From a forgotten mining area to an internationally renowned mecca of mountain biking, this small town in Tasmania’s North East has more than plenty to offer – both on and off two wheels!


We acknowledge that these adventures are located on the traditional lands of the North East nations of the palawa people who occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


The mountain biking-led transformation of Derby, a 1.5 hour drive from Launceston, has been nothing short of miraculous. Having been through the boom and bust of mining nearly a century prior, it was the very definition of a sleepy rural town: a declining population, limited opportunities for locals, and not a lot to see or do for anyone passing through.

That all changed in 2015 when the first mountain bike trails opened. The purpose-built trails offered a riding experience like nothing anyone had seen before. Word quickly spread.

Before long, the town’s main drag was buzzing with visitors and new businesses the likes it hadn’t seen for, well, a hundred years.

The UCI Enduro World Cup is Coming to Town

Derby’s status as one of the world’s best mountain biking destinations was confirmed in 2017 when it not only hosted its first round of the UCI Enduro World Series to rapacious crowds, but took out the coveted EWS ‘Trail of the Year’ award too.

History repeated itself in 2019 when the Enduro World Series came back to Derby and now, after a couple of COVID-affected years away, is set to do the same on the 31st of March and 1st of April in 2023.

For the uninitiated, enduro mountain bike racing combines the athleticism of cross country (XC) riding with the sheer technical prowess and speed of downhill (DH) racing into one.


Best Things To Do In Derby During the UCI Enduro World Cup, Ben Wells

The 2019 UCI Enduro World Cup. Photo by Tim Bardsley Smith


Riders set out over a number of timed sections – generally downhill focussed – during the course of a day, linking each with untimed sections that must be completed under their own pedal power. Think ‘car rally, but on a mountain bike’ and you’ve got the basic gist.

The UCI World Enduro Cup not only brings the world’s best riders to our corner of the globe to find out who’s best on Derby’s challenging trails, but also offers the local, non-pro stars a chance to show off their skills with a dedicated amateur race on the Friday before.

Spectators are a huge part of Enduro racing, and the World Enduro Cup has gone to considerable effort to ensure crowds can access the trailsides and get up amongst the action easily.

For 2023 the Derby organisers are establishing more ‘heckle’ zones, a spectator hub with on-hill bar and DJ, and shuttle services to ensure spectators don’t miss any of the racing, stay pumped and keep the stoke levels high for competitors.

While the spectacle of top athletes from around the globe competing on a world-class stage will be hard to ignore, Derby and its surroundings also have so much more to offer when you need a change of pace.

1. Check Out All The New MTB Trails You Can Ride

It seems like every other month Tassie gets a fresh new trail to ride! In addition to a revamped Flickity Sticks – an OG Derby favourite – there’s also the brand new Hazy Days, a Green-rated ‘airflow’ trail that’s perfect for building your jump and flow skills. Word around the campfire is that another entirely new trail will be completed by April especially for the Enduro. Details are hush-hush of course, but you can be sure it won’t be boring!

Only 60km north of Launceston (45 minutes’ drive) the riverside township of George Town offers two distinct mountain bike parks – Mt George and Tippogoree Hills – with over 30 trails combined ranging from Green to Double Black.

The trails encompass a wide variety of terrain, and with shuttle services available they offer thrilling rides for riders of all levels.

Or for the ultimate adventure ride, tackle the amazing Bay Of Fires run, starting at Blue Tier (near Weldborough, 20 minutes’ drive from Derby) and finishing on the coast 42km away!


Best Things To Do In Derby During the UCI Enduro World Cup, Ben Wells

Competitors in the 2019 UCI Enduro World Cup. Photo by Revolution MTB


Hot tip: Find more mountain bike trails in Tasmania.

2. Relax and Recover at the Floating Sauna Lake Derby

All that pedalling – or spectating! – is going to take its toll on your legs, so how better to recover than at Australia’s only floating wood-fired sauna? Located on the picturesque shores of Lake Derby aka. Briseis Hole, this amazing, architecturally designed sauna will steam away those aches and pains in no time!


Best Things To Do In Derby During the UCI Enduro World Cup, Ben Wells

Sweat it out after a long ride in the floating sauna. Photo by Dearna Bond

3. Enjoy The North East Tasmanian Rail Trail

In need of a gentler pace? The North East Rail Trail follows the long abandoned rail corridor between Scottsdale (1 hour northeast of Launceston) and Billycock Hill 22 minutes away. The easy grades pass through scenic forest and farmland and are a great way for the whole family to explore the area on bikes or on foot.


Best Things To Do In Derby During the UCI Enduro World Cup, Ben Wells

The Scottsdale Loop rail trail. Photo by Tourism Tasmania

4. Enjoy a Cleansing Ale (or Refreshing Gin) at The Little Rivers Brewing Co.

Located in the heart of Scottsdale, Little Rivers Brewing Co. is a family owned microbrewery whose growing range of all natural, preservative and additive-free beers quickly won the hearts and taste buds of discerning drinkers, both locally and across Australia. Now branching out into spirits with small-batch gin and vodkas, you’ll be sure to find something to pique your tastes. P.S. We hear they might be releasing a new beer for the event! 


Best Things To Do In Derby During the UCI Enduro World Cup, Ben Wells

Grab a drink at Little Rivers Brewing Co. Photo by Flow Mountain Bike

5. Check Out The Incredible Colour of Little Blue Lake

Little Blue Lake is located at South Mt Cameron, less than 30 minutes drive (25km) north-east of Derby. Once an open cut tin mine during the region’s mineral rush, the abandoned hole soon filled with water, eventually creating an artificial lake.


credit jason charles hill

Snap an insta-worthy pic at Little Blue Lake. Photo by Jason Charles Hill

The milky turquoise colour is due to the high concentration of minerals in the leftover mining waste. Swimming therefore isn’t recommended, but it’s definitely a photo-worthy stop when exploring North East Tasmania.


Feature image thanks to Tim Bardsley Smith