Heritage listings explained

Places deemed to be of significant historical and social value are protected via heritage listing in order to preserve our past, enrich our future and tell an important story.

There are different levels of heritage listings, which provide different types of protection to the place. Heritage listings are managed by various government agencies and legislation.

Heritage listings explained

World Heritage

The highest level of heritage listing is the UNESCO World Heritage List, designed to protect and conserve the cultural or physical heritage of global significance. In 1994 the Naracoorte Caves National Park in south-eastern South Australia was placed on the World Heritage List for its extensive fossil records.

In April 2021, the Flinders Ranges was accepted on the World Heritage Tentative List. Further information about the nomination is available here.

Council is participating in a project to have the Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout recognised as a World Heritage Place. This project would combine telling the story of the colonial settlement model associated with the Adelaide Plan and parts of the Mt Lofty Ranges, including that of the impact of colonisation on Aboriginal people. Further information will be made available as this project progresses.

National Heritage

The National Heritage List contains places determined so special to all Australians, that they are considered to have National Heritage Value.

To be listed, the place must meet one or more of the statutory criteria

Information about a place’s National Heritage Value is then recorded in the list, and these values are protected under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).

Adelaide is fortunate to have two listings on the National Heritage List. These are South Australia’s Old and New Parliament Houses, and the Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout.

Commonwealth Heritage

The Commonwealth Heritage List, established under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999), comprises natural, Indigenous and historic heritage places which are either entirely within a Commonwealth area, or outside the Australian jurisdiction and owned or leased by the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth Authority.

The List can include places connected to defence, communications, customs and other government activities, which have been assessed against nine eligibility criteria

You’ll find two places within the City of Adelaide included on this list; the General Post Office on King William Street and the North Adelaide Post Office on Tynte Street.

State Heritage

A place which contributes to South Australia's architectural, social, technological or scientific history may be listed as a State Heritage Place. In most cases, the listing comprises the whole of the place, including the interior and any associated outbuildings and fences. To be eligible, it must satisfy one or more of the criteria listed in Section 16 of the Heritage Places Act (1993)

View the Department of Environment and Water’s South Australian Heritage Register.

Local Heritage

A place that has heritage values that are important to the local area may be listed as a Local Heritage Place. A Local Heritage Place must satisfy one or more of the values set out in Section 67(1) of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act, 2016 (SA).

Discover the City of Adelaide's Heritage Places

Search the Heritage Places of Adelaide online database for Heritage Listed Places in both Adelaide and North Adelaide.

Need more information?

For more detail about heritage listings contact Council’s Heritage team, Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm:

Historic Adelaide