Hiker overlooking pristine blue waters of Little Blue Lake near Derby


There’s something special happening in a little town in the North East of Tasmania. Derby, once home to 3,000 people in its tin mining heyday, is having its resurgence.

Derby has been reinvented into an adventure packed destination for those seeking adrenaline, adventure and eco-luxe experiences. There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the town with a historic past and exciting future.

Derby is a scenic 1 hour and 30 minute drive from Launceston, through the rolling countryside and moody rainforests that have become synonymous with Tasmania. This region happens to be one of the premier sparkling wine regions of Tasmania, with vineyards such as Jansz, Delamere, Kreglinger and Clover Hill – you’re spoiled for choice.

Arriving at Derby, you’ll be greeted by restored mining cottages and cabin-inspired accommodation, nestled into the surrounding rainforest.

The sauna sits on the edge of a lake.

Credit: Anjie Blair

Accommodation Derby River Cabins

Credit: River Cabins Derby - Toby

Clover Hill

Credit: Clover Hill Wines

Derby Mountain Bike Trails

Credit: Stu Gibson & Tourism Tasmania

Derby Main Rd of the town

Credit: Stu Gibson & Tourism Tasmania

Little Blue Lake Derby

Credit: Trent John Martin

Changing Gears

Derby is a mountain bike mecca, home to several world class mountain bike trails under the Blue Derby network. There are 125km worth of trails highlighting the region’s natural beauty. There’s a trail for all abilities: from children and beginners, to the more advanced riders. The trails are free to use and access, making it family-friendly.

There are several local businesses, such as Vertigo MTB and Evolution Biking, that can assist with fitting and hiring all the gear needed for a day of fun. These businesses also offer shuttle busses to assist with accessing different parts of the trails.

Take the Plunge

The country’s first Floating Sauna is located in the heart of Derby. Sitting tranquil on Derby Lake (Briseis Hole to the locals), the sauna is a 10 minute walk from town.

The sauna provides beautiful views of surrounding forests – before you take the plunge into the cold (but refreshing) water. It’s popular, so book in advance.

Feed me

There’s also plenty of Tasmanian produce on offer. The Hub Derby is the perfect place to enjoy a woodfired pizza on the deck, watching the world go by. There’s a selection of local wines and craft beers – we highly recommend the local favourite, Little Rivers Brewing Co.

Discover some gems

Explore the historical gems that this region has to offer. Visit the Derby School House Museum and learn about the mining history of this town, including its mining boom and the 1929 flooding disaster.

Take a trip to Little Blue Lake, a 25 minute drive North of Derby. As the name suggests, the lake is a bright turquoise blue. The colour results from historical mineral deposits that occurred when this was a thriving mining region. It’s picturesque, but not safe for swimming.

The last stop, Mt Paris Dam, is a local must-see and a 15 minute drive from Derby. The Dam was constructed mostly by hand in 1935-36 for mining operations. When you arrive here, you will be in awe of the concrete wall standing tall in the forest, slowly being reclaimed by nature. It’s listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register and remains an important reminder of the town’s history.

Visitor itinerary: Derby.

Target market: Self-drive itinerary for couples / middle aged couples

Derby: Historic past, exciting future.

In the North East of Tasmania a little town, once home to nearly 3,000 people in its mining heyday, is having its resurgence.

The town of Derby has re-emerged from its past life as a bustling mining town, to an adventure packed destination for adrenaline junkies and those seeking more eco-luxe experiences.

There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy.

Discover more

Head back to our Tassie's Top Tourism Town page to explore more of our great entries in this year's search for top honours.