Escape into a relaxed world of shopping at Centrepoint.

This is our history.

Centrepoint Stores provide premium customer service that makes shopping quick and easy.

A modern history of 70-76 Murray Street, the current Centrepoint Shopping Centre

1810 – 2016

Ever shopped, parked or worked at Hobart’s Waterloo Shopping Centre?

We may all have been doing just that if National Mutual, the original developer of Centrepoint Shopping Centre had gone ahead with its plan to name the shopping complex Waterloo. However, The Hobart City Council stepped in and deemed Centrepoint to be a more apt name.[i]

Centrepoint Shopping Centre and the original five storey car park complex opened in 1979.The centre was planned in 1974 as the Hobart City Council recognised the need for additional CBD parking and retail space. However, development was forced into hiatus for two years following the collision of bulk ore carrier, The Lake Illawarra with the Tasman Bridge on Sunday, January 5, 1975. At 9:27 that evening, life for many Tasmanians, and in particular Hobart’s Eastern Shore residents, suddenly changed as did the demand for additional CBD parking and shopping amenities. In 1977, with the bridge re-opened, the CBD project was revisited by developer, National Mutual, and two years later Centrepoint and the five level car park, accommodating 535 cars, finally opened on the 9th of October 1979.[ii]

Today, Centrepoint is home to 34 modern retail businesses and 830 car parking spaces; three additional car parking levels were added during the 2009 refurbishment and redevelopment.

Murray Street

Murray Street and the Centrepoint site are steeped in Hobart’s history. Murray Street was named after Military commander Captain John Murray, the Commandant of Hobart Town from 1810 to 1812 when Hobart’s Military command post was located by the Hobart Rivulet and the current Centrepoint site. The command post perimeter continued down as far as Hadley’s Hotel.[iii] The Hobart rivulet, a source of fresh water at the time, still runs underneath Centrepoint.

Between 1804 and 1813 Van Diemen’s Land, was divided along the 42nd parallel, 42 degrees south, with the South and North governed as separate “Lieutenant-Governorships” under the Government of NSW.

For two years, 1810 until 1812, Hobart Town was administered “pro tempore” that is, for the time being, by Commandant, Lord Murray. The North was administered by Major George Alexander Gordon at Port Dalrymple, so indeed a true North – South divide existed at that time.[iv]

Centrepoint the site of the first Hobart GPO, two hotels, a rose and vegetable garden, livery stables and was almost named after the site of Napoleon’s great defeat, Yes we all may well have been shopping at Waterloo instead of Centrepoint if National Mutual, the original developer of Centrepoint Shopping Centre had gone ahead with its plan to name the complex Waterloo. However, The Hobart City Council stepped in and deemed Centrepoint to be a more appropriate name. [vii]

Murray Street’s Centrepoint site

Apart from the original Ancient Romans Forum, the Ottoman’s 15th century Grand Bazaar of Instanbul and other similar undercover markets the modern shopping centre concept (the linking of shops by undercover walkways) is essentially a late 19th century and early 20th century construct, and until Centrepoint was developed in the late 1970s the original Murray Street site street frontage was home to a progression of Hobart street-front businesses and services.

Following Murray’s rivulet military post the site became the business base for entrepreneur, John Collicott a general store and auctioneer business and also later in 1822 his private postal service for three years. In 1828 following an enquiry into postal charges the Postmaster’s role became a government service in order to regulate the exorbitant private fees being charged. In 1828 Collicott was appointed the first GPO Postmaster on the Centrepoint site. [v]

By 1891 the Murray Street site housed Mrs Alexander, aStaymaker (corsetiere), Mr Glock Lorenz’s Derwent Hotel, Misses Newitt’s fancy goods. Neighbouring Murray Street businesses at the time included Abbott and Sargeant, Watchmaker, John W Toplis, Chemist, Susman’s fancy warehouse, and of course Joseph Bidenscope, Tailor. [vi]

Later the site was developed to incorporate the Austin Thomas livery stables and Tobacconist, Robert McFarlane. By 1914 Edwards Reynolds had opened a general drapery and clothing store. Then from 1918 Fredrick Plaister Drapery and Barker’s The Furrier occupied the site, F.S. Rogers Confectionery replaced the Furrier, however Plaister’s traded on until 1930.

Businesses followed the fashions, trends and needs of the era, as they still do today, and the site saw a number of other businesses come and go during the 1940s and 1950s including a Coffee Inn, Benjamin Jones Boot maker and the Tasmanian Bookmakers Club. The Astoria Hotel with its Mildara Wines neon sign, a local landmark of the day, occupied the site during the 1960s and 1970s until Centrepoint was developed in 1977. [vii]

Since opening almost 37 years ago Centrepoint has been home to many quality retailers seeking a premium site to continue the proud tradition of providing quality merchandise, professional services and excellent customer service to Hobart residents and visitors.

Centrepoint Shopping Centre is proudly owned by local Tasmanians while the eight level car park is owned and operated by the Hobart City Council.


[i] Growing with Strength: A History of the Hobart City Council 1846-2000 p426

[ii] Growing with Strength: A History of the Hobart City Council 1846-2000 pp425-426

[iii] Southern Star Newspaper 21 August, 1992

[iv] Widowson, Henry: Present State of Van Diemen’s Land, 1829

[v] Southern Star Newspaper21 August, 1992

[vi] Southern Star Newspaper 21 August, 1992

[vii] The Tasmania Post office directory serial 1890 – 1891