work has to come."
Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust chief operating officer Jane Grover says the death of the baby boomers will be "a 20-year cycle of significantly increased death rates". There are 5.5 million baby boomers in Australia holding 40 per cent of the country's personal wealth. By 2020 it is forecast half the country's population will be over 65. Advances in medicine and better lifestyles mean they will live longer, but when they die it will be in big numbers.
"The industry has been waiting and we are still waiting," Maroney says.
Industry leaders say that traditional methods of interment and memorialisation will fade as the more adventurous, emotionally intelligent baby boomers face death. This is why Australian cemeteries like Bunurong, Lismore Memorial Park in NSW and Kingston in Hobart, Tasmania, are getting ready.
In Victoria, since 2010, cemeteries on Crown Land need to be self-sufficient as not-for-profit enterprises. They get no state money. A traditional burial with headstone costs between $3500 and $20,000. A cremation, more popular but environmentally less friendly, costs about $1000.
A so-called "green burial" in a shroud under a cemetery tree will cost about $4500 at Bunurong from next year, Grover says.
She says if older generations had a "just bury me" attitude, younger baby boomers are more interested in "the art of dying well". She says burials would be shallow at 1.2 metres, which aids decomposition.