Deloraine is a Tasmanian rural community exactly half way between Launceston and Devonport on the Bass Highway, located in a fertile valley dominated by Quamby Bluff and the Western Tiers. It existed as a municipality from 1863 to 1993.

In 1823 Governor Sorell sent Captain Rolland to explore the far west of Norfolk Plains (now Longford) and land to the west to find suitable land for agriculture. The area was subsequently opened up and named Mount Roland. The Deloraine township was probably named by the Surveyor Scott, after Sir William Deloraine in a poem by his kinsman Sir Walter Scott, 'Lay of the Last Minstrel'.

Deloraine district's new settlers were amongst the first required to pay to take up leases in 1825 when Lieutenant Governor Arthur appointed Land Commissioners to assess the use of the land for future Crown Land leases. Bonney's Inn was built around 1831, and the town developed further in the 1830s and 1840s, adjacent to the more developed convict village of Alveston. The first Anglican church in the town was a wooden building completed in 1847, replaced in 1859. Early settlers in the district raised cattle and grew wheat, but the climate was unsuitable and they did not prosper.

Alveston gradually joined with Deloraine as the towns developed.

In the 1850s laws were changed to encourage development, allowing land to be purchased for as little as one pound per acre. Settlement then grew rapidly, in spite of problems with bushrangers and transport. The State's first rail link between Launceston and Deloraine opened in 1872.

The town of Deloraine became a municipality in 1863. A Baptist Tabernacle was built in 1880.

Deloraine issued a medal in 1887 to mark the jubilee of Queen Victoria (NU 34790).

In about 1890 a Victorian Italianate post office was constructed in the main street, Emu Bay Rd. It was later used as the Deloraine library. Two years later local family doctor Frank Cole built the large mansion, 'Arcoona'.

In the twentieth century tourism became important to the local economy, with buildings from the 1830s and 1840s still standing in the town.

The Meander Valley Council was created on 2 April 1993 from the merger of the former Municipalities of Deloraine and Westbury. The Central Highlands Municipal Area was formed the same year by the amalgamation of the whole of the Hamilton and Bothwell municipalities and a relatively small part of the Municipality of Deloraine.

Register of the National Estate website;place_id=12448 the Regional Institute Limited, accessed 08/01/2004.
First National Conference on the Future of Australia's Country Towns website, accessed 08/01/2004.
Fairfax Walkabout web site, accessed 08/01/2004.

More Information