Derby, Tasmania

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Derby is located in Tasmania
Coordinates41°09′S 147°48′E / 41.150°S 147.800°E / -41.150; 147.800Coordinates: 41°09′S 147°48′E / 41.150°S 147.800°E / -41.150; 147.800
Population173 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density2.69/km2 (7.0/sq mi)
Elevation164 m (538 ft)
Area77.7 km2 (30.0 sq mi)
LGA(s)Dorset Council
State electorate(s)Bass
Federal division(s)Bass

Derby (/ˈdɜːrbi/ DUR-bee)[2] is a small Australian town located in the northeast of Tasmania.

The area had been surveyed in 1855, but was not settled until 1874, when George Renison Bell discovered tin in the area. The Krushka brothers discovered a large lode of tin, and set up a mine (named The Brothers Mine) in the area, assuring the town's economic future. The town was originally known as Brother's Home until renamed Derby (believed to be after Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom).[3]

Brother's Home Post Office opened on 1 August 1882 and was renamed Derby in 1885.[4]

Derby reached its peak in the late 19th century, when its population reached over 3,000, and the Brothers Mine (renamed the Briseis Mine after the winner of the 1876 Melbourne Cup) was producing upwards of 120 tonnes of tin per month.[3]

On 4 April 1929, the Briseis Dam used by the mine burst after heavy rains and the Cascade River flooded the town, killing 14 people. The mine was closed, but re-opened five years later although it never reached the same level of output as it had in the last century and closed in 1948.[3]

Derby was served by a branch railway line which extended from Launceston to Herrick, 4 kilometres (2.4 mi) short of Moorina. The line through Derby station opened on 15 March 1919 and ran through the hills 2 km (1.2 mi) from the town. The railway closed in April 1992.[5]

Mountain Biking in Derby[edit]

In 2015 a network of Mountain Bike trails (MTB) opened in the wooded hills surrounding Derby. The trails are called Blue Derby and stretch out to the Blue Tier area. Mountain bike tourism has transformed the town and mountain bike and trail running events have been held, with many guided tours also available. The Derby trail network has been widely commended around the world as one of the best and featured frequently in the media for its incredibly impact on the town. In April 2017, Derby hosted a round of the Enduro World Series. It was the first time the Enduro World Series has been held in Australia.[6]

In March 2019, Derby hosted round two of the Enduro World Series.

In 2015 the Tasmanian government called for tourism developments in national parks and as a result approved a mountain bike tourism experience called the Blue Derby Pods Ride.[7]

Since the mountain bike trails opened, real estate prices in Derby have increased. The impact of the trails on the town has been caused significant growth within the town from the additional tourism traffic.[8] The changes to the town have also caused friction between tourists and some locals.[9]


Every October Derby is host to the Derby River Derby; an annual friendly river race featuring homemade or inflatable rafts.[10][11] It had a 2008 attendance of approximately 4000 people and can attract up to 1000 competitors from around the state.[11]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Derby (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 November 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  3. ^ a b c Derby, The Age, 8 February 2004.
  4. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  5. ^ The North-eastern Line of the Tasmanian Government Railways Stokes, H.J.W. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, March–April 1997, pp 67–77; 107–121.
  6. ^ "Mountain bikers flock to Tasmania's 'super sick' Blue Derby trail". ABC News. 8 April 2017.
  7. ^[bare URL]
  8. ^ "What if Mountain Biking Never Came Along? Derby's Impact".
  9. ^ "What happens when a rural town becomes the mountain bike capital of Australia?". 26 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Derby".
  11. ^ a b "Derby River tests endurance – ABC (None) – Australian Broadcasting Corporation".

External links[edit]