If you haven’t yet experienced Tasmania’s amazing Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, then it’s time to put it on your to-do list. This incredible network of world-standard, single-track mountain bike trails weaves through 80 kilometres of beautiful landscapes in and around the towns of Derby and Weldborough, and the Blue Tier sub-alpine plateau, in north-east Tasmania.
Derby is an historic former tin mining town on the banks of Ringarooma River, tucked among mountains and temperate rainforests. Located just an hour and 15 minutes’ drive from Launceston, and an hour’s drive from the vibrant coastal town of St Helens, Derby is the epicentre of the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails and the perfect place from which to explore the east coast of Tasmania.
A highlight of this fantastic network is the Blue Tier Trail—which descends from the top of the Blue Tier plateau through lush native forest to the town of Weldborough (an easy 40-minute drive from St Helens). Experience this epic, single-trail descent and reward yourself with a craft beer and delicious pub meal afterwards at the famed Weldborough Hotel.
There’s a huge choice of adventures to be discovered in this part of Tasmania—all easily accessed from Derby and St Helens. So, after you’ve conquered the Blue Derby trails, here’s five fantastic experiences you just can’t miss:
Get on the water
Fancy some fresh Tasmanian fish for dinner? You’ll find some of the world’s best inland and ocean fishing in this part of the state. Go fly fishing in the north-east’s clean, clear streams and rivers, to catch wild brown trout that are thought to be the purest strain in the world. Tasmania also offers incredible game fishing, just a few minutes’ offshore. Experience the unparalleled adrenaline rush of fishing for southern bluefin tuna or striped marlin in the ocean off St Helens. Join a charter and try your hand at game, reef or offshore fishing, or hire a fishing guide and test your luck at river or estuary fishing. Local boat charter and fishing operators include:
Try your luck at fishing - Gone Fishing
Off road adventures
After you’ve ridden the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, swap two wheels for four and explore the local landscapes on a 4x4 tour. This is a great way to experience the essence of Tasmania, and discover rainforests and beaches, waterfalls, wildlife and local heritage. Operators like Tas 4x4 Tours offer personalised day tours in north-east Tasmania for groups of up to four people. And on the east coast, explore Freycinet on a fully guided two-hour or half-day quad bike tour with All4Adventure.
Swap two wheels for four - All4Adventure
Swap your bike for a paddle
Experienced paddlers can get a different perspective on the north-east’s stunning landscapes, by kayaking the Ringarooma River. Explore the beautiful 12-kilometre section between Derby and Moorina, which features grade two rapids through impressive, sculpted granite gorges.
Tasmania’s east coast also offers excellent sea kayaking. From St Helens, you’ll find unforgettable kayaking locations, including the stunning coastline of the Bay of Fires Conservation Area. Further south, Freycinet National Park offers some of the most spectacular paddling experiences on the island. Hire or bring your own kayak, or join a guided tour with award-winning operators, Freycinet Adventures.
Have a paddle - Frecyinet Adventures
Hit the beach
Base yourself in St Helens, (where you’ll find all the accommodation, places to eat and services you’ll need), and visit the glorious white sands of the Bay of Fires and pretty coves of Binalong Bay and The Gardens (fantastic for snorkeling and scuba diving). A number of operators also offer guided tours in and around the Bay of Fires, including the Bay of Fires Walk and Bay of Fires Eco Tours.
If it’s waves you’re after, grab a surfboard and hit the beaches between St Helens and Bicheno, or take a road trip on the Great Eastern Drive to find surf breaks all along the coast.
The St Helens Marina - Visit St Helens
Take a walk
You’ll find some of Tasmania’s best bushwalking and coastal trails in the north east and along the east coast. Visit superb national parks, coastal reserves, rainforests and waterfalls, all threaded with walking tracks through some of the state’s most scenic places.
South of Derby (via Ringarooma), visit Mt Victoria Forest Reserve and Ralph’s Falls for short walks and sweeping views through rainforest and mountains, and don’t miss the 90-metre cascade of St Columba Falls—Tasmania’s tallest single drop falls.
Base yourself in St Helens and explore the east coast to discover exceptional beach and bush walks—including the Bay of Fires Conservation Area and Mt William National Park, and Douglas Apsley, Freycinet and Maria Island National Parks.
For more walking options in national parks and reserves, check the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife website.
The view from Ralph Falls - @multi_slats
Staying, eating, exploring…
You’ll find a huge range of places to stay and eat, and things to do and see in Tasmania’s north east and the east coast. Find out more by visiting:
And to find out more about the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, visit
Over the coming months, we’ll give you lots more great tips and ideas for exploring Derby and the north east, St Helens and Tasmania’s east coast to help you plan your own Tasmanian getaway. Stay tuned…
Don't forget…if you’re planning to visit the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails over summer, don't miss the Australia Day weekend celebrations in and around St Helens from January 26-29. A highlight of the weekend will be the St Helens Regatta Rocks On —a rockabilly-themed day of music, sailing, local food and wine and fun activities on January 28.