The heritage listed Empire Hotel was established in 1902 as an overnight staging post for travellers between Launceston and Devonport. When originally established the Hotel included a set of livery stables at the rear of the building.
The ‘Deloraine Livery and Bait Stables and Tourist Trade Company’ operated from these stables which “were set up for tourists on their way to the Mole Creek caves, country picnics and those visiting nearby rivers lakes to change their and horses and rest”. Traces of the old stables can still be seen at the rear of the building.
Located midway between Launceston and Devonport, the Empire continues to be perfectly located for your exploration of the surrounding countryside and connections with the Spirit of Tasmania and the Launceston airport.
In 1917 AJ Fowler established a bicycle factory in what is now our café and restaurant – ‘Cycles’. Fowlers became renowned and developed a reputation for exporting bikes to Melbourne. The development of Fowlers reflected the popularity of cycling in northern Tasmania throughout the last century. An encyclopaedia of cycling published in 1900 observed that “Tasmania was a paradise for a touring cyclist with excellent cycling roads and a variety of scenery.”
Nothing much has changed – The Empire is a perfect lodge for tourists, cyclists and walkers looking to explore the variety of stunning countryside and bushland of the Meander Valley in northern Tasmania.