Historic Oatlands will be encounted when traveling the Midlands Highway between Hobart and Launceston. Oatlands is a sort of halfway mark town. Oatlands is now a by-pass town and the local economy is now slower.
The area was first formally explored by Europeans when Governor Lachlan Macquarie and his party passed through in 1811. It was another decade before Macquarie returned to the district. On the second visit he recognized the present site as "a very eligible station for a town" and, according to a local plaque, he named the town "Oatlands" on 3 June 1821. The name reputedly referred to a rich grain-growing area of Macquarie's native Scotland.
Oatlands importance was guaranteed in 1821 when Macquarie decided to establish a road from George Town (at the time it was known as Port Dalrymple) to Hobart. A number of military posts were established along the road and Oatlands was chosen as one such site.
In the following five years a few settlers moved into the area but it wasn't until the arrival of a military detachment in 1825 that it began to develop.
Modern Oatlands is a service centre for the surrounding farming community. It has the usual array of modern facilities which blend successfully with the town's historic past. There are quite a number of heritage buildings.