Zetland was named for Thomas Dundas, 2nd Earl of Zetland, who was a friend of Governor Sir Hercules Robinson. Zetland is an archaic spelling of Shetland.
Zetland originally featured a lagoon and swamp which was drained in the early 1900s to create the Victoria Park racecourse. It was bordered by O’Dea Avenue, South Dowling Street, Epsom Road and Joynton Avenue. The privately owned racecourse was closed after World War II. The land was bought by British businessman Lord Nuffield in 1947 and from 1950 the site was utilised by Nuffield Australia for a motor vehicle assembly facility. Vehicle production was continued by Nuffield Australia and its successors BMC Australia and Leyland Australia until the factory was closed in 1975. The site was acquired by the Commonwealth of Australia for a Naval Stores depot which operated until the mid-1990s. The land was subsequently redeveloped into high density housing (location: 33.908°S 151.2105°E).
Zetland Post Office was first opened on 4 January 1937 and closed on 29 September 1983.