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The tiny riverside village of Derby is a quaint surprise on the winding country drive from Launceston to the East Coast.

Overlooking the Ringarooma River in a landscape of mountains and rainforest, Derby is a classified historic town that's small on scale but big on stories.

Once a booming mining settlement, Derby's Tin Dragon Interpretation Centre tells of the town's early days when it was known as Brother's Home and was the setting for an epic tin rush that saw thousands of eager miners flock to the area. You can learn more by following the Trail of the Tin Dragon, an interpretation trail that reveals the trials and tribulations of Chinese tin mining in the area.

Close by is Blue Lake. Once a mine hole, the lake now reflects a stunning aqua blue from the minerals at the bottom of the lake. Canoeing, fishing and boating are popular on this and other nearby lakes.

Gem hunters should keep their eyes peeled for smokey quartz, topaz and amethyst too.

In town, there are antique, second-hand and craft shops to explore and traditional Devonshire teas for a morning or afternoon treat.

And for the more adventurous there's a nearby world-class mountain biking trail network with trails starting from within the town itself.

Accommodation is available at hotels, cottages and campsites.

Derby is about a 1 hr 15-min drive (104 km) north-east of Launceston.

Local tips

  • In October each year you can enjoy the madcap Derby River Derby - a river race with very different rule
  • Drive to the Mt Paris Dam, now emptied, with nothing remaining but the massive dam wall standing isolated in the  bush.