State heritage areas

A state heritage area is a clearly defined region with outstanding natural or cultural elements significant to South Australia's development and identity.

South Australia has 17 state heritage areas, chosen because they represent our natural and cultural heritage and capture the state's identity and character. No two state heritage areas are alike - differing in size, location and historic elements. Ranging from the far north to the south-east, from metropolitan suburbs to towns in the Adelaide Hills area, some areas are recognised for their architecture, layout or contributions to South Australia's development, while others are natural areas of scenic or geological importance.

While many areas in South Australia contain elements of heritage interest, not all of them are extensive or significant enough to be named state heritage areas. Local heritage areas, historic (conservation) zones and historic precincts are examples of regions recognised for their local heritage significance.

A state heritage area is notable for its distinct character or 'sense of place', formed by:

  • buildings and structures
  • spaces and allotments
  • patterns of streets
  • natural features or the developed landscape.

Although state heritage areas are protected under legislation, places within the area can be altered or developed as long as the work is sympathetic to the character of the area.

State Heritage Area Guidelines for Development can be found on the individual heritage area pages.