Campbell Town is a major pastoral and tourist centre in the Northern Midlands, originally established in 1821 by Governor Macquarie as one of the four garrison town and probation stations between Hobart and Launceston.
Campbell Town, and the Elizabeth River, which runs through it (previously known as Relief Creek), was named by Macquarie after his wife, Elizabeth Campbell.
The town, which is situated in an important wool-growing district surrounding the Heritage Highway, is 134 kms from Hobart, and 68 kms from Launceston.
The annual Campbell Town Agricultural Show is the oldest of its kind in Australia, having run continuously since 1838.
Campbell Town district has a population of approx 800 of which the largest proportion would be retirees, Campbell Town over the past 10 years has suffered like other rural towns in Australia that have lost business and services at an alarming rate, the biggest losses being over the past 4 years with the closure of the main industry and employer (Saxon Wood heaters) with the loss of 30 jobs, closure of one supermarket and of a rural merchandise store.
However there is a positive side as well with the opening of new businesses coupled with the passing traffic namely 2 Million cars per year.
We believed then that Campbell Town had enormous potential to be a substantial contributor to the states economy with:
1.Location: on the Main Highway midway from Hobart and Launceston, an ideal spot to stop and rest.
2.Good facilities: Parks, Food etc.
3.Possible major tourist industry, relating to the Heritage of the town.
4.Possible celebration of the Transit of Venus in 2004 (Campbell Town was a site in Tasmania that the transit was viewed in 1882 and many more.
In March 2002, a Working Together Workshop was initiated by the Campbell Town District Forum (a committee
of the Northern Midlands Council) to investigate options for making the most of the positive changes that were
happening in the area. In addition, the workshop was looking for ways to support activities and developments that
would help make Campbell Town a more prosperous and enjoyable place to live and work.
As a result, a number of small projects were successfully undertaken by the Working Together Group.
From July 2003, in order to gain broader community involvement and support for the concept, the Heritage Highway Museum and Working Together Group began to hold joint meetings. It was considered essential that all members of the local community had the opportunity to participate in this newly formed organisation and could contribute to the vision and activities planned and undertaken in the Campbell Town district. Thus About Campbell Town Inc was formed as a new community development association. About Campbell Town Inc Committees include Tourism & Marketing, Environment, Youth, and Museum management and Garden Club. Other committees can be convened as and when required to support local community activities, events and planning.
Now Campbell Town has a vibrant business sector with the passing traffic stopping to break their trip, for a coffee or meal use the clean amenities, top off in the many antique or specialty shops or visit the Museum & Visitor Information centre & take a self guided walk through History or a stroll beside the tranquil Elizabeth River