Brief History of Glenorchy
The City of Glenorchy is Tasmania's fourth largest city. Glenorchy is located in the Greater Hobart metropolitan area in Southern Tasmania. It is about 7 km north of Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart, and is nestled below the Wellington Range on the western shore of the River Derwent.
Glenorchy has a population of 46,397 people distributed over an area of 121 km2.
You can see a snapshot of our city, people and activities at our Glenorchy City Community Profile and Housing Profile on the id.community website (external links).
Tasmanian Aboriginals were the first inhabitants of the area where Glenorchy lies today.
Land grants in the Glenorchy area began in 1804, and by the 1820s it was occupied by farms and was a place of rural retreat from Hobart. The period between 1840 and 1860 was one of steady growth in Glenorchy, culminating in the area becoming a municipality in 1864. The name Glenorchy means 'glen of tumbling waters’ and the city is believed to have been named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie after his wife's home in Scotland.
Commercial orchards developed into a significant industry, with the first cool store being built in the 1880s. German farming immigrants settled about 10 km west of Glenorchy at Bismark and Glenlusk. The railway was connected to Glenorchy in the 1870s, and the connection by tram to Hobart came in 1893.
After the first world war the Glenorchy district attracted two large industrial plants – the Electrolytic Zinc Company at Lutana, opposite Risdon, and the Cadbury chocolate factory at Claremont at the northern end of the Glenorchy municipality.
In 1952 the Brooker Highway from Hobart to Berriedale began giving motor car access to Glenorchy. It put pressure on congested shopping areas in Moonah and Glenorchy, and the Council undertook street-widening and off-street parking works. By 1964, when Glenorchy was proclaimed a city, more than 150 industrial sites employed in excess of 50,000 people. The last orchards were subdivided in 1972.
Today, the City of Glenorchy has the second largest shopping district in southern Tasmania (the largest being in Hobart). The city has three major commercial areas including Moonah, Glenorchy CBD and Claremont.
Coat of Arms
Glenorchy was named as a city on 24 October 1964, exactly one hundred years after it was first proclaimed a municipality.
The College of Heraldry in Britain officially approved the city's Coat of Arms and Armorial Bearings in 1980 in recognition of our importance.
The design of the Coat of Arms shows the underlying character and identity of our city. The cogwheels and the plough represent our strength in industry and agriculture. The white horse symbolises recreation and the city's importance as the horse racing centre in the State. The Tasmanian tiger and the white-backed magpie are indigenous to our city and the State. The gold cross represents the Church, which formed a focus for our early villages and, in turn, formed the foundation of our City.