Heading to Derby? Bring the family, everyone else is!

Since the trail network opened in 2016, Blue Derby has made a name for itself as one of Australia’s premier riding destinations, and hosted the Enduro World Series twice, taking out the Specialized Trail of the Year award following each visit.

While there are plenty of trails to keep more experienced riders entertained for days on end, there’s also the kilometres of blue and green flow trails, lakes, and rivers to explore, it’s high time to pack the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and set a course for Wallyworld Blue Derby.

Join Flow Presenter Christa Capel as she guides us on a journey through Derby’s family-friendly attractions


Kid-friendly trails

According to a survey conducted by the friendly folks at World Trail, 90-per cent of respondents went to Derby with friends or family, and nearly a third of the survey came with kids under the age of 18 in tow — and of those kidlets, 91-per cent road the trails.

Families on the trails in Blue Derby
Derby has kilometre after kilometre of kid-friendly trails that will have your little one begging to go for a ride.

Whether it be pedalling in from Branxholm, doing a lap around the Lake Derby in search of Platypus, riding through the infamous Derby Tunnel, or putting in a few hot laps around the pump track, there are endless opportunities to keep the mini-shredders coming back for more.

“The youth MTB segment is thriving globally, and the perfect way to experience how much it’s grown in the last few years is to spend some time in Derby,” says Shimano Australia Brand Manager and Co-Owner of River Cabins Derby, Toby Shingleton.

Families on the trails in Blue Derby
The family-friendly trails at Blue Derby are more than just a simple kids loop and allow your groms to get out and experience the Tassie bush.

“During any event, I always take the time to see what riders are doing, and it’s easy to measure the growth in families riding together when you see how many parents with kids are at the pump track and riding in Derby.

With various green and easy blue trails, it’s the perfect place to introduce young riders to the outdoors. This family-friendly aspect was a driving factor in Shimano choosing to support Blue Derby, and the fact that such a wider range of riders can have fun here makes it unique in our region,” he continues.

Families on the pump track in Blue Derby
The pump track is always full of kids, both adult sizes and miniature, rolling laps.
Families on the trails in Blue Derby
There is so much for families to explore in Blue Derby, regardless of rider level.

Buck Gibson, the owner of Vertigo MTB, tells flow they have ‘Dads and Lads’ groups jump across to Apple Isle for annual riding trips, and the shop is regularly renting out size XS dual suspension bikes and even grom friendly eBikes too.

“Derby is flat out in school holidays and weekends, with many families travelling to town with campers, (and) caravans, or staying in the range of accommodation on offer,” he says.

“MTB is booming in the younger demographic, and parents are supporting their children to become involved as well as joining in themselves,” Gibson continues.

Beyond the bike in Blue Derby

The Valley Ponds
There is plenty to do off the bike in Derby too, so why not go for a paddle in the Valley Ponds, hunt for mining artefacts or try to spot a platypus.

But a trip to Blue Derby with the family doesn’t have to be just about shredding singletrack. Derby’s roots are in mining, and relics of times gone by are scattered around the trails for miniature citizen historians to discover. If your little one’s legs are simply too tired to pedal one more stroke, expand their minds with a tour of Derby School House Museum, do a cannonball into Lake Derby, launch kayaks into the Valley Ponds, or even cast a line into the Ringarooma River in search of brown and rainbow trout.

Family-friendly accommodation

With the trails attracting so many riders of all ages, more places to stay and eat are popping up at a breakneck pace. There is a host of Air BNB’s available and more formal accommodation for groups of all sizes and budgets.

Derby school house
School is in session at the Derby School House Museum.

For the true Derby experience, nabbing a spot at the Derby Park Campground is a must. With sites costing precisely zero dollarydoos, the Derby Park Campground has the most luxurious coin-operated showers we’ve ever used.

For those who aren’t looking to rough-it, rooms are available at the Dorest Hotel for a pub stay, The Derby Lodge for a self-contained apartment, River Cabins Derby for something luxurious, or The Dales of Derby, which can sleep up to 24-people for those that bring the entire clan with them.

Derby Tunnel
Riding through the Derby Tunnel is a hoot.
Families at Derby Lake
Derby Lake is the perfect lunch spot.

Getting to Blue Derby with the family

Derby is situated about an hour and a half from Launceston airport, simply jump on the Tasman Highway, and don’t get off until you get there. If you’re heading over on the Spirit of Tasmania, it will take you about two-and-a-half hours to drive down from Devonport, so load up on the road trip snacks.

For a full overview, check out our complete guide to Derby here.

For more information, head to the official Ride Blue Derby website 

Producer, videographer, editor, and kid in an adult-sized body – Jasper Da Seymour @jdaseymour

Second photographer and professional kid distractor – George Segda @georgesegda_ 

Host, tour guide and all-around shredder – Christa Capel @rideomtb

This Flow MTB project was made possible with support from Tourism Tasmania.

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