Derby

This interesting former tin mining town, which wanders along a hillside overlooking the Ringarooma River, retains the atmosphere of its pioneering history. A classified historic town, it lies about halfway between Launceston and the east coast and therefore has become something of a natural stopover point for travellers.

Where Is it?

96 km north west of St Helens, 104 km north east of Launceston on Tasman Highway.

Events

The village of Derby hosts the Derby River Derby every October.

Things To See And Do

Derby Tin Mine Centre

The town is proud of its mining heritage and its Derby Tin Mine Centre and The Trail of the Tin Dragon tells of Derby’s early days and gives an opportunity to pan for gold and find your own nuggets. Over the road from the Tin Mine Centre is one of the town’s real novelties – the National Bank, which has a reasonable claim to being the smallest bank in Tasmania and one of the smallest in Australia.
One of the tunnels that was constructed at Derby during its hayday, is still accessible through the hill on the eastern side of the Casacde River, up river from the bridge on the Tasman Highway. The tunnel was used to wash away the tailings from various mines. There were other tunnels constructed during the mining era at Derby, however they are not now accessible.


Mt Paris Dam

on the Mt Paris Road) is the only surviving pillar and slab dam in Tasmania. Originally named the Morning Star Dam, it was built across the Cascade River using only shovels and wheelbarrows in 1937 and was connected by an 11 Km water race with the Mt Paris Mine. The mine closed in 1970 and the dam fell into disuse. In 1985, a hole was blasted into the 16 metre high wall to release the water. In the middle of the dam, most of the vegetation has now grown back, the only indication it was ever any different is the dam wall which still rises starkly before you in the middle of the bush.

Surrounding Area

Moorina

The tiny settlement of Moorina (10 km west) was originally a tin mining centre. It now has a virtually non-existent population. The only interesting landmark in the town is the solitary Chinese headstone and small ‘oven’ in the cemetery (turn off the main road – it is clearly signposted) which recall the fact that in the late nineteenth century hundreds of Chinese arrived in the area to work in the tin mines. Moorina was once known as Krushkas Bridge (after the Krushka brothers who settled in the area and opened the Derby mine) but was later renamed Moorina, after Truganini’s sister.


Branxholm

Branxholm (7 km west) is a small timber, hop growing and agricultural town, which was a bustling mining town a century ago. Mt Horror, surrounded by extensive pine and gum plantations, has excellent scenic views; there are some top fishing spots along the banks of the Ringarooma River. Of historical interest is the disused Mt Paris Dam (right) which has been emptied and left abandoned in the bush.


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