Deloraine


Undated postcard of Deloraine (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

Deloraine, a town situated on the banks of the Meander River and lying at the foothills of the Great Western Tiers, was named after Sir William Deloraine from the poem 'Lay of the Last Minstrel', by Sir Walter Scott. Classified as an historic town, with many of its buildings dating back to the 1830s and 1840s, Deloraine is the centre of a rich agricultural region. Before European settlement the Aborigines of the North tribe frequented the area. A probation station was located at Deloraine from 1843 until 1847, the convicts mainly employed on the construction of roads. In 1871 the Launceston and Western Railway Company established a rail link between Launceston and Deloraine, improving travelling conditions and opening up the district.

The Deloraine Turf Club, established in 1874, conducts the Grand National Steeplechase. This event, held on Easter Monday, is run over a course of living brush steeples, the only such course in Australia. Features of Deloraine are the Giant Steps School, a special school for children with autism; the Tasmanian Craft Fair held each November, and the YARNS Artwork in Silk, housed at the Great Western Tiers Visitors' Centre, depicting the region's history, mountains, rivers, rural industries and lifestyle in four large panels one for each season.

Further reading: Let's talk about Deloraine, c 1979, TL; J Skemp, A history of Deloraine, Launceston, 1964.

Margaret Harman