The City of Clarence is located between the eastern shore of the Derwent River to the west, Pitt Water and the Coal River valley to the east, the Meehan Range to the north, and Storm Bay to the south. Being on the eastern shore of the Derwent River, it is located opposite to Hobart and Glenorchy, both of which are located on the western shore. Despite only being the 29th largest city in Australia in terms of population (52,935), it is the 9th largest city in Australia in terms of area (386 km² or 149.0 sq mi). Despite this, more than one third of the city remains untouched bushland. The administrative centre of Clarence at Rosny Park is approximately 5 kilometres from the CBD of Hobart. The City of Clarence is administered by the Clarence City Council, and is home to both the Hobart International Airport and Bellerive Oval. Rosny Park is the main commercial district in the east of Greater Hobart (featuring Eastlands Shopping Centre) and also the administrative centre of the City of Clarence.
The area that now constitutes the City of Clarence was once part of the traditional land of the Moomairemener, a sub-group of the Tasmanian Aborigines. In 1803, the island of Tasmania (then Van Diemen's Land) was colonised by United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, who subsequently established the settlement of Hobart Town. By the 1820s the settlement had spread to the 'Clarence Plains', but the area remained primarily agricultural until the mid to late 20th century, when it experienced a residential development boom. Since then Clarence has grown rapidly to become a self-sufficient city.