The Deloraine area has become a centre for artists and craftspeople, drawn by the lifestyle and inspired by the stunning scenery. Set against the backdrop of the Great Western Tiers, Deloraine is a pleasant town on the banks of the Meander River in north-eastern Tasmania. The town reflects its early history in its many colonial buildings while the surrounding area is used for mixed farming and dairying.
In the late 1970s Deloraine experienced an influx of artists and craftspeople seeking an alternative lifestyle. Senior Rotarians at the time explored ways of facilitating the integration of these new creative people into the conservative farming community. The Rotary President of the time, John Sullivan, suggested a Craft Fair as a way not only to bring the two parts of the community together, but also to develop an avenue for the artisans to sell their products. John's idea was taken up by the Rotary Club of Deloraine, which started development of the inaugural event in 1981. This was called the Tasmanian Cottage Industry Exhibition and Craft Fair. The Fair boasted 34 exhibitors and during the two days attracted about 3000 people to the local Community Centre. It was a huge success as it provided a window of opportunity for people to display and sell their work.
During the ensuing years the Fair continued to develop and expand with increased numbers of both exhibitors and attendees. As the Fair grew it was necessary to find additional space, so it spread throughout various venues around the town and gallery owners became involved. Cottage industries blossomed to include cheese, wine, liqueurs, truffles, and more.
The Fair grew to such an extent that it gained recognition as a major Tasmanian event. Publicity for the Fair began to go national and, to help in attracting Government assistance, in 1996 the Rotary Club decided to change the name from the Tasmanian Cottage Industry Exhibition and Craft Fair to the Tasmanian Craft Fair. This gave focus to the state as well as the event. We now refer to the show as the Tasmanian Craft Fair, presented by the Rotary Club of Deloraine, although locals still use the affectionate phrase... "The Deloraine Craft Fair".
Time zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time
The language: Australian English
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
Altitude: 253m above sea level
Population: approximate residential population - 3100
Climate: average max temperature in January is 21.5 degrees Celsius, and in June 11 degrees Celsius
Waterways: the Meander River flows through the township
History: Deloraine was explored in 1823 by Captain Rolland, and established in about the late 1840
Distances: Deloraine is 228 km north of Hobart (southern Tasmania), and 48 km west of Launceston (central north Tasmania)