We often hear of bloggers rebranding, people reinventing themselves and businesses rejuvenating with a complete change of priorities and/or focus.
So it makes sense that an entire town can also rejuvenate itself by changing direction and coming alive again.
On a recent trip to Tasmania, we experienced a town that did just that. Derby, (pronounced Dur-Bee, not Dar-bee) in North Eastern Tasmania, is just one town that has been revitalised.
And how have they done this?
With mountain bikes!
Derby was once a thriving town. When tin was discovered in the mid-1870s the town was booming with mines, businesses, people and activity. We found it to be a pretty little town, alongside the Ringarooma River but it has obviously seen better days. It’s surrounded by hills, forest and the Blue Tier Forest Reserve. There are accommodation, cafes and bike businesses catering to the influx of visitors and the town is starting to thrive once again.
Derby is just over 100km from Launceston and is now a popular area for mountain bike riders. All of Tasmania is actually getting a name for being a mecca for mountain bike riders. As well as Rail Trails, the provision of mountain bike trails moves the whole island way ahead of other states of Australia.
In 2015 a network of mountain bike trails was opened in the hills around Derby, called Blue Derby. It has reinvigorated the whole town, and region, with property prices doubling and houses becoming a high-end commodity. They now have businesses catering for all levels of riders and vehicles that can take you and your bike to the top of one of the big descents and then it’s up to you to ride down.
The trails are called Atlas, Black Dragon, Big Chook and Blue Tier descent – just to name a few. I’m afraid I’m not very brave but I did enjoy my meander alongside the river.
We took our bikes with us on the car ferry from Melbourne and rode them in most places we visited during our two week holiday. Although not into mountain biking myself I gave one of the beginner trails a go in Derby and was impressed with the work that has gone into the area. The Mathematician, unfortunately, didn’t have his mountain bike with him, but still had a good ride on one of the more difficult tracks and loved it. There were carloads of people stopping and unloading bikes all the time we were there and this was in a non-holiday time and mid-week.
As well as beautiful forests, bush walks and landscapes the area also has some beautiful waterfalls nearby. We visited St Columba Falls, Lilydale Falls and Halls Falls – these are all quite close to the town of Pyengana.
St Columba Falls is 90 metres high with a huge volume of water tumbling down over the granite rocks. The helpful signs told us that 42000 litres of water every minute go over the falls and in winter this increases to over 200000 litres of water. This water then flows into the sea at St Helens in Georges Bay. Most of the falls had easy walking tracks from the car park to viewing areas and the walk was always well worthwhile! The walks through rainforest, passing by ancient trees and under the cool green canopy were just beautiful and a highlight of our trip.
For more information on this lovely area
This post was kindly written by a lovely Wandering Darling- Debbie from Deb’s World Check out her blog and social media channels with the links below for more great travel, lifestyle and midlife posts.
Debbie is not only a guest blogger but she is also my Mum! A keen blogger and traveller, she along with my dad have been taking my sisters and I on adventures since we were little girls. She has lived abroad, travelled to too many countries to mention and never once sits still. Always planning and thinking of the next great adventure. From treking in Nepal, hosting Rotarty Exchange Students, Riding rail trails, Barging and cycling through Croatia, walking the Kokoda Trail or just coming to visit little old me on the otherside of the world they make the most of their life and show that you just need to get out there to explore.
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7 thoughts on “Derby, Tasmania- Rejuvenating a town”
Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog today. I enjoyed reminiscing about our Tassie visit. I hope our town can see the benefits of cycling tourism soon, once our Rail Trail is built. 🙂
Isn’t Tassie just a great place, so many waterfalls, so much beautiful countryside, so many walking trails. It’s like the Yorkshire Dales but without the crowds. I’ve taken a look at your mums blog, and have subscribed. I think Deb is going to be fun to get to know. Thank you.
I agree with you Chris, Tasmania is an amazingly beautiful place and so free of crowds! Thanks for subscribing to Deb’s World – hope you’ll find something to interest you there 🙂
I’m sure I will – already have in fact.
Saw a great doco on ABC on Derby yesterday and my business would love to support a small regional town that is working so hard to establish a new identity through Adventure tourism and the Blue Derby Trail. Travelling Frogs is the Aussie owned holiday rental accommodation business that does not charge commissions or booking fees to owners or guests meaning more money stays in the Derby local community to assist growth and support local businesses and the community. The Us owned Airbnb and Stayz are currently taking >41.5million/day in commissions out of Australian communities and we want to change that. If you want more info feel free to check out our website at http://www.travellingfrogs.com and you can contact us by email or phone to discuss how we can support you and the rental accommodation owners in your town/region. Cheers Mark
Should be $1.5million/day in commissions.