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The Derby Story

Where history and adventure ride together


Well before Derby was known across the globe as the mountain biking mecca it is now, it was first home to one of the largest and richest tin mines in the world. 

Cast your mind back to the 1870s, two bight eyed brothers discovered a large load of tin amongst the granite rock of Derby.

The Krushka duo saw an opportunity and quickly set up a mine, aptly named The Brothers Mine, to ensure the future of their families and town.

The operation quickly grew, reaching its peak in the 19th century when Derby’s population reached over 3,000 people – many of which were of Chinese heritage.

The brothers later rebranded the name to The Briseis Mine, a familiar name now, and were producing upwards of 120 tonnes of tin per month.

The town had butchers, a bank, court house, sowing shops, clothing, food, blacksmith, hotels, workshops, many sporting clubs and more than 300 children at the school.

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But in April of 1929 disaster struck.

The Briseis Dam, situated on the Cascade River upstream of Derby burst unveiling havoc on those below.

The mass flooding caused devastation to the town, tragically killing 14 people and resulting in the immediate closure of the mine.

The mine re-opened in 1934, however the same level of output achieved in the last century was never reached and led to its final closure in 1948. 

The population soon dwindled from 3,000 to just 173 and mostly known as a spot some tourists would call in on their way to the East Coast.

The main mine hole gradually filled with water forming what is now known as “Lake Derby” which is more than 125 meters deep and covers nine hectares. 

But in 2015, the future of Derby changed forever.

An idea born from the philosophy – “build it and they will come”, the first 20kms of the Blue Derby Trail Network was officially launched on February 7, 2015.

The joint initiative was between Dorset Council and Break O Day Council with funding support from the federal government.

World class trail builders World Trail were engaged to design and build the network, and thus the commencement of Blue Derby’s longstanding love affair with the company. 

To date World Trail has built over 125km of single track purpose-built mountain bike trails with options to suit all skill levels in both the Derby and Weldborough area.

Quickly the masses came.

In 2017 Derby hosted the World Enduro Series, this broke the global market and Derby was a phenomenon not only for the trails but also the experience the town and its characters gave.

Derby hosted the same event over three more years in October 2018, March 2019, and again in April 2023.

Today Derby has a mix of trails catering for all skill levels and riding styles, the pristine natural environment enhances the riders experience.

Derby will take you to a euphoric place, meandering through an ancient myrtle beech forest, with seemingly every tree covered in vibrant green moss, down granite rock slabs and long flowy and techy descents.

You'll come back, we know you will, that's the Derby charm.

The mining history of Derby is not forgotten, taking precedence throughout names of trails with names like Devilwolf, Dambusters and Krushka's whilst others such as Flickity Sticks and Berms & Ferns, Cuddles and Hazy Days invoke a hint of the fun and excitement to be discovered when you visit.