Blue Derby For Kids
Hidden deep in the North East forests of Tasmania lies one of the worlds most beautiful bike tails. ⠀
The Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails begin in the small historic mining town of Derby, 1 hour 30 minutes drive north east from Launceston. These 40 km of trails cater for all ages, and are one of the most exciting ways to explore the regions magnificent Blue Tiers area. A world attraction, the trails travel through some of the states best rainforest and mountain ranges. Check out their website here for trails.
For kids, the scenery, hidden tracks and abundant wildlife will win them over. Secretly, the tracks provide a positive lesson for the kids, encouraging them to push on to reach their goals and and that persevering can lead to amazing rewards. The longer trails cover varying grades and uneven surfaces, and are more suited for older children who are used to riding distances and can handle their bike fairly well.
Jazzie and her Dad, at Blue Derby. Image courtesy of Jane Taylor.
We recently spoke with Jane from Southern Tasmania who took her 11-year-old daughter, to Derby.
Introduce yourself and your family:
Jane:Glen, Jane and Jazzie. We live on the Tasman Peninsula and love outdoor activities. Jazzie is 11 years old.
Where did you and your family go on your Tasmanian adventure? We travelled to Derby from the Tasman Peninsula via the East Coast. The coastal scenery is spectacular.
Why did you and your family choose to do this experience? It was the school holidays and we wanted an experience that would suit all of us. The Derby mountain bike trails offer a great range of tracks which cater to all ages and abilities. We had not done any mountain bike trail rides before so we thought it would be good fun.
What were the highlights? There were many highlights but the thing that struck us most was how beautiful the area is and the trails themselves were through stunning rainforest. Of course the big highlight was the riding itself but what a superb place to ride.
What did Jazzie think of the trip? Our eleven year old daughter had a ball. There were so many other kids out and about on the trails that she felt more motivated to head off on her own. She can get it pretty over us. We were able to head off on slightly more challenging trails while she did her own thing.
Jazzie, riding through Blue Derby. Image courtesy of Jane Taylor.
What did you take with you that you didn’t need? We do a lot of travelling, camping, bushwalking etc. so we are used to packing light and planning what to take.
What did you wish you took with you, but didn’t? We don't have all the gear and probably won't invest in any, however some riding gloves or non bulky but warm gloves or similar would have been handy. We like to get moving early and so cold hands weren't super comfortable.
Did you find it was a safe environment for kids? Anything families should be cautious of? We found the environment very safe. Although of course there is the actual risk of stacks while riding. The town is small and so there is not a lot of traffic, most of the cars are rider aware as they are there for the riding.
What services were available for families (toilets, eateries, parking, play areas ect. )? The town has plenty of these services and the area is growing and improving all the time. There is a camp ground which has a play area and is great for families and there are also holiday houses available to rent. There is pizza and cafes which are all family friendly. The town even has a bike washing station which is awesome.
Did this trip bring your family closer together? If so, how? We spent a lot of time together over the three nights that we stayed in Derby. Apart from the odd ride we were together most of the time. There were no competing priorities so we just pretty much hung out together, played games in the evening and went riding and bushwalking in the day.
What’s your top travel tip for a family holiday in Tasmania? We do a lot of camping. Tassie has some awesome camp grounds, many of which are free, spacious and in fantastic locations. Chain of Lagoons (just north of Bicheno) is one of our regular haunts. However we will definitely head back to Derby for some riding sometime soon.
The town of Derby provides a great base for the night, with camp friendly areas, self contained accommodation, cafes, fuel, and many other walks and activities to discover. We recommend taking the kids to the School House Museum in Derby. The School house provides a glimpse of what life was like in the area in its pioneering days. In 1921 floods swept through the town, destroying the majority of the town. Kids can learn about resilience through how the small community recovered. The original school desks are also there which the kids can use, as well as having a look around at old education memorabilia.
You can access Derby from Launceston via the Tasman Highway/A3. ⠀
Have you been to Derby and experienced the Blue derby trails? We would love to hear about it! Alternatively, if your after some information on Derby we are happy to help. Our family has lived in the area since the 1890s.
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