Blue Derby, Tasmania
What makes it great?
The Blue Derby mountain bike trails are Australia’s equivalent of Canada’s Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
Blue Derby caters to all range of riders; from complete novices and beginners to advanced hard-core technical adrenaline seekers. Trails are well maintained and there is extensive supporting infrastructure. Blue Derby provides a complete experience: nestled in temperate rainforest it’s a hub of mountain biking: a range of accommodation price-points; beer and pizza;
bike-wash facilities, secure bike storage; transport shuttles; bike rental and more.
Blue Derby’s path to success
The small township of Derby has its origins in tin mining, peaking in the 19th century before a slow demise from 1929.
Fast forward to 2015 and two local Councils developed a joint initiative, with a combined $3.1 million investment through grant funding from the Federal Government, to revitalise the region. The philosophy was simple: build it and they will come. And, in this case, they did! Marketing has captured the hearts and imagination of mountain bikers the world over; including the staging of high-profile events such as the Enduro World Series.
The key outcomes for Derby’s local community and economy
Blue Derby has cemented its position on the world mountain biking scene; a go-to destination. It is known and recognised internationally as a top-notch experience and must-visit destination.
Derby now welcomes over 30,000 trail visitors every year, breathing new life into the township, and transforming it from a ghost town of 208 to a thriving regional hub. The initial investment now returns around $30million per annum back into the region and the State.
A relatively isolated destination, an island State to the south of Mainland Australia, works to the advantage of Blue Derby, and across Tasmania more broadly. When planning a trip to Blue Derby,
cyclists maximise their investment in flights and travel time to stay longer – at Blue Derby; and elsewhere in the State. The average cyclist spends 4.4 nights in Derby and another 3-4 nights elsewhere in the State.
The Tasmanian Government is seizing the opportunity and results achieved by Blue Derby with significant investment in a range of other mountain bike parks and experiences across the State, including Maydena in the South, Blue Tiers also in the north-east and elsewhere.
For local bike shop owner, Buck Gibson, Derby’s success is more than just money: “He hires a few [local] teenagers who come around after school to wash bikes. He sees their pride and confidence in witnessing the transformation of their hometown”.
Image credit: Blue Derby Pods Ride Experience
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