UNESCO World Heritage listing bid

About the bid

The former World Heritage bids for the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout have come together for a joint World Heritage bid known as Adelaide and its Rural Settlement Landscapes.

This is following a 2020 feasibility study that found that Adelaide and its Rural Settlement Landscapes were of high heritage value and worthy of addition to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

To prepare the World Heritage nomination documents, a consortium of Councils and agencies are working with World Heritage experts.

Developing a proposed boundary of the World Heritage place will need solid research and stakeholder engagement to confirm the places and/or attributes that best reflect the early settlement patterns. 

The proposed World Heritage boundary will likely be limited to a series of smaller areas that already have a form of heritage or character protection.

Statement of Outstanding Universal Value

The nineteenth Century property comprising Adelaide and its Rural Settlement Landscapes, including the early Adelaide plan, is of Outstanding Universal Value as exceptional evidence of the Wakefield systematic colonisation model, an important and influential model in the history of European free migration and colonial settlement. It is the most complete realisation of British colonial settlement planning in the world, and/or a major achievement of such colonial planning.

Why World Heritage?

UNESCO World Heritage status would position South Australia on the global stage.

World Heritage sites are places of special importance, representing unique and valuable examples of humanity’s cultural and natural heritage.

World Heritage listing would bring international recognition and attention to our region, be a source of local, state and national pride, and boost optimism and investment.

What is the project's high level timeline and status?

Developing a World Heritage bid is a long process reliant upon full participation of Local, State and Commonwealth agencies as well as community and stakeholders to ensure its success. Even with full support, the required investigations and rigorous review process can take many years to complete and there is no guarantee of success.

The World Heritage process is summarised as follows.

World heritage bid timeline

Who are the bid partners?

The bid partners reflect the former World Heritage bids for the Mount Lofty Ranges and the Adelaide Park Lands and City Layout. The bid-partners are committed to developing a robust Governance structure to develop the nomination for World Heritage.

  • City of Adelaide
  • Barossa Council
  • Adelaide Hills Council
  • Onkaparinga Council
  • Mt Barker District Council
  • Department for Environment and Water

Have we considered our Traditional Owners?

While the proposed World Heritage values relate to the settler history, the history of Traditional Owners is just as important. Through the World Heritage process, the bid-partners consortium is seeking to develop long term relationships with Traditional Owners and support them to take part in writing the ‘South Australia story’.

Need more information?