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.

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. 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)

You’ll find a table of State Heritage Places in the Adelaide (City) Development Plan.

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

Local Heritage (City Significance)

A place which positively contributes to the heritage value of the City of Adelaide due to its history, architectural and design qualities, built form character and integrity, may be listed as a Local Heritage Place (City Significance). The heritage value generally comprises the whole of the building, including the interior and may include any associated outbuildings and fences.

City Significance places were gazetted in December 1987 in the Register of City of Adelaide Heritage Items, following heritage surveys undertaken in the 1980s. These places were identified for listing before the introduction of the current local heritage criteria listed in Section 23(4) of the Development Act 1993.

You’ll find a Table of Local Heritage Places (City Significance) in the Adelaide (City) Development Plan.

Local Heritage

A place that has heritage values that are important to the local area may be listed as a Local Heritage Place. The listed portion generally comprises the frontage, roof and side wall returns of the place which are visible from the street. A Local Heritage Place must satisfy one or more of the criteria listed in Section 23(4) of the Development Act 1993.

You’ll find a Table of Local Heritage Places in the Adelaide (City) Development Plan

Discover Local Heritage Places

Search the Heritage Information Sheets below for Local Heritage Places in Adelaide and North Adelaide.

Disclaimer: These heritage information sheets serve as a guide only and are not to be relied upon for legal or other purposes.

The City of Adelaide acknowledges that this section does not contain heritage information sheets for all heritage listed places within Adelaide/North Adelaide.

Local Heritage (Townscape)

A place that positively contributes to the townscape character of the area may be listed as a Local Heritage Place (Townscape). The listed portion generally comprises the frontage, roof and side wall returns of the place that is visible from the street.

Townscape places were identified in a Townscape Survey undertaken between 1988 and 1990 and first listed in the early 1990s. This was before the introduction of the current local heritage criteria, listed in Section 23(4) of the Development Act 1993.

You’ll find a Table of Local Heritage Places (Townscape) in the Adelaide (City) Development Plan.

Need more information?

For more detail about heritage listings contact Council’s Heritage team:

08 8203 7185

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, public holidays excluded

Send an email

Historic Adelaide