A visit to Blue Derby in Tasmania is a must - and here's how to do it right.
Eat local, stay local
Mountain biking breathed new life into Derby, and with all of these new knobby tyre toting tourists coming into town, they needed places to stay and eat.
There is nothing quite like spending a few nights in a country pub; roll in after a day on the trails for a beer and burger before you dance the night away with the locals for the full Derby experience.
There is a host of brand spanking new luxury accommodation that has been constructed since the trails have opened catering to groups and families like The Derby Lodge, Tin Mountain and the new River Cabins Derby.
If you're coming with everyone and their cousin, the Dales of Derby can sleep up to 24-people. All of these places have been designed with mountain bikers in mind, and feature bike wash stations, work stands, and the garages at the Derby Lodge even have a full set of workshop quality tools.
Of course, mountain biking has its roots in dirt bagging and if this is more your style, the Derby Park campground is free and there are coin-operated showers just around the corner. BYO baked beans for dinner.
Derby itself is a pretty small town, and during the busy times of the year, accommodation books out fast. Just a stones throw down the road is Branxholm, and with the new 8km town link trail the ride in ride out possibilities have exponentially expanded.
Eventually your stomach will begin to grumble louder than your freehub; our go-to spots in town were The Hub for handmade pizzas, and the breakfast burritos from Two Doors Down proved to be the perfect way to start the day — not only are they portable, they don't repeat on you 20-minutes later when you're heart rate begins to rise.
No mountain biking trip is complete without a few apres beverages, and on a sunny day, the Sidetracked outdoor beer garden is second to none. Pouring suds from Little Rivers Brewing Co, you can sit in the sun enjoy a cold brewski and recap how you cleaned the rock garden on Roxanne, or that sketchy landing you managed to ride away from on Air-Ya-Garn.
Be fair warned, everything closes up pretty early in Derby, so when dinner time rolls around there aren't many options in town, but just up the road in Branxholm, Casa Pinico is the place to go if you're looking to carbo-load for the next day, and the Imperial Hotel has some of the best pub food we've ever had.
Or, if you just want to show up at the airport and have everything taken care of for a 3 or 4 day visit, give Tara and Steve from Blue Derby Pod Ride a call. When we say everything, we mean everything; gourmet meals, locally sourced snacks, bike hire, a guide to show you the best spots in the network, and of course your very own pod to lay your head, hidden inside the trail network itself.