The bells of St Peter's Cathedral rang out as the service began in the Adelaide Oval, which was the scene of many of Hookes' greatest triumphs and where he captained the South Australian team in 90 matches during the 1980s and early 90s.
He also played 23 Tests and 39 One-day matches for Australia, and latterly coached the Victoria State side which now leads the Sheffield Shield competition.
The current Australian team attended the public service, along with political leaders from South Australia and Victoria.
Hookes, 48, died last Monday after he was assaulted outside a Melbourne hotel on January 18. Hotel bouncer Zdravko Micevic, 21, has been charged with manslaughter in relation to Hookes' death.
A single red rose from Hookes' wife Robyn and two yellow roses from his children lay at the foot of three stumps placed at one end of the pitch where Hookes scored many of his 12,671 first-class runs and 20 of his 32 centuries.
A bat rested against the stumps, in line with his custom during intervals in games, along with a South Australian team cap.
Flanked by a police escort, the coffin was brought to the ground in a silver hearse to applause by a crowd that fell silent as it was taken to an altar on the ground.
Hookes' first Australian captain, Ian Chappell, described him in a eulogy as a special player "exciting to watch."
He spoke of Hookes' Australian debut in the 1977 Centenary Test when he shot to instant fame after hitting England captain Tony Greig for five consecutive boundaries off one over.
"I think that innings is so typical of David, not only of his cricket career but his life," Chappell said. "When everybody else was struggling with the occasion, Hookesy came along and put it all into perspective."
Bouncer charged for assault on Hookes