Derby was once home to the largest Tin Mine in the world. Now it’s home to some of the best MTB riding in the world. But where in the world is it?
Worth the Trip
Yes, yes, I know, it’s not the most easily accessible place for most people – Tasmania sits 150 miles off the bottom end of Australia – a 45 minute flight from Melbourne. Derby is situated in the north-west of the island – so in short, depending on where you live, it can be tricky to get to.
However! It is amazing.
Geared to Go
If you arrive at Launceston airport there is an area for assembling your bike at the airport. Hertz car rental will hire out a car with a bike rack mounted, ready to go.
Derby is 100 kilometres from Launceston. It is set in a temperate rain forest and features a stunning landscape which will have most riders stopping to catch yet another amazing view, as well as their breath. If you are partial to some top-level shredding, and can make the journey you will be amazed – 80 Kms of jaw dropping trails await.
The transformation from rundown former-mining ‘ghost-town’ to major tourism draw card has taken just three years. Two neighboring local councils (Dorset and Break O’Day) found the 3.1 million AU Dollars to kick-start the development, 2.5 million was then added by Federal Government. The trails blend the natural and the man-made to great effect. The former miners cottages are now sitting resplendent in the rejuvenated town. The bike related industry is now flourishing with bike hire, cafe’s and accommodation all keen to facilitate the constant steady flow of riders to the trails. The town is so MTB centric that one rider commented it was now the unofficial “Disneyland for bikes”.
The success of Derby and several other trail developments including Hollybank nearer Launceston and Maydena near Hobart has prompted other councils to look at the ‘fat tyre dollar’ as a way of boosting their area’s tourism income. April 2017 saw the opening round of the World Series Enduro take place in the town and showcase the amazing mountain biking which Derby offers.
Check it Out
With something for everyone, and catchy little names for ride sections such as the recently opened ’23 stitches’, the trails feature a wide range of riding to challenge everyone from relative newcomers to seasoned pro riders.
The Story of Derby featuring Hans Rey;
Isle of Bikes
There is some spectacular mountain biking to be had all over Tasmania, more MTB parks than you can shake a stick at. There are also a lot of undeveloped trails used by local riders that don’t get the media attention and visitor numbers – i got the impression that’s just how the local riders like it. Road riding also seems pretty good, there is an abundance of quiet backroads between towns, amazing scenery, great climate most of the year and the 1.5m rule (for drivers passing cyclists) is well signed and obeyed.
Should you ever find yourself down this end of the world, it’s well worth it.
More info here
Organised trips from Melbourne details here